The Madness of July

by James Naughtie

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LoveReading View on The Madness of July

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

A tale of spying and political machinations as a new British ambassador to Washington is about to be announced. There are several candidates who must be whistle clean. A mid-ranking government minister with a past in the secret service is asked to look into their backgrounds. He has two brothers, one working for the American secret service. The tale is very convoluted, seeming unconnected and vague but does come together a little more than half way through with the resolve coming as a complete surprise at the very end. So keep your wits about you, stay with it and be enthralled.

The Madness of July Synopsis

Will Flemyng was a spy who turned to politics and is rising to the top in the 1970s. But when a bizarre death, on one hot summer day in London, starts to unravel some of the most sensitive secrets of his government, he's drawn back into the shadows of the Cold War and begins to dance with danger once more. Buffeted by political forces and the powerful women around him, and caught in interlocking mysteries he must disentangle - including a potentially lethal family secret - Flemyng faces his vulnerability and learns, through betrayal and tragedy, more truth about his world than he has ever known.

The Madness of July Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Judith Smith - 'Put your life on hold - this is a one sitting, page turning book that will keep you captivated. Remember to breathe.' Read full review >
  • Maureen Evans - 'An intriguing journey into both past and present loyalties and rivalries, not only political but personal. Naughtie keeps up the pace throughout; a riveting read which kept me absorbed until the end.' Read full review >
  • Linda Hill - 'The Madness of July has layer upon layer of intrigue as Naughtie weaves the web of political life...intelligent, well written and actually quite disturbing. It is, too, a really good read.' Read full review >
  • Sarah White - 'An entertaining and engrossing thriller, moving between Westminster, Washington and the Scottish Highlands.' Read full review >
  • Clare Topping - 'Written in a similar way to many le Carre novels, this plot has many twists and builds the tension throughout...This is a thoroughly enjoyable read.' Read full review >
  • Katie Hoare - 'if you like political intrigue and a body, it is an easy read, and the ideal if you were going on a long haul flight or a beach read.' Read full review >
  • Susan Walsh - 'A body uncovered by chance brings about a cover up.  The world of politics once again causes quite a storm for certain individuals...This is a real page turner and will keep you coming back for more.' Read full review >
  • Donna Smith - '70's political espionage, intrigue and murder with an added twist of human emotional entanglement...Overall an enjoyable debut novel.' Read full review >
  • Glenda Worth - 'I enjoyed the book, but found I had to concentrate to keep up with the many different characters involved. Having said that the book was one I couldn't put down!' Read full review >
  • Fiona Maclean - 'Not my usual style of book which is perhaps why I struggled. It is, however, unusual for me to never find a 'way in'.'  Read full review >

The Good Book Guide Review

Naughtie, best known for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, has written books on politics and music, but this is his first novel. In a hot summer in the mid 1970s, Foreign Office minister Will Flemyng finds himself involved in a political crisis after a mysterious death. Fleming was trained as a spy behind enemy lines in the Cold War and is now forced to return to that world. He will find all of his loyalties, to friends, rivals (and even his two brothers), sorely tested. This is territory that Naughtie has come to know well, and he transmits that knowledge into this complex and involving novel.

The Madness of July Press Reviews

'A sophisticated and hugely satisfying thriller that grips from the first page to the last. A tour de force' Kate Mosse

'Good writing, vivid scene-setting and knowledgable descriptions from an insider at ease in the corridors of power' Literary Review

'The book itself is tight lipped; the reader has to piece together a drip-feed of clues - and the process becomes addictive' The Independent

'Fast-paced ... full of intriguing insights, from a man with 30 years experience of the corridors of power' Daily Mail


'Complex and psychologically detailed, I have seldom come across a novel so redolent of le Carre's milieu and technique ... an evocative and eloquent novel' Charles Cumming


'A clever, intelligent story by someone who knows the territory intimately'
Spectator

 


'A slow-burning, cerebral and gripping thriller which fuses the entwined professions of politics and espionage'  The Herald


'A complex spy novel which comes with all the convincing insider knowledge you'd expect ... He has a gift for colourful images and smoke screen writing which sustains the tension' Independent on Sunday


'A lot of fun ... Let's hope we hear more of Will Flemying' Evening Standard

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781856024
Publication date: 28/08/2014
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781781856000
Publication date: 27/02/2014
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781856024
Publication date: 28th August 2014
Author: James Naughtie
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Espionage & spy thriller,

About James Naughtie

James Naughtie is one of the best-known broadcasters in the UK. A presenter of Today on BBC Radio 4, and a prize-winning writer, he has written about politics in London and Washington for many years.

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