A MALVERN author is already receiving rave reviews for his fist spy thriller novel ‘Deadline’ launched at the end of last month.
The book by Jon Gray – which centres on a new ‘three-dimensional James Bond type secret agent ‘Charlie Dangerfield’ – sold 100 ebooks and a similar number of paperbacks within four days of its release.
Deadline is a deep-dive inside the mind of a secret agent as he tackles a global conspiracy and climate disaster. MI6 is in utter turmoil.
The rollercoaster ride for readers follows Dangerfield on a tense, gripping quest to confront some of the most evil villains on the planet.
The book was inspired by Jon reading books, including Brave New World, 1984 and James Bond novels in Malvern Library when he was a teenager.
Jon, born and schooled in Malvern, has not forgotten his roots with several chapters set in the district and others at GCHQ in nutshell.
But Dangerfield also journeys further afield to China, North Korea and America.
The travel somewhat mirrors Jon’s life – not hanging around for his graduation, he flew out to
Kuala Lumpur after university and took any opportunities he could.
He started off as a copyrighter before selling goods for a German firm.
The book itself started off as a ghost story before transforming into the spy novel it is now.
He said: “They say writers should write about what they know in order for the story to be as authentic as possible, and although I haven’t met that many villains I have been lucky enough to spend many years in some of the darkest parts of our world.
“I moved back to Malvern about ten years ago and couldn’t help being inspired by all the cutting-edge research work that Malvern folks, including my own father, have been responsible for.
“Hence, readers of Deadline will find several chapters based in Malvern itself. Obviously, GCHQ appears too.
“Having spent 30 years away from Malvern, it was such a delight to be back and rekindle friendships with fellow ex-pupils from the Grove Primary and Hanley Castle, and to make so many new friends especially through the Malvern Joggers, which has been an absolute lifeline.”
Jon’s author journey began when he undertook a ten-week creative writing course at Malvern Hills College.
He said: “There were 19 of us and 18 were women – I was the only man at the sessions.”
He added a few dropped out but he and four of the students set up a writing group to support each other.
The others in that group are in a similar position to Jon.
“Some have agents, others are releasing books, it has worked out really well.
“I’ve had some really good feedback about Deadline from those who have read it.”
Jon has set up a website to provide more information, including one of the chapters.
“Chapter 19 is there for people to read – I chose that one because there are no spoilers in it but it does offer an insight on Charlie Dangerfield.
“It is a window into his character – from that you get a real flavour of what he is like.”
Visit https://www.jongrayauthor.com/ for more on Jon, the book and to click through to buy Deadline.
It is £2.99 in ebook format and £8.17 in paperback.
Lifeline is the name of my Jon’s next novel which is due out this time next year.