Prague : Praha

Prague. City of mystery and intrigue. I knew for a long time that it was where I wanted to locate a thriller. The place is a natural. All those dark, romantic buildings and shady lanes, all those unknowable interiors and subterranean passages that dissidents like the late Vaclav Havel have known so well.

Picture of a street in Prague,

In the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century Prague was different to the likes of Warsaw. Somehow it didn’t get destroyed, razed to the ground. Its historic central areas survived, covered in soot and pigeon droppings perhaps, but intact. World War II came and went without great impact on the ancient buildings of Prague, and so too did the decades of Soviet occupation and control.

Yet beneath the surface there was a kind of warfare that carried on incessantly.

Prague was a natural stamping ground for all the intelligence agencies, and for so many émigrés from states that had suffered so much worse damage than Czechoslovakia. Their clandestine battles were fought hard. Probably they are still. Certainly Czech ministers have hinted as much in their annual reports concerning the activities of the security services.

I wanted to write a story about some of this, a story fashioned out of my frequent visits to the city over many years. I also wanted to fashion a link with Northumberland, where I live. Out of this came Run for Home. I hope my readers like it.

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