There’s a great review of The Translator by Harriet Crawley in the Times Literary Supplement.

The author is with us on Wednesday 8 November in The Bull Ballroom at 2pm

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the threat to undersea cables has become high on the news agenda. The novel centres on a Russian plot to sabotage such a key network.

Crawley, a former Moscow resident for nearly 20 years, takes us from behind the scenes in the Kremlin to extravagant parties on the shores of the Crimea.

In The TLS, Muireann Maguire describes The Translator as feeling ‘very much like an updated The Thirty-Nine Steps, complete with fake news, WhatsApp and smartwatches.’

‘In Harriet Crawley’s enjoyable thriller, the title character, Clive Franklin, plans to spend his holidays translating a spot of Chekhov for fun while hiking in the Scottish Highlands. 

‘Clive is technically an interpreter, working with diplomats and politicians, but this term makes him “wince”; he prefers to call himself a “translator”, as he thinks this makes him sound more creative. 

‘What’s more, he always translates – or, rather, interprets – from his native English into Russian, because “it’s all about controlling what the other side hears”. Controlling the flow of information is a key theme of this fast-paced novel.

Urgently needed at a meeting between the British prime minister and the Russian president, poor Clive is yanked off a Munro by the Foreign Office and whisked to Moscow with the diplomatic bag. 

‘There he meets his old flame and fellow interpreter Marina, now working for President Serov, with whom she has a queasily filial relationship. Clive and Marina rekindle their romance, only to be drawn into a deadly network of counterespionage and political assassinations; they must race against time to save Britain from the schemes of a hostile Great Power.’

Maguire says the novel is ‘enriched by the author’s obvious familiarity with the minutiae of Russian life and character, from the niceties of chatting to your chauffeur in a bugged car to the hidden significance of ladies’ footwear.’

The reviewer concludes: ‘Fiction from Bitter Lemon Press (which specialises in translated thrillers) almost never disappoints; The Translator is a typically gripping narrative that puts its title character firmly on the front page.’

You can read the review here:

For tickets to see Harriet Crawley in conversation with Oliva Glazebrook, contact Bridport Tourist Information Centre in Bucky Doo Square or call 01308 424901.