Released today! Happy publication day to Matthew Richardson!
My Name Is Nobody by Matthew Richardson
‘I know a secret. A secret that changes everything . . .’
Solomon Vine was the best of his generation, a spy on a fast track to the top. But when a prisoner is shot in unexplained circumstances, and on his watch, only suspension and exile beckon.
Three months later, in Istanbul, MI6’s Head of Station is violently abducted from his home. With the Service in lockdown, uncertain of who can be trusted, thoughts turn to the missing man’s oldest friend: Solomon Vine.
Officially suspended, Vine can operate outside the chain of command to uncover the truth. But his investigation soon reveals that the disappearance heralds something much darker. And that there’s much more at stake than the life of a single spy . . .
I am a huge fan of ww2 and in particular the formation of the SOE and British intelligence. So I am a huge spy nerd and was very interested to read this novel which is set in the modern era.
The novel opens with the protagonist Solomon Vine interrogating a suspect. The suspect is accused of having ties to 5 British citizens known to be arriving in Syria. Vine has Dr Ahmed Yousef bang to rights and the evidence is stacked against him, they only information Vine awaits is the call to ship Yousef to a secret location for further ‘interrogation’. Vine is left reeling when he is asked to release the prisoner immediately! When Vine returns to the cell to release Yousef, he finds him unconscious with blood seeping from, what appears to be a gunshot wound. Who shot Yousef and why?
The novel moves on several months and with the once fast tracked spy, now living in professional exile. When during a meeting with Chair of the Joint Intelligence committee Cosmo Newton, it is revealed that fellow spy Gabriel Wilde has been kidnapped. With the committee wanting to avoid further attention and scrutiny they continue as if nothing happened. Newton orders Vine to discreetly investigate…………
Vine begins by meeting with senior politicians and we begin to see how the world of politics works alongside the intelligence sector. With no communication from the alleged kidnappers and no forensics, the case is a great mystery, that is until Vine receives a note from Wilde himself…….
The note offers little in the form of clues and is almost riddle like in its content. It mentions Wilde’s wife Rose and how Vine must take care of her. There are chapters from the past which detail Vine’s journey to being a spy and the complexity in the relationship between Rose, Wilde and Vine.
When further investigation, hints that Wilde was struggling with the actions of his past and his roles in UK and US foreign policy. Even rumours that he had converted to Islam. Did Wilde betray the government is search of redemption? The mystery and secrecy of the world of spies, flows on every page. When Cosmo Newton is found dead and he leaves Vine a series of codes. Vine has his back against the wall and a desperate need, to crack the codes of these fellow spies. Is there a mole at work, sabotaging his efforts?
“What if the abduction is not what seems?” what if it’s all part of something much worse……… Who is Nobody?
This novel has so many themes betrayal, martyrs, alliances and cover ups. Which leaves one of the most pressing questions, who spies on the spies? Who checks their integrity and honour?
Although this novel deals with completely different themes. The secrecy and mystery of the Spies lives, reminded me, of the TV series written by author Tom Rob Smith, London Spy!
Matthew Richardson studied English at Durham University and Merton College, Oxford. After a brief spell as a freelance journalist, he began working as a researcher and speechwriter in Westminster, and has also written speeches for senior figures in the private sector. My Name is Nobody is his first novel.
Via publisher: https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/matthew-richardson/125480/