Hammer to Fall

Hammer to Fall

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

British agent Joe Wilderness returns in "Lawton's ongoing recreation of Cold War chicanery . . . one of the great pleasures of modern spy fiction" (Mick Herron, award-winning author of the Slough House series). It's London, the swinging sixties, and by all rights MI6 spy Joe Wilderness should be having as good a time as James Bond. But alas, his postings are more grim than glamorous. In the wake of what became an embarrassing disaster for MI6 in a divided Berlin, Wilderness is reprimanded with a posting to remote northern Finland under the guise of a cultural exchange program to promote Britain abroad. Bored by his work, and with nothing to spy on, Wilderness strikes a deal with his old KGB pal Kostya to smuggle vodka into the USSR. But there is something fishy about why Kostya has suddenly turned up in Finland—and MI6 intelligence from London points to a connection with cobalt mining in the region, a critical component in the casing of the...
Read online
  • 278
Friends and Traitors

Friends and Traitors

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

John Lawton's Inspector Troy novels are regularly singled out as a crime series of exceptional quality, by critics and readers alike. Friends and Traitors is the eighth novel in the series—which can be read in any order—a story of betrayal, espionage, and the dangers of love. London, 1958. Chief Superintendent Frederick Troy of Scotland Yard, newly promoted after good service during Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Britain, is not looking forward to a European trip with his older brother, Rod. Rod has decided to take his entire family on "the Grand Tour" for his fifty-first birthday: a whirlwind of restaurants, galleries, and concert halls from Paris to Florence to Vienna to Amsterdam. But Frederick Troy only gets as far as Vienna. It is there that he crosses paths with an old acquaintance, a man who always seems to be followed by trouble: British spy turned Soviet agent Guy Burgess. Suffice it to say that Troy is more than surprised when Burgess, who has...
Read online
  • 68
Second Violin

Second Violin

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

March 1938. The Germans take Vienna without a shot being fired. Covering Austria for the English press is a young journalist named Rod Troy. Back home his younger brother joins the CID as a detective constable. November 1938. Kristallnacht. The Jews leave Vienna - Sigmund Freud with an American escort on a sleeper train, the tailor Josef Hummel tied to the underside of a boxcar. June 1940. Tensions are rising and 'enemy aliens' are rounded up in London for internment, including Troy's own brother. In the midst of the chaos London's most prominent rabbis are being picked off one by one and Troy must race to stop the killer.
Read online
  • 61

East of Suez, West of Charing Cross Road

East of Suez, West of Charing Cross Road

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

1963. While London is beginning to swing, George Horsfield has settled into a stultifying routine - pushing paperwork around at the War Office on behalf of the fading British Empire, then catching the 5.27 home from Waterloo for twin beds and Ovaltine. Until a case of mistaken identity leads him into a world of Russian spies, cash-stuffed envelopes and call girls who aren't what they seem...This elegant short story, imbued with the mordant wit and seamless period detail that characterise John Lawton's work, shows once again why 'Lawton's up there with Philip Kerr and Alan Furst. Yes, he's that good.' (The Sun)
Read online
  • 59
Riptide

Riptide

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

Spring 1941. Britain, standing alone since Dunkirk; Russia, on the brink of entering the war; America, struggling to stay neutral. And in Germany, after ten years spying for the Americans, Wolfgang Stahl disappears during a Berlin air raid. The Germans think he's dead. The British know he's not. But where is he? MI5 convince US Intelligence that Stahl will head for London, and so recruit England's first reluctant ally into a 'plain clothes partnership'. Captain Cal Cormack, a shy American 'aristocrat', is teamed with Chief Inspector Stilton of Stepney, fat, fifty, and convivial, and between them they scour London, a city awash with spivs and refugees. But then things start to go terribly wrong and, ditched by MI5 and disowned by his embassy, Cal is introduced to his one last hope – Sgt Troy of Scotland Yard…
Read online
  • 53
The Unfortunate Englishman

The Unfortunate Englishman

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

Branching off from his widely acclaimed Inspector Troy novels, John Lawton delivers The Unfortunate Englishman, a captivating, meticulously researched, and richly detailed historical thriller set during the height of the Cold War, starring East End Londoner turned spy Joe Wilderness.Having shot someone in what he believed was self-defense in the fog of 1963 Berlin, Wilderness finds himself locked up with little chance to escape. But an official pardon from Burne-Jones, a senior agent at MI6, means he is free to go—although forever in Burne-Jones's debt. His return to London is brief, when another assignment from Burne-Jones puts him into the line of danger again. His newest operation will take him back to Berlin, where he spent several years working the black market while employed by MI6 after the war, and which is now the dividing line between the West and the Soviets. Khrushchev and Kennedy are playing a game of chicken, gambling with the fate of millions of...
Read online
  • 28
Sweet Sunday

Sweet Sunday

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

A standalone from one of England's best-loved literary thriller writers, regularly compared to John Le Carré and Philip Kerr, Sweet Sunday takes the reader back to the hot, sweaty summer of 1969, the American summer in the American year in the American century.Turner Raines isn't a typical New York private eye. He's a has-been—among the things he has been are a broken Civil Rights worker, a second-rate lawyer, and a tenth-rate journalist. But in 1969, as the USA is about to land a man on the moon, and the Vietnam War is set to continue to rip the country to pieces, Raines is working as a private detective helping draft-dodgers make it to Canada. As Norman Mailer finalizes his campaign for Mayor of New York, Raines leaves for Toronto, and by the time Raines gets back, his oldest friend is dead, the city has changed forever, and with it, his life. As Raines follows the trail of his friend's death, he finds himself blasted back to the Texas of his childhood,...
Read online
  • 19

A Lily of the Field

A Lily of the Field

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

'Observe in what an original world we are now living: how many men can you find in Europe who have never killed; or whom somebody does not wish to kill?' Vienna, 1934. Ten-year-old cello prodigy Meret Voytek becomes a pupil of concert pianist Viktor Rosen, a Jew in exile from Germany. The Isle of Man, 1940. An interned Hungarian physicist is recruited for the Manhattan Project in Los Alomos, building the atom bomb for the Americans. Auschwitz, 1944. Meret is imprisoned but is saved from certain death to play the cello in the camp orchestra. She is playing for her life. London, 1948. Viktor Rosen wants to relinquish his Communist Party membership after thirty years. His comrade and friend reminds him that he committed for life... These seemingly unconnected strands all collide forcefully with a brazen murder on a London Underground platform, revealing an intricate web of secrecy and deception. The ensuing events have personal significance for Scotland Yard Detective Frederick Troy. He...
Read online
  • 10
Blue Rondo

Blue Rondo

John Lawton

Mystery / Historical / Historical Fiction

An old flame has returned to Troy's life: Kitty Stilton, now wife of an American presidential hopeful, has come back to London, and with her, an unwelcome guest.Private eye Joey Rork has been hired to make sure Kitty's amorous liaisons with a rat-pack crooner don't ruin her husband's political career. He wants to know why Kitty has been spotted with Danny Ryan, whose twin brothers, in addition to owning one of London's hottest jazz clubs, are said to have inherited the crime empire of fallen mobster Alf Marx. Before Rork can find out, he meets a gruesome end...But he isn't the only one, and with the body-count mounting is it possible that the blood trail leads back to Troy's police force and into his own forgotten past?
Read online
  • 10