Crime and Historical Novelist
First published 1988-90 and now available as ebooks, the Blaines novels form a loosely connected series set partly in the intelligence community during World War II and the Cold War.
They form a series only in an informal and retrospective sense. The links between the books are unobtrusive and developed almost without my noticing. These are espionage novels, but with a difference - the private lives of the spies and their families are as important as their public actions. Indeed, the former tend to influence the latter, often in unexpected ways. These novels are about people as much as politics.
The books are linked not only by theme but also by Eric Blaines, a shadowy figure in the British espionage community (who first appeared in the third Dougal novel, Our Fathers' Lies, and who also has a part to play in the fourth Lydmouth novel, The Suffocating Night). In Blacklist, Blaines is central to the storyline. In Toyshop, he plays an important, but lesser role, and in The Second Midnight, he is barely visible on the periphery. But he is always there - gross in mind and body, sardonic, ruthless and sad.