Jan 26th: Thriller Writer Gerald Seymour talks to Jon Stock

The grand master of thrillers goes deep into a branch of modern warfare – the cyber threat  – and what a savage adventure it is…

There is a new cold war raging and its frontline warriors are Russian hackers – gang-members working freelance for the FSB, successor to the KGB. Massive thefts of personal information, electoral interference, catastrophic disruption of commercial and social services, banks, airlines, even whole countries disabled – this is happening now. Nicknamed ‘Boot’ because of his obsession with the Duke of Wellington and the battle of Waterloo, Edwin Coker is a case officer at the Vauxhall headquarters of MI6. When a young hacker falls into his hands and reveals details of a secret meeting, Boot conceives a daring plan to strike back – not with a computer virus of his own, but with a bomb that will seriously damage the Russian operation, spreading fear and distrust. Now Boot and his little team need a ‘deniable’ handler to deliver the explosives across the border from Estonia into Russia and bring the hacker back out.

They turn to Merc, an ex-soldier fighting in Iraq, a gun-for-hire who knows how to get out of a tight spot. They hope.From the moment Merc sets out to cross the River Narva things do not go to plan and when the hacker’s sister becomes involved, his mission turns from tough to near impossible. The scene is set for a classic story of pursuit and evasion and an epic battle for survival.

Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. Each of his acclaimed thrillers is deeply researched and delivers a topical, high-octane read.

He will be talking to thriller writer Jon Stock, who’s latest book ‘Find Me’ has just been published in paperback under the name J.S. Monroe. He worked for many years at the Daily Telegraph, where he was editor of the Saturday Weekend section.

Friday January 26th, 7:30 Croft Hall

Tickets £7 (includes a glass of wine). A Damned Serious Business will be on sale on the night for the special price of £15. His previous titles, and Jon Stock’s thrillers, will also be on sale.

Call 01488 683480 to book your place, or buy on-line (with no fee) at ArtsForHungerford.com

Feb 21st: Claire Fuller talks to Nicola Cornick about her novel Swimming Lessons

Novelist Claire Fuller talks to Nicola Cornick about her second novel, Swimming Lessons, newly released in paperback. Her previous book, Our Endless Numbered Days, won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick.

Swimming Lessons tells the story of Ingrid Coleman who writes letters to her husband, Gil about the truth of their marriage, but decides not to send them. Instead she hides them within the thousands of books her husband collects. After she writes her final letter, Ingrid disappears from an English beach. Twelve years later, her adult daughter, Flora comes home after Gil says he has spotted Ingrid through a bookshop window. Flora, who has existed in a limbo of hope and grief, imagination and fact, wants answers, but doesn’t realise that what she’s looking for is hidden in the books that surround her.

‘Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense…more than matches the power of Fuller’s debut… Powerful, pleasing and pleasurable.’ Sunday Times

Claire will be talking to historical novelist Nicola Cornick at Hungerford Library. Her last two books The Phantom Tree and House of Shadows are both inspired by local places and events.

Tickets are £6 and include a glass of wine. Buy from the bookshop, library or on-line at ArtsForHungerford.