Silvertail Books has signed a new thriller by author and former BBC reporter John Sweeney.
Publisher Humfrey Hunter secured world rights including audio, film and TV to The Useful Idiot direct from the author. The novel, based on the true story of a Welsh journalist who falls foul of Stalin’s secret police after threatening to tell the world about the famine in the Soviet Union, will be published on 30th January.
"Gareth Jones, a young Welsh reporter, arrives in the Soviet Union excited to see for himself how Josef Stalin is forging a new civilisation," reads the synopsis. "He meets American and British journalists who acclaim Stalin’s great experiment – but when Jones witnesses the horror of people starving to death in the Ukraine, his belief in the revolution is shattered. He must decide whether to do his job and write honestly about what he has seen, or become yet another useful idiot, saying only what the Communist Party allows and smothering the evidence of his own eyes.
"In this special kind of hell, anyone could be an informer, and Jones knows his life will be at risk if he is even suspected of defying Stalin. And when the woman he loves finds herself in the crosshairs of the secret police, everything Jones values is in danger. Can he reveal the terrible truth to the world or will the regime silence him forever?"
Hunter said: "In The Useful Idiot, John Sweeney presents real history of enormous significance – events which will lead the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust, to the Cold War and Chernobyl, and continuing into today’s global political tensions – wrapped up in an electrifying novel."