A tense story of a spy undercover during the First World War, Andrew Williams recreates the early years of the Secret Service as evocatively as anything by John le Carré or Robert Harris. The Poison Tide 'possesses a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few thrillers can match...' Sunday Times
A tense story of a spy undercover during the First World War, Andrew Williams recreates the early years of the Secret Service as evocatively as anything by John le Carré or Robert Harris. The Poison Tide is the first in a series of loosely linked novels set in that world and 'possesses a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few thrillers can match . . .' Sunday Times
1915. German guns are on their way to Ireland. The British government faces its worst nightmare; insurrection at home while it struggles with bloody stalemate on the Western Front. A British spy, Sebastian Wolff of the new Secret Service Bureau, is given the task of hunting down its enemies: one a traitor reviled by the society that honoured him as a national hero; the other a German-American doctor who, instead of healing the sick, is developing a terrifying new weapon that he will use in the country of his birth.
Wolff's mission will take him undercover into the corridors of power in Berlin, then across the Atlantic in a race against time to prevent the destruction of the ships and supplies Britain so desperately needs to stave off defeat.
After studying English at Oxford University, Andrew Williams worked as a senior producer for the BBC's Panorama and Newsnight programmes, then wrote and directed history documentaries. He is the author of two bestselling non-fiction books: The Battle of the Atlantic and D-Day to Berlin. His two acclaimed previous novels The Interrogator, which was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Silver Dagger Award, and To Kill a Tsar, which was shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award and the Walter Scott Award, are both published by John Murray. Andrew Williams lives with his family in Edinburgh. You can find out more about Andrew and his writing at www.andrewwilliams.tv and www.johnmurrays.co.uk, and you can follow him on twitter at @AWilliamsWriter or on Facebook
'Williams is establishing himself as the master of this historical thriller in which real-life events and characters are given a fictional twist or gloss' — Scotsman
'A first-class thriller . . . possesses a richness of characterisation and intelligence that few other such thrillers can match' — Sunday Times
'A cracking read, a thriller that has heft . . . powerful and forthright' — History Today
'This is a very satisfying thriller on many levels. Above all, it's an intelligent thriller: brilliantly researched, superbly crafted and . . . well written' — www.shotsmag.co.uk
'Two novels have established Andrew Williams as an outstanding writer of the historical thriller or spy story. The Poison Tide will only enhance his reputation. It is very good indeed . . . Compelling and smoothly engineered . . . You will be lucky if you come upon a more engrossing and enjoyable historical thriller this year. Or perhaps next year' — Allan Massie, Scotsman
'Williams' knowledge of the time, combined with a talent for storytelling, means his historical thrillers are compelling and extremely enjoyable. Williams skilfully creates a character that is honest, ruthless and flawed . . . The Poison Tide is a thoroughly enjoyable read' — www.sir-readalot.blogspot.co.uk
'I really enjoyed this very exciting but fast-paced thriller, with intricately researched details . . . I was gripped until the final page. Well recommended' — www.eurocrime.co.uk
'This fine novel fuses fiction with real-life First World War events . . . It's multi-layered and gripping' — Peterborough Telegraph
Praise for Andrew Williams:
'Williams contrives an appealing blend of Doctor Zhivago, Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Boris Akunin's 19th-century crime fiction. His ability to bring a past world to life matches Furst's'
— John Dugdale, Sunday Times
'This is a dense, meaty affair which pulls off the trick of gripping the reader and bringing a complicated, alien world to life' — Guardian
'He blends historical fact and fiction in a vivid recreation of the world of The Idiot and Crime and Punishment' — The Times
'Elegantly serpentine plotting and finely etched characters confirm his place in the front rank of the new English thriller writers' — Daily Mail
'A very accomplished novel which can be enjoyed as a gripping and moving thriller. Yet it is more than that, for it invites us to reflect on questions of morality, and on that age-old question of when, if ever, violent means may be held to justify worthy ends; whether, indeed, such ends can ever be achieved if the means are inescapably criminal' — Allan Massie, Scotsman
'Andrew Williams takes us very convincingly into the world of idealistic terrorists . . . The atmosphere of time and place is finely realised and the plot is compelling. Best of all, however, is the moral discrimination with which Williams presents his terrorists to us, showing how high ideals may be corrupted by whatever is perceived to be necessary' — Scotsman
'Exciting . . . an important book for devotees of the spy story' — Shots Magazine
'A gripping thriller set in a world of treachery' — British Fantasy Society