Midnight Swimmer, The

The midnight swimmer by Edward Wilson

Midnight Swimmer, The

October, 1962. If the Cuban gamble goes wrong and war breaks out, Britain will no longer exist. London dispatches a secret envoy to defuse the confrontation.

Spawned in the bleak poverty of an East Anglian fishing port, Catesby is a spy with a big anti-establishment chip on his shoulder. He loves his country, but despises the class who run it. Loathed by the Americans and trusted by the Russians, Catesby is sent to Havana and Washington to make clandestine contacts. London has authorised Catesby to offer Moscow a secret deal to break the Cuban Missile Crisis deadlock. But before that can happen, Catesby meets the Midnight Swimmer who has a chilling message for Washington. A triangle of love and death that began in Berlin ends in Cuba. On one corner is a war disabled KGB general, on another corner is his unfulfilled wife ...

This sophisticated novel is full of twists and turns that merge historical fact with fiction. Sleaze and high politics literally share the same beds. A white-knuckle superpower standoff is played out against a backdrop of honey trap blackmail, Mafia contracts, assassinations and Vatican scandal. The real blurs into the surreal as Che's car surfs on the Havana seafront and Fidel takes the pitcher's mound against a professional baseball team.

'On par with John Le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. It's that good' Tribune

'A glorious, seething broth of historical fact and old-fashioned spy story' The Times

'It's an intellectually commanding book, but it also has a mordant wit and poignancy.' The Independent

'Brilliant' The Telegraph

'Wilson is a master at working the history of the period.' Publishers Weekly USA

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21 Jun 2012
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About the author

  • Edward Wilson

    Edward Wilson’s first home was a waterfront bar in Fell’s Point, a Baltimore neighbourhood whose residents included Billie Holiday and Edgar Alan Poe. He went to Baltimore Poly, a school where Ta-Nehisi Coates and Dashiell Hammett were former students. He served in Vietnam with the 5th SFGA and was decorated for his part in rescuing wounded Vietnamese soldiers from a minefield. After leaving the Army, Wilson became an expatriate and gave up US nationality to become a British citizen. He has also lived and worked in Germany and France, and was a post-graduate student at Edinburgh University. He is the author of eight novels, A River in MayThe EnvoyThe Darkling SpyThe Midnight SwimmerA Very British EndingThe Whitehall MandarinSouth Atlantic Requiem and Portrait of the Spy as Young Man, all published by Arcadia Books. The author taught at Lowestoft College and local schools for thirty years. He lives with his wife Julia in rural Suffolk where they garden and try to identify birds.

    Titles by Edward Wilson

    A Very British Ending
    The midnight swimmer by Edward Wilson
    Portrait of the Spy as a Young Man
    South Atlantic Requiem