Acts of Omission by Terry Stiastny
(John Murray, 2014)

Acts of Omission

by Terry Stiastny

In 1998 the gilt is starting to come off a new era. Mark Lucas, the recently appointed foreign minister, is in a dilemma. A disk containing the names of British informants to the Stasi has ended up in the hands of the government. Elected on a platform of transparency, he faces resistance from the diplomatic service who don’t want him to return it to the Germans, despite their entreaties. Alex Rutherford, a young man working for the intelligence services, wakes up one morning with a hangover and a dawning realisation that his computer is lost and, with it, the only copy of that disk. When the disk is delivered to the newspaper where journalist Anna Travers works, she finds herself unravelling not just a mystery, but many people’s lives …Acts of Omission plunges the reader into a virtuoso recreation of late-nineties Britain. Suspenseful, exquisitely constructed and thought-provokingly topical, it is a novel about what happens when state secrets become public, and the human cost of those secrets.

Reviews

This is a really impressively self-assured debut. Terry Stiastny displays a real grasp of the art of mystery writing, as well as an ability to evoke the particular atmosphere of the post-communist era and the secret dealings of the British establishment. Intelligent, gripping and convincing. I loved it. ”
- Henry Porter
I enjoyed it immensely. An intriguing, compelling story that cuts across the decades and generations and brings the issues of the Cold War days right into present times. Terry’s experience as a journalist and Berlin expert shines through and brings a hard core of conviction to the narrative.”
- Simon Mawer, author of The Glass Room
An intriguing political spy thriller from a former BBC reporter . . . Stiastny brings all her experience to bear in this sinuous story . . . A spirited portrait of the murky skulduggery that inhabits modern politics.”
- Daily Mail
Terry Stiastny proves herself a skilful prose stylist and a connoisseur of telling details . . . The neatly drawn cast of spies, journalists and politicians orbit each other with compelling stealth . . . Stiastny writes locally but thinks globally, and the result is impressive ”
- The Guardian
An intriguing, compelling story that cuts across the decades and generations and brings the issues of the Cold War days right into present times.”
- Simon Mawer
A thriller of rare intelligence.”
- Saga