Acts of Omission
By Terry Stiastny
Every country has its secrets. So does every family.
Winner of the Paddy Power Political Novel of the Year
In 1998 the gilt is starting to come off a new era.
Mark Lucas, the recently appointed foreign minister, is in a dilemma. A disk containing the names of British informants to the Stasi has ended up in the hands of the government. Elected on a platform of transparency, he faces resistance from the diplomatic service who don't want him to return it to the Germans, despite their entreaties.
Alex Rutherford, a young man working for the intelligence services, wakes up one morning with a hangover and a dawning realisation that his computer is lost and, with it, the only copy of that disk.
When the disk is delivered to the newspaper where journalist Anna Travers works, she finds herself unravelling not just a mystery, but many people's lives . . .
Acts of Omission plunges the reader into a virtuoso recreation of late-nineties Britain. Suspenseful, exquisitely constructed and thought-provokingly topical, it is a novel about what happens when state secrets become public, and the human cost of those secrets.
The majority of Terry Stiastny's journalistic career was spent reporting for BBC News, which she left in 2012. During her time at the BBC, she worked in Berlin and Brussels, covered politics in Westminster and spent many years on BBC Radio 4 news programmes. She was educated at Oxford University, studying PPE at Balliol College and International Relations (MPhil) at St Antony's College. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
- Other details
- Publication date:
17 Jul 2014
- Page count:
A thriller of rare intelligence — Saga
Stiastny cleverly entwines historical fact with fiction . . . not simply a good work of fiction, but an ode to the history that inspired it — We Love This Book
A must-read for lovers of political thrillers — shots.co.uk
An intriguing political spy thriller from a former BBC reporter . . . Stiastny brings all her experience to bear in this sinuous story . . . A spirited portrait of the murky skulduggery that inhabits modern politics — Daily Mail
A convincing picture of Westminster in the 1990s — Woman Magazine
Terry Stiastny proves herself a skilful prose stylist and a connoisseur of telling details . . . The neatly drawn cast of spies, journalists and politicians orbit each other with compelling stealth . . . Stiastny writes locally but thinks globally, and the result is impressive — Guardian
The recreation of the atmosphere of late 90s London is excellent as is the impression of the fast regenerating city of Berlin — Promoting Crime
An intriguing, compelling story that cuts across the decades and generations and brings the issues of the Cold War days right into present times — Simon Mawer
Stiastny is an ex-BBC political reporter and she guides us around the newsroom, Whitehall and Parliament with an insider's eye and effortlessly clear, precise prose. She is particularly good on the great games of Westminster, and on the language of journalese . . . A beautifully crafted story — thedabbler.co.uk
Intelligent, gripping and convincing. Terry Stiastny displays a real grasp of the art of mystery writing, as well as an ability to evoke the particular atmosphere of the post-communist era and the secret dealings of the British establishment. I loved it — Henry Porter
An author to watch — Bookbag