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Veteran reporter John Simpson talks about his new Russian spy thriller.

By: stagedoorscribbler - November 5, 2018

John Simpson

With over 40 years' experience in international journalism John Simpson has dodged the bullets in Tiananmen Square, danced on top of the Berlin Wall, and was on hand for the revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania. He stood alongside Boris Yeltsin during the KGB coup which brought down the Soviet Union, and was the first Western journalist to penetrate the KGB headquarters in Moscow. 

Now the veteran broadcaster has turned his hand to  fiction. His new book, Moscow, Midnight, is, perhaps predictably, a fast-paced and revelatory thriller, elements of which may well have been drawn from John’s own experiences.

He’ll be talking about the book and his long career in An Audience with John Simpson at the Chester Literature Festival next  Monday(  Nov 12). Moscow,Midnight  features one Jon Swift, an old school journo - cynical, cantankerous and overweight. It opens with the discovery of the body of one of Jon's friends, an old hand in Russian government. Something about his death and a series of links to Russian government figures, who have met similar 'accidental' fates, doesn't seem right. 

When the police refuse to investigate further, Swift gets in touch with his contacts in Moscow, determined to find out if his hunch is correct. The truth comes at a price, and it may cost him everything. 

In this fascinating evening John will introduce his new book as well as some of the difficult and often dangerous situations he has faced as a reporter, as well as some of the more light-hearted and amusing tales from his own travels interwoven with stories of figures who went before him, such as Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn and Charles Wheeler

*An Audience with John Simpson: Moscow. Midnight is at The Storyhouse

in Chester on Monday 12th November. More information at