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Wednesday 31 December 2014

'Inside Enemy' by Alan Judd

Published by Simon & Schuster,
12 June 2014.
ISBN 978-1-47110-250-9

Charles Thoroughgood is appointed Head of MI5.  Things are in a chaotic state inside Whitehall and elsewhere, with interruptions to power causing lights and kettles not to work but, of course, having other more serious effects on electronic systems.  The problems need to be dealt with without the general public becoming aware of the parlous state of affairs.  Charles has been the subject of previous books by Alan Judd tracing his initial entry to M16 in the early 1980s and his training then his involvement in serious spying events.  It is not necessary to have read the previous books to appreciate this one though the surprise element of the earlier books could be blunted.

Charles soon realises that the past can explain what is happening but others are reluctant to accept his theory.  His new wife, Sarah, becomes embroiled in what is going on through her career as a high powered lawyer.  As Charles starts to find the threads of the conspiracy Sarah is carried to the centre of events.  Charles has to act quickly and decisively outside the official parameters if he is to save Sarah's life and his own.

Despite the focus on Charles and Sarah many other memorable characters participate in the story. In fact the interaction of the Westminster politicians and administrators adds considerably to the depth of the tale.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Alan Judd has published 3 previous books on Charles beginning with A Breed of Heroes.  He has also produced several stand alone books with diplomatic settings and nonfiction such as Quest for C on the life of Mansfield Cumming founder of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Alan Judd was born in 1946. He trained as a teacher but instead became a soldier and diplomat. He is now a full-time writer, contributing regular current affairs articles to various newspapers, most frequently the Daily Telegraph, as well as writing regular book reviews and acting as the Spectator's motoring correspondent. He is the author of several novels drawing on his military and diplomatic experience, the first of which, A Breed Of Heroes, won the Royal Society of Literature's Winifred Holtby award and was later filmed by the BBC. The Devil's Own Work, a literary ghost story inspired by Judd's meeting with Graham Greene, won the Guardian Fiction Award. His most recent work of fiction, Legacy, a Cold War spy novel, the first of an intended trilogy, was published in 2001.
He is also the author of two accomplished biographies: Ford Madox Ford, which won the Heinemann Award, and The Quest For C, the authorised biography of Mansfield Cumming, founder of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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