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Woman of State by Simon Berthon

Woman of State

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July 2017 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month.

A fascinating, intelligent and penetrating political thriller set in Belfast, Dublin and London. In 1991 Maire steps into the centre of a storm that will change her entire life when she is recruited as a honey trap for the IRA. In the present day DCI Carne, after an anonymous tip-off, discovers a body that will have huge repercussions for Anne-Marie who has just accepted the position as Minster of State for Security and Immigration. Layers upon intruiging layers are built throughout this story, it feels so incredibly realistic, as though you could be witnessing history. I didn't want to stop reading, this is an impressively stimulating read and I simply gobbled up the words while my mind whirred and deliberated. In ‘Woman of State’ Simon Berthon has created a contemporary thrilling tale with history ferociously snapping at its heels, ensuring one powerhouse of a read, I highly recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson

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. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This has everything – political intrigue, recent history (The Irish Troubles of the 90s), murder investigations and all brought together by super writing.'
  • Robin Little - 'Woman of State is about choices, confronting the brutal past of Northern Ireland and dealing with intrigue in government. With plenty of twists, turns and espionage the gripping story is a great thriller.'
  • Sue Broom - 'I found this story really gripping, its pace fast and relentless, and the characters perfectly believable and engaging.'
  • Sandra Bishop - 'A cracker of a debut novel, written by someone with a good knowledge of the troubles of the time resulting in a gritty, credible story.'
  • Jo-anne Atkinson - 'A punchy and pacy thriller about conspiracy theories at the heart of Government.  Not too taxing but very enjoyable.'
  • Peter Mynehan - 'Excellent depiction of modern social history.'
  • Ann Peet - 'Most gripping political thriller I have read for ages.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'Secrets, lies and intrigue. A fascinating political thriller about one woman caught up in a number of webs of deception.'
  • Lee P. Ruddin - 'it remains first choice for edge-of-the-seat suspense.'
  • Pauline Braisher - 'I really enjoyed this book...It was interesting to read a book about the troubles in Ireland and how the consequences of those times reverberate over the years to come.  I thought the book was well-written and the characters sympathetic.'
  • Chris Bertenshaw - 'Tense and intriguing political thriller that sees the life one woman left behind coming back to haunt her following her appointment to UK government.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'it became hard to know who to trust, the story keeps you guessing. Fantastic!'
  • Evelyn Love- Gajardo - 'I really enjoyed this book. It has a great plot and an interesting main character. It's a fascinating premise, and very topical considering what's going on in UK politics at the moment.'
  • Jaine Ellis - 'I really enjoy reading a variety of genres and do, in particular, relish a great thriller - this smart and gritty novel does not disappoint. Berthon has created a brilliantly engaging novel.'
  • Catherine Jenkins - 'Right and wrong blur into a moral grey as the watched outsmarts the watcher - I was gripped!'


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Woman of State by Simon Berthon

Stella Rimmington meets State of Play in this smart political thriller for a new generation of Le Carre fans. SECRETS 1991, Belfast. Maire Anne McCartney is recruited for a one-off IRA mission as a honey trap. She is told there will be no violence. But she has been lied to. To save herself, eighteen-year-old Maire must flee across the border alone, and start a new life. STATE Present day, London. Human rights lawyer Anne-Marie Gallagher is appointed Minister of State for Security and Immigration. At the same time, the police in Belfast receive an anonymous tip-off. The password is verified from the Troubles - and the co-ordinates lead DCI Jon Carne to a field. And a body. BETRAYAL The new Minister receives a message and realises that the new life she has crafted is at risk of being uncovered. And when Carne's investigation brings Anne- Marie to his attention, she must decide where her allegiances lie...


`A stunning debut novel from a top TV producer, Woman of State takes us from the back streets of Belfast during the Troubles to power and parliament in London. It could not be more timely.' - Gavin Esler

About the Author

Simon Berthon has spent much of his working life delving into the secrets of state. He is an award winning and highly acclaimed investigative film-maker whose scoops include a number of stories set in Ireland.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th July 2017


Simon Berthon

More books by Simon Berthon
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HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


384 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Action Adventure / Spy
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Political / legal thriller
Espionage & spy thriller



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