Legend Press to publish 'terrifyingly believable' thriller from former counter-terrorism chief

Legend Press to publish 'terrifyingly believable' thriller from former counter-terrorism chief

Legend Press has acquired The Sleep of Reason, the debut political thriller from former Met police counter-terrorism chief Sir Mark Rowley, co-written with close friend and journalist David Derbyshire.

The debut will tell the story of detective superintendent Sophie Gabriel who must confront her past as she races to stop a deadly campaign of violence on Britain’s streets from rival Islamist and neo-Nazi terror groups, exploring "how young often vulnerable men are groomed and radicalised into murder and how toxic politics fuels extremism and violence."

The novel is entirely fictional but will "give an insight into the real fight against terrorism inspired by Rowley’s professional background from terrorist cells, encounters with cabinet ministers and the PM, to the politics of the police canteen," said the publisher. 

Cari Rosen, commissioning editor, acquired world rights from Elly James at hhb agency. The novel will be published on 4th April 2022. 

Rosen said: "When you pick up a manuscript and find that you're still reading it at 1.30am you know that it's something special. The Sleep of Reason is tense, authentic and insightful and I could not be more delighted to be working with Mark and David on this compelling and terrifyingly believable novel."

Rowley commented: "I’ve always loved thrillers with a twist, so when David proposed we create a novel together, I jumped at the chance. This is completely different from anything I’ve ever done before. We set out to create a story that’s exciting and thought provoking, but also one that that’s as realistic as we could make it. Sophie Gabriel’s story isn’t just a tense thriller, it sheds light on how neo-Nazi and Islamist terrorists and extremists operate and feed off each other in the UK — and highlights the immense challenges police face keeping the public safe."

Derbyshire added: "It’s been an absolute joy writing with Mark, a friend since we were teenagers. His inside knowledge of policing, counter terrorism and the workings of Government is vast — and we’ve been able to draw on that to create a political thriller that’s not just tense but also authentic. And while this is Detective Sophie Gabriel’s story, it goes wider than the police — and explores how extremists recruit and groom vulnerable young people, and how populist politicians from across the political spectrum can fuel extremism."