Britain: a few years from now. A new populist political party has won the recent general election.
A Friend in Deed revisits the characters from the 1970s Love’s Long Road and tells the story of Duncan, who is now a sixty-something journalist and blogger. He loses his weekly column at a national newspaper and turns to investigative reporting instead. The chance remark of a friend leads him to suspect that the Russians are directing the new British government's policies and decisions and as he visits Moscow and Ukraine to discover more, scandal follows intrigue, dark forces attempt to silence him by whatever means possible and he turns to an unlikely ally for help.
There’s a strong political undercurrent to the plot, but it’s also a story about getting older, and how, even when you’re comfortable in your own skin, you can still be beset by anxieties and frustrations as you try to make sense of the world around you. Duncan’s enthusiasm for life and irrepressible good humour shine through just as strongly as they did with his 1970s self, and his irreverent, sparky rapport with a much younger woman is a charming and affectionate study of intergenerational friendship. There’s also a darker side to the story, as Duncan confronts the traumas in his past and works out how to resolve them.
Drawing on my experience of working for ten years in Russia and Ukraine, the story is a psychological thriller set in an all-too-believable near future and also a timely reminder of how the power of the internet can be harnessed to undermine the political and personal freedoms we take for granted. Although this might be thought of as dark and dystopian, I think you’ll find the resolution optimistic and uplifting.
A Friend in Deed has been described as ‘a pacey thriller, packed full of twists and turns’ and ‘ending big, as any good thriller should’. You can download the eBook from your local Amazon store using this link.
If you prefer paperbacks, the print book is also available from Amazon, as well as Waterstones and WH Smith online, or you can order it from your local bookstore by quoting ISBN 978 1789016 802.
Take a sneak preview of the first three chapters for free, via Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature, to see if you like it. If you do, happy reading!