About the Book
Late 1916. Europe is tearing itself apart in the Great War. Harry Draffen, part Greek, part Scottish, British secret agent, cosmopolitan, polyglot, man of violence, is having a bad war. Now he is instructed to uncover a plot by the Central Powers against England. From the slums of East London to an Oxford college, from the trenches on the Western Front to an isolated house on the Scottish coast, on to a bloody showdown in the North of England, he chases a phantom and elusive German messenger. Betrayed, deceived, under attack from many enemies, bringing death to those he does not hate and even to those he loves, he tries to reach the heart of the mystery. In a final reckoning in a London tenement, he at last understands the full scope of the plots centered on the German messenger.
“David Malcolm has created a dark, compelling character with the power to fascinate still further – in the same way that you might be transfixed by the movements of a deadly spider.” –Crime Fiction Lover
“It’s all stories,” he said to me once, a wise German by the sea in Zoppot. It was late summer. 1902. They were already moving the big beach baskets that people sat in. Autumn was coming. The season was over.
“It’s all stories,” he said. “How Germany has at last stood up to take her place in the sun. How the British (or the French or the Germans or the Americans now — take your pick) brought light to the dark places of the world. How — as Herr Bebel has it — the workers, freed of the chains of militarism and the yoke of the bourgeoisie, will make a new world. How this man and this woman went their separate ways. How Harry Draffen became Harry Draffen. Why Botho von Stechlin prefers Debussy to Wagner. To explain success. To justify failure. To hide behind. Stories. Lies? Stories, anyway. Listen for them, Harry. They’re all around.”
Stories. Well, I could tell you a few.
About the Author
David Malcolm was born in Scotland. He was educated in Aberdeen, Zürich, and in London. For over thirty years he has lived and worked in Japan, the USA, and Poland. He lives in Sopot, Poland. His collection of short fiction “Radio Moscow and Other Stories” was published by Blackwitch Press in 2015.
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