How to Betray Your Country

Things are looking bad for disgraced spy August Drummond. In emotional freefall after the death of his wife, fired for a series of unprecedented security breaches…and now his neighbour on the flight to Istanbul won’t stop talking.

The only thing keeping him sane is the hunch there’s something suspicious about the nervous young man several rows ahead – a hunch that is confirmed when August watches him throw away directions to an old cemetery moments before being detained by Turkish police.

When August decides to go to the cemetery himself, it sets him on a path from which there may be no return.

“Wolff’s examination of the crises of conscience caused by spying make this a distinctly more thought-provoking novel than is customary in the genre. Turkish delight.”

James Owen, The Times, Best Thrillers of the Month

“…the story is skilfully, and credibly told. Wolff has a fine eye for detail, both of people and places, and his portrayal of Istanbul as a spy capital is evocative and convincing.”

Adam LeBor, Financial Times

“Wolff skillfully portrays an espionage agent on the verge of losing himself to his demons. This is spy fiction like no other…Brilliant.”

Publishers Weekly

A clever, grown-up spy novel, full of intrigue and shot through with a mischievous wit.”

Charles Cumming

“This is a well-informed novel that reveals quite how unglamorous the world of international espionage really is. The compromises and the cruelties necessary in dealing with unsavoury regimes mean that few people can keep their hands clean. While the mixture of dishonesty and incompetence on show gives little comfort, James Wolff weaves into his ingenious plot one strand that offers enough warmth and redemption to stave off terminal depression.”

Literary Review

An absolutely cracking spy thriller with a difference, this is one to put to the top of your reading pile… August is a loose cannon with a conscience, the underlying loss and sadness that directs his every move is clearly felt. And yet, there is an underlying wit, smirk, and dark humour that skulks through the pages. This is a story that skips and flits and burrows and teases. As the file excerpts filled in missing information and as the plot sky-rocketed towards its conclusion I became more and more consumed. A LoveReading Star Book, How to Betray Your Country is ever so smart, provocative, and thought-provoking, its also thoroughly entertaining. It comes with the hugest of thumbs up from me.

Liz Robinson, LoveReading

“It’s a marvellously funny book, sad in a way that mysteriously lifts rather than depresses and with a wild but always convincing plot, along with characters hard to forget. We are living in something of a golden age for sophisticated British spy fiction and Wolff is providing more than his share of the glister.”

Morning Star

“I found it impossible to read How to Betray Your Country without thinking of the Slough House novels by Mick Herron, which have dominated contemporary British espionage fiction in recent years. Wolff shares Herron’s ability to quickly and convincingly draw characters, and especially to capture their sympathetic qualities. There is humour and sadness in their situations and, like Herron, Wolff makes this more important than the plot.”