Assassins are hunting the daughter of the Prime Minister… How long will she hide before it’s time to fight back? The thrilling sequel to Number 10, which was named a YA Book of the Year by the Independent and FT.
Gray Langtry is on the run. As the only child of the British Prime Minister, Gray’s life has been in turmoil ever since her mother was chosen to lead the country. Both she and her mother are targets of a Russian assassination plot. And what’s worse, members of her mother’s own cabinet are involved. A team of bodyguards never leaves her side. The press attention is relentless. And then there are the death threats.
Now, after an attempt on Gray’s life, she has been moved to an elite boarding school in the British countryside. Shielded by high walls and locked gates, Gray finally feels safe, but the plotters are still hunting, and soon they will find her. Gray’s personal bodyguard, Julia, and the school’s young headmistress are determined to protect her. They both know how dangerous things are. The assassins searching for Gray are highly trained. And when they arrive they will aim to kill. Dylan, a mysterious American student, seems to know more than he should – but he’s always there when Gray needs him. Can she trust him? Can she trust anyone?
As winter closes in and darkness falls, Gray will have to think fast.
The hunters are coming.
Author CJ Daugherty, also known as Christi Daugherty, is a novelist best known for a series of bestselling young adult romantic thrillers set in a fictional boarding school called Cimmeria Academy. She began her career as a journalist, writing for publications such as the Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Time Out.
Codename Firefly is the sequel to Number 10 - which was released in 2020
A YA novel that combines a thrilling spy/action plot with political intrigue - sign me up! 'Codename Firefly' promises a lot, but, in what turned out to be a rapid, page turning read, truly delivers.
I often find (and maybe this is me as a grumpy mid 30's man), find leads in YA books quite annoying - their eternal optimism and pep contrasting wildly with my own cynicism and general air of wearyness. Here though, Daugherty has created a protagonist who feels real and relatable, and whilst the ordeals she goes through in this series are obviously hugely heightened, it does feel like Daugherty captures the pain of what it must be like to grow up in the public eye.
Codename Firefly also ties this series closely into the "Night School" series that CJ Daugherty wrote to huge acclaim - and it's made me want to read them too, as they, from my initial research, seem to combine the twist driven plots with intrigue and social commentary.
Many thanks to Midas PR for the copy - definitely one to recommend!
Ben Field was good looking and charming, and as a passionate English literature student, knew the power of words to seduce. In the village of Maids Moreton in Buckinghamshire, 69-year-old Peter Farquhar, an eminent teacher and author, found Ben’s presence irresistible. They set up home together, underwent a ‘betrothal’ ceremony at a church, but all along Ben was gaslighting his partner and secretly poisoning him. A year later Peter was dead.
Ben moved on to a neighbour in the same street, Ann Moore-Martin, who also fell helplessly in love with him. All the time Ben was setting her up to redraft her will so that Ben would benefit on her death.
Remarkably, Ben described in intimate detail his manipulations and scheming, his perverse fantasies and desires in numerous journals and diaries, providing a unique insight into the mind of a psychopathic personality.
I never liked True Crime - I think I always thought life was awful enough without reading in depth about awful crimes! However, lockdown seemed to change that. The lovely thing about true crime is that there is often a clear resolution - something which I felt was very lacking in life overall. So I embarked on reading everything I could find - and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was a particular favourite.
Let Us Prey takes a cue from that - and is a truly gripping account of the crimes of Ben Field - a seemingly innocent and friendly church warden, whose manipulative actions led to the death of one man, and the duping of one woman.
Through examining Field's diaries, author Smith truly communicates to the listener the inner thoughts of this psychopath - and the cold, clinical disconnection of Field serves as a stark contrast to the rather more provincial goings on of the small home counties village of Maids Moreton where the crimes took place.
Gripping, insightful, and mercifully not exploitative, "Let Us Prey" explores the truth behind these crimes and takes a hard look at the man who comitted them - well worth a listen!