Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Post by Chris Angus

                Most people know something about the city of London, even if they have never been there. It has figured greatly in much of world history and everyone has read about or studied that history from grade school on.  So when I sat down to write London Underground, my new historical thriller just released by Iguana Books, I was searching for some of that history that was less well known. That led me to the secrets beneath the city.
                Under London there is a rich tapestry of history, encompassing a dozen subterranean rivers, ancient Roman ruins, burial grounds from prisons and pauper’s cemeteries, the cabinet war rooms of Winston Churchill’s London and much, much more. If you’re an Anglophile like me, you never tire of reading about this stuff and among the best recent sources are Peter Ackroyd’s fascinating books about the history of London and the Thames River. He’s also written about subterranean London, though that book came out after London Underground was written.
                I like to craft stories that move around in history. What better place to set my thriller than London, which has had so many rich historical periods to draw from? The book opens in the 1500s during the reign of King Henry VIII. A mysterious disease called the English Sweat has descended upon the city and its helpless inhabitants. One of Anne Boleyn’s ladies in waiting is struck down with the sickness. Boleyn and the King flee for the countryside in terror.
How people dealt with disease in eras when medical knowledge was virtually nonexistent is fraught with uncertain and often insane remedies. Everything from wearing garlic around the neck to blood-letting was used. At least the garlic did no harm (except possibly to one’s personal relationships). Many remedies, like blood-letting, made things worse. The Sweat, a real disease that struck Britain and Europe in the 1500s, disappeared after a few score years, never to return. What thriller writer could resist such an opening? I bring the Sweat back to London, but in a manner you might not expect: via a biological weapon crafted by the Nazis during World War II.
                Following a secret meeting in Churchill’s cabinet war rooms between the Prime Minister and Gunnar Hansen, a Norwegian pilot who fled occupied Norway to offer his services to the RAF, Hansen is sent back to his homeland by Churchill to investigate the Nazi V-2 rocket program. There has been intelligence suggesting that the Nazis intend to deliver a biological weapon to London. The book follows Hansen’s attempts to thwart this program, along with his efforts to kill Vidkun Quisling, the traitor and puppet ruler of Norway during the war.

                Meanwhile, in present-day London, a mysterious infestation of rats beneath the city send Carmen Kingsley, Head of London projects for the British Museum and Scotland Yard Inspector Sherwood Peets into the dark caverns beneath the city, where they find not only a terrible disease from the past but also another infestation from the war that will make your blood run cold. It is a secret that reaches back to actions by Churchill himself in the depths of the war and which threatens to bring down the modern government of England.
                Pulling the elements from different historical periods together in an exciting, fast-paced plot that ends with a twist and surprise is how I like to craft my historical thrillers. A treasure from the time of Henry VIII, a Nazi plot that involves the research of a real scientist who actually won the Nobel Prize decades earlier, a horrible disease out of the past and the criminal actions of current day politicians all come together to make for a fascinating romp through English history and a story that will leave you with a cold film of your own sweat.

Author Bio:
"Chris Angus specializes in writing suspense thrillers/mysteries within a historical context, with subject matter ranging from mysteries surrounding the Titanic, World War II, new DNA discoveries, the threat of mutating pandemics and the debate between the world views of creationism and basic science.       
Chris is also the award-winning author of several works of non-fiction, including Oswegatchie: A North Country River(North Country Books--2006), The Extraordinary Adirondack Journey of Clarence Petty: Wilderness GuidePilot and Conservationist (Syracuse University Press—2002), Images of America: St. Lawrence County (Arcadia Press—2001), and Reflections From Canoe Country (Syracuse University Press—1997).

While London Underground is a work of fiction, much of Chris’ precise writing style he showcases with his nonfiction comes through. Chris released earlier this year his first fiction novel, The Last Titanic Story, also available from Iguana Books, followed by his second thriller Flypaper, from Cool Well Press. London Underground is Chris’ third novel for 2012.

London Underground and The Last Titanic Story are available from Iguana, Amazon and Barnes and Noble on-line book stores. Flypaper is available from Cool Well Press."

London Underground can be purchased through all major on-line book stores as well as with Iguana as an ePub, Kindle or Print edition at:
The Last Titanic Story can be purchased through all major on-line book stores as well as with Iguana as an ePub, Kindle or Print edition at:
Chris Angus can be found on Goodreads, and Facebook at


  1. I have only visited London once, in 2009, and only for a few short days. I did not get to see nearly enough, of course (although I was sure to visit 221B Baker Street). I never knew about all of the underground secrets. How fascinating! I like that you include different historical periods, moving the stories around in time. I will have to look out for your book!

  2. I visited London twice and just short spells and loved whatever I saw. This is all new to me of course.

    1. Hi Becca,

      Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you've had a chance to visit this most interesting of cities. What I love most about London is walking. There is history around every corner.

      I also write young adult adventure stories, basically thrillers for young people. They have not been published yet, but I'm hopeful they will be soon. One of these books is also set in London, during Victorian times, in which our young heroine, who has discovered a way to travel through time, meets up with Sherlock Holmes and together they travel back in time to ancient Egypt to save the life of Queen Nefertiti. Now THAT'S moving about in history!

      I'm glad you also like the idea of moving through different historical periods. I try to incorporate this in many of my books. Readers often tell me they can not imagine how I am going to pull all these different elements together in the end and that it adds tremendously to their enjoyment of the book and to the excitement and suspense.

      Many thanks again for your thoughts!

      Chris Angus

    2. Hi Mystica,

      Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated. I first visited London almost half a century ago when I was just a boy. It made such an impression on me, apparently as it has upon you, that I went back several times in my twenties for stays of six to eight weeks each time. It was such a luxury to have so much time in the city and I just walked and walked, went to markets, the opera, theater, the zoo and all the sites one generally thinks of going to.

      But one never tires of the city. I have yet to go on the London Eye, which must be an amazing experience. Like many, I was tentative about how the Eye would ruin the vistas of the Thames and Parliament. And initially, the intent was for the Eye to be temporary. But just like the Eiffel Tower, which was also supposed to be temporary, the people of the city fell in love with their NEW vistas!

      Many thanks again for your comments.

      Chris Angus