Alex spies a market for his Second World War thrillers

WHENEVER a major story breaks, Alex Gerlis still feels a pang for the old days when, as a BBC journalist, he was at the heart of the action.

But now, away from the cut and thrust of the newsroom, he is concentrating on his literary career.

His latest book, Agent in the Shadows, (Canelo, £8.99), published this week, is set in Lyon, against the backdrop of real events during the war, where a secret meeting is held under orders from General Charles de Gaulle.

The objective is to unite all Resistance factions, but when the meeting is raided by the Gestapo, under the Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie, the plan disintegrates and the leaders are captured.

British undercover agents Jack Miller and Sophia von Naundorf are sent to France to find the informer and save the Resistance.

“I’d covered the 50th anniversary of D-Day in 1994 and was taken with the whole idea of the Allies fooling the Germans in regard to where the landings on the beaches were going to take place,” Alex told me from his West London home.

“At the time the kids were young and I was working full time. I kept thinking about writing a book, but put it to one side until many years later.”

He went on to write 10 Second World War espionage thrillers, while his first four novels are part of the acclaimed Spy Masters series, including the best-selling The Best of Our Spies, which is being developed as a television series.

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