James MacManus is the managing director of the Times Literary Supplement. He has been a journalist for most of his life, working for the Guardian as Paris, Africa and Middle East correspondent in the 70s and 80s. He became assistant editor of The Times in 1992 and then managing director of the company publishing The Times’ educational supplements. James has written a number of books the first of which, Ocean Devil: The Life and Legend of George Hogg, told the story of a young Englishman caught up in the Sino-Japanese war in 1936.This was made into a film starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers called Children of the Silk Road. His first novel, On the Broken Shore (The Language of the Sea in the US) described how a marine biologist called Leo Kemp was swept overboard off the Cape Cod coast and spent six weeks living with a colony of seals.
Mid-nineteenth century Paris was the setting for Black Venus, a historical novel telling the story of Charles Baudelaire, his mistress Jeanne Duval and the dissolute life that ruined them both but made him France’s greatest poet.
James’ third book, Sleep in Peace Tonight, was published by Thomas Dunne books in the US in October 2014 and by Duckworth in the UK in January 2015.The novel is based on the true story of Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt’s envoy to London at the height of the Blitz in 1941. His most recent novel, Midnight in Berlin, was published by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Duckworth in the UK in 2016.
MIDNIGHT IN BERLIN – Buy it here
Berlin, 1938. Newly-appointed military attache Noel Macrae and his extrovert wife Primrose arrive at the British Embassy. Prime Minister Chamberlain is intent on placating Nazi Germany, but Macrae is less so. Convinced Hitler can be stopped by other means than appeasement, he soon discovers he is not the only dissenting voice in the Embassy and finds that some senior officers in the German military are prepared to turn against the Fuhrer. Gathering vital intelligence, Macrae is drawn to Kitty Schmidt’s Salon (a Nazi bordello) and its enigmatic Jewish hostess Sara Sternschein-a favourite of sadistic Gestapo boss Reinhard Heydrich. Sara is a treasure-trove of knowledge about the Nazi hierarchy in a city of lies, spies and secrets. Does she hold the key to thwarting Hitler or is Macrae just being manipulated by her whilst his wife romantically pursues his most important German military contact, Florian Koenig? In James MacManus’ absorbing new novel the author evokes a time and place when the personal and political stakes could not be higher and where the urge for peaceful compromise conflicts with higher ideals and a vicious regime bent on war. As loyalties are stretched to the limit and Europe slides towards another war, could just one act of great courage and sacrifice change everything?
PUBLISHER: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
PUBLICATION DATE: 21st January 2016