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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

‘White Hot Silence’ by Henry Porter


Published by Quercus
27 June 2019. 
ISBN: 978-1-78747080-4 (HB)

White Hot Silence by Henry Porter does not waste a second in getting off the ground and into the action.

It begins with the kidnapping and drugging of humanitarian aid worker, Anastasia Cristakos, on a lonely road in Calabria, Italy. She wakes up on board a container ship somewhere at sea. With no idea who has taken her or where she is headed, Anastasia manages a desperate call her billionaire husband, Denis Hisami to tell him she’s in trouble. But he is about to be jailed for crimes he apparently committed in Syria, so he is forced to turn to Anastasia’s ex-lover and expert in locating missing people, Paul Samson, to help find her. Samson (ex-MI6 of course) is already working indirectly for Hisami investigating a man who is the key to strange financial activity within a company in which Hisami has invested.

A tangled web? Absolutely. Complicated? Certainly. But Porter does a splendid job of weaving the strands together – kidnapping, money laundering, mysterious political groups, the destabilisation of the west. However, as you would expect from former journalist Porter, his plotting is intricate and meticulous, his characters are well-rounded and interesting, his wring spot on.

It is the second book featuring Paul Samson. I haven’t read the first (Firefly) but didn’t feel I had missed out at all, so well is the backstory weaved into this novel. 

White Hot Silence is a fabulous read – espionage fiction taken straight from today’s headlines.
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Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Henry Porter has written for most national broadsheet newspapers. He was editor of the Atticus column on the Sunday Times, moving to set up the Sunday Correspondent magazine in 1988. He contributes commentary and reportage to the Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph. He is the British editor of Vanity Fair, and lives in London with his wife and two daughters. 

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter, when she was eight. When she grew up, she had to earn a living and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing crime thrillers drawing on her experiences in journalism. Her fourth book set in East Anglia and featuring investigative journalist Alex Devlin, Gone in the Night, was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads in May 2019.

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