We may have given the impression over the last few months that our independent bookselling experience has become one long round of schmoozing, travelling to exotic locations and generally hanging around with famous publishing people. This really isn't the case, and most mornings you can still find us sweeping the front of the shop in the morning, juggling the competing (and often contradictory) priorities of a small business - and doing what we love, placing great books in the hands of our customers.
What really raises this book up as a superior thriller is the way Andrew brings his trademark style to bear on the plot: superb and vivid characterisation, and an ability to get right inside the American psyche in all its multicultural hues. Whether it's the transatlantic relationship, or the growing pains of a young country dragged reluctantly into a global conflict, this is compelling storytelling during an already fascinating period of world history. Real individuals are brought onto the stage to anchor the fiction, and remind you that this really might have happened. A notably figure is J Edgar Hoover and - incredibly - you do get an appreciation of his unique (if slighly creepy) abilities, and probably the only person who could have made the FBI as effective as it was, with the resources available.