Simon & Schuster is to publish a biography of former Labour minister John Stonehouse, who faked his own death in 1974.
The publishers pre-empted UK and Commonwealth rights to the as yet untitled book, by writer Philip Augar and filmmaker and journalist Keely Winstone, from Toby Mundy of Aevitas UK.
The book reveals how faking his own death was only a small part of the drama in Stonehouse’s career.
Ian Marshall, deputy publishing director, said: "The story of John Stonehouse blends the illicit intrigue of the Profumo Scandal, the sudden disappearance of Lord Lucan and the political drama of the Jeremy Thorpe affair in one brilliant narrative. Philip and Keely have done a wonderful job of research in bringing this remarkable tale vividly to life. For all that we think we know about this story, they have discovered so much more in a real, page-turning thriller."
Augar said: "Researching and writing this book has been so enjoyable. There is a depth to the story that constantly surprises, providing fresh insights into the politics and culture of the period. I am delighted to be working with Simon & Schuster for the first time, and can’t wait to see our book on the shelves."
Winstone added: "Our writing partnership is a great example of something positive to have come out of lockdown. I have been researching this story for years and when I spoke to Philip it became clear it had all the ingredients to make a great book."