Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

likeyoulove tudor queens series
Search our site
The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton Read the opening extract of the brand new Fern Britton book before its publication on 01/02/2018

Reader Reviewed
Woman of State by Simon Berthon

Woman of State

Thriller / Suspense   Action Adventure / Spy   Family Drama   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Crime/Mystery/Thriller Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

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!'

Win a Family Break to Salisbury!

Don’t miss out! Enter to win a family break to Salisbury!

Here at and we have joined with VisitWiltshire. You could see yourself indulging in the finest food and slumbering comfortably into one of the grand rooms at The Red Lion Salisbury for two nights. The Red Lion Hotel is located in medieval city of Salisbury, which is home to all your favourite stores as well as independent shops, restaurants, cafes and parks and green spaces. Nearby is Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain and numerous sites of historic and archaeological interest.

There are many seasonal events in Salisbury, and you can find out what’s on here. You will also receive a family ticket to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, the gardens are especially beautiful in the winter, with bold coloured stems, scents, and fabulous foliage, you can be sure to be impressed. For the children there is also a play park, and you can stop off in the Victorian tea room to warm up and treat yourself to a traditional cream tea.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Entries close 31st January 2018.

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions

Red Lion: Two night stay includes breakfast for two adults and up to two children sharing a family room. Subject to availability and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash value. Not to be used in combination with any other offer. Valid until 1st Dec 2018 and excludes bank holidays.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens: Valid for day entry, Not to be used for special events or group entry. Voucher is not transferable or refundable, no Cash Value. Ticket must be redeemed on entry. Valid until 31 Dec 2018. Gardens open daily from 10am – closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Prize admits 2 adults and accompanying children Under 17 FREE to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens.

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 31/01/2018


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.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

13th July 2017


Simon Berthon

More books by Simon Berthon
Author 'Like for Like'


HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


384 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Action Adventure / Spy
Family Drama

Political / legal thriller
Espionage & spy thriller



The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh