Stanley Johnson, Boris Johnson's father, has penned a political thriller about the “skullduggery” which might have gone on behind the scenes in the run up to the European Union referendum.
The book promises to be a “riot of ideas” from the “most ideally placed” author to write the novel, his publisher Oneworld told The Bookseller.
Stanley Johnson was in favour of remaining in the EU in the referendum last June, but his son Boris Johnson was a famous figurehead for the campaign to leave.
There have also been claims, denied by Moscow, of covert influence from Russia in promoting the success of the vote for Brexit.
Stanley Johnson’s novel, entitled Kompromat - coming from Russian term for compromising materials about a politician or other public figure - is a political thriller which will imagine the "skullduggery" which may have gone on behind the scenes internationally in the run up to the EU referendum, and is described as “the most audacious geo-political coup since Genghis Khan and his hordes swept across Asia into Europe”.
Johnson, who is said to be "well-placed" to write this novel, commented: “Britain’s referendum on its membership of the EU in June 2016 was a political showdown a British prime minister thought couldn’t be lost. But the next morning Britain woke up to a shock result. Kompromat explores the skullduggery that might just have gone on behind the scenes, from the steppes of Russia to the UK and across to America, with a global cast of characters, from world leaders to spin doctors and journalists.”
Following prime minister David Cameron’s resignation after the EU referendum in June, Boris Johnson’s bid for leadership of the Conservative party was notoriously undone by his Brexit political ally Michael Gove, who chose to stand against him, in what was compared at the time to a Shakespearean act of political treachery.
Jenny Parrott, Johnson’s publisher at Oneworld crime imprint Point Blank, said the book was a “unique peek under the dirty doormat of politics”, combined with “a strong element of suspense”.
“Stanley is a very experienced writer and he’s really determined to deliver a novel that’s pacey and engaging, but which also makes some thought-provoking and possibly controversial comments regarding the volatile political climate we live in,” Parrott said.
Parrott acquired world English language rights to the novel from agent Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown for a five-figure sum on proposal. The typescript will be completed by the end of April, with a view to publishing as a small hardback the week before the Conservative party conference this October.
Johnson has authored several books both fiction and non-fiction, such as previous novel The Commissioner (Century), published in 1987 which was made into a film, but this will be his first thriller in several decades.