Joan Brady was the first woman to win the Whitbread Book of the Year Award (now Costa)
‘A prize winning author with a conscience, brave… polished…seductive… unconventional…sharp, playful, iconoclastic’           

‘The way I see it, my books have been thrillers from the beginning. I like speed. I like excitement. I want what happens to be unexpected. I was lucky enough to win a couple of big awards for one called Theory of War – The Whitbread/Costa Book of the Year in the UK and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger in France. That gave me some financial security and the courage to see if I could write novels that fit the genre more closely. People say, ‘Stick with what you know.’ But why should you? Why not follow whatever catches your fancy? I didn’t know anything about the issues in Theory of War before I started; the thrillers led me into very alien territory too, and their hero is everything I’m not: male, young, strong. It’s been fun.

‘Now I think it’s time for a new kind of thriller, a non-fiction thriller. There’s this long-ago case of the old spy and the young dancer…’

The Blue Death

Observer thriller of the month

Download Chapter One