Romney Marsh is a large, flat expanse of land on the southern coast of England overlooking the English Channel. Criss-crossed by a seemingly endless maze of dykes and water-filled ditches, and dotted here and there with Medieval churches and old farm buildings, it can feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world in both time and place.


On a day when the weather is pleasant it is possible to find yourself a quiet little spot where you can turn your face to the gentle sea breeze and listen to the cries of the seagulls arcing overhead or the calls of the blue tits flitting from one weather-gnarled tree to another. As you do so, you can look out over the flat, open canvas as it runs off to the distant horizon, where it meets with a vast, blue sky, streaked in places with whispers of clouds. It is a place where it is easy to feel the beauty of nature.

But pay a visit at a time when the weather is far less friendly and your experience will be altogether different. Then, especially down on the shifting shingle of the shoreline, the wind screams in off the sea, hurling salt-laced water in your face as it attempts to knock you off your feet. And, should you dare to set foot there on a storm tossed night, it can feel as if the land and the sea, the sky and the weather has consorted to crush you in their grasp.

Into this alien world, on the eve of World War One, steps the inexperienced British Secret Intelligence Bureau agent, Alexander Templeman. Isolated and alone, while there appear to be enemy agents everywhere he turns, the desolate nature of the Marsh seems to him to be a fitting, if terrifying, match for the desperate position he finds himself in.

Time is almost up and he is about to face the greatest challenge of his life, one that, until only days earlier, he would not have thought himself capable of meeting. Here, as the darkness of night falls and a raging storm hurls itself against the land, he must prevail, or die in the trying.

The Meyer-Hoffman Affair is published on January 30th and is available for pre-order now.


Image by alistairmacrobert on Unsplash.









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