First off, you can pre-order Birds of Passage here
LETHBRIDGE-STEWART MEETS COUNTER MEASURES!
The Cold War is in full swing as the British Government, in partnership with Woden Armaments, launches the Cerberus satellites into orbit, transforming world wide communications.
But all is not as it seems. Retired Air Vice Marshal Ian Gilmore is reluctantly drawn into helping an embattled government. Dispatched to a divided Germany, he soon finds himself on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall as he helps a Soviet engineer with a terrible secret defect to the West.
Back home, Professor Rachel Jensen discovers her work at Cambridge has been perverted by Woden Armaments. When the Cerberus launch team, including Allison Williams and Anne Travers, goes missing, Rachel begins an investigation that unearths a terrible conspiracy at the heart of the British Establishment – a conspiracy that threatens the entire world!
HOW IT CAME TO BE
On the 3rd of September 2020, Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart editor Andy Frankham-Allen sent me an email offering me the opportunity to write two Counter Measures novels. Approximately 90 minutes later, my response was:
Of course. Absolutely! Fantastic! Thank you!
As you can see I was vaguely incoherent but totally excited at the chance to delve into the world Ben Aaronovitch created with Remembrance of the Daleks and bring it to a new generation of fans and readers!
In between lockdowns, the day job and family life, I wrote Birds of Passage, bringing to life in novel form Rachel Jensen and Ian Gilmore, a decade after The Shoreditch Incident. Older, wiser and now with a son, Rachel and Ian face a conspiracy that spans the Continent and brings peril to their very door.
Getting the plot right, balancing the story between the two main characters and ensuring there were plenty of thrills and atmosphere for the reader definitely proved to be challenging. Once or twice the plot threatened to get away from me – there are a several extended passages that ended up on the cutting room floor as I went down a couple of blind alleys.
But writing the book was never anything less than fun. As a history buff, the research into Cold War era Europe proved to be fun and endlessly fascinating, and helped improve the novel no end. Marry that to the mid-70s setting and add a dash of some choice Doctor Who continuity, Birds of Passage is a novel I am very, very happy with.
I remain grateful to Andy for asking me to take on the job, his fantastic editing skills which helped bring the novel together and his thorough understanding of the characters and setting which helped avoid some embarrassing mistakes on my part!
Thanks to Shaun Russell, Candy Jar Books publisher, for allowing me once again to write for them.
Special thanks to Ben Aaronovitch (check out his excellent Rivers of London series) for allowing us to use his characters.
A big thanks to David Kitchen whose knowledge of UK politics and military matters helped me avoid some rookie mistakes. Any errors in the novel are my own.
Thanks also to my mate Dave Hoskin who proved a great sounding board and inspiration as I was plotting out the story and who is a talented writer in his own regard.
A big thank you to my 42 to Doomsday podcasting co-host Mark Smith, who patiently endured my many, many Whatsapp messages as I worked my way into, through and out of the novel – a fine friend and a great podcaster!
And most of all, thank you to my two daughters and my wife, for their support during the last year as I spent many late night hours writing the book. Without their help, it wouldn’t exist. I love you all, and lets do it again!
Birds of Passage is dedicated to my mother, for reasons.