Q. What made you decide to make your protagonist a double agent?Also see the interview at The Rap Sheet in which British features writer and freelance critic Gordon Harries questioned Jeremy Duns about Free Agent.
I wanted to write a spy thriller set in the Cold War, but I wanted to bring a fresh perspective to it rather than simply repeating what had already been done. The hunt for a double agent, or mole, is a plot in many spy novels of that period, but very few take the viewpoint of the moles. I wondered what it would have been like to be one of the Cambridge Ring. How would it have felt to deceive everyone around you and live in constant fear of exposure? It seemed like an interesting and suspenseful situation and I thought it would allow me to explore the Cold War through new eyes.
Q. Of the many now-infamous British double agents, who do you think was most interesting and why?
I find them all interesting, but I’d have to say Kim Philby. He got the furthest of them all, becoming very senior in MI6, and almost everyone who knew him found him extremely intelligent and charming company. In his memoirs, published in the late sixties, he painted a picture of himself as a man who stuck to his principles through thick and thin. But some of those who knew him in his later years in Moscow have since revealed that he was terribly disappointed by the reality of life under Soviet rule. There’s been much more written about him than the others, but for good reason, I think.
Q. Is Dark himself based on a real double agent?
He has a roughly similar background to...[read on]
What is Jeremy Duns reading?