Will Caine: What I have in common with John Le Carré

Ahead of the paperback publication of his political thriller, The Inquiry, Will Caine reflects on his love of John Le Carre and a particularly interesting coincidence…

Never imagining for one moment that I would, in any regard, ever emulate our greatest contemporary spy novelist, I sat down with my usual excitement to read John Le Carre’s latest offering, Agent Running in the Field. A terrific read it is too – the master pretty much back to his best, which is quite remarkable given his longevity. However, I almost leapt in my chair when I saw that Le Carre had used the name ‘Pitchfork’ for a key agent in this book. For in my recent novel The Inquiry  I had used that very same name, ‘Pitchfork’, for the espionage operation that lies at its heart. One prompt I had for using the word was, for reasons the book reveals, to connect back to a MI5 real-life operation against the IRA during the Troubles code-named ‘Stakeknife’. There was a second reason but that would be a plot spoiler. So what was Le Carre’s inspiration? Agent Running in the Field was published a full eight months after The Inquiry? Was a hidden camera secretly filming me as I typed? Was the doyen of spy novels spying on me? If only..

The Inquiry

Knowledge of these files is classified.

You must not use police or intelligence services to carry out your investigation. Those channels are compromised.

A final warning: you must move fast.

Former MP Francis Morahan swore never to return to politics. But when he’s asked to chair a government inquiry into the intelligence agencies’ record against terror, it’s clear that it’s an order from the top – not a request.

Sara Shah once teetered on the edge of a dangerous circle. Now a lawyer in a prestigious London firm, she’s put her past behind her. Until a letter delivered by hand summons her to join the Morahan Inquiry.

Duty-bound, Sara accepts. Armed only with a list of names, dodging her one-time connection to the networks she infiltrates, she finds herself led by an anonymous source into the darkest corners of post-9/11 Britain.

What, or who, was the weapon at the heart of British terror?

IT IS A SECRET SOME WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO KEEP HIDDEN.

Westminster’s best-kept secrets are hunted down in this edge-of-your-seat political thriller. Pre-order the paperback here.

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