Related to: 'Complete Guide to Digital Photography'

riverrun

Testament

Kim Sherwood
Authors:
Kim Sherwood

Winner of the Bath Novel AwardThe letter was in the Blue Room - her grandfather's painting studio, where Eva spent the happier days of her childhood. After his death, she is the one responsible for his legacy - a legacy threatened by the letter she finds. It is from the Jewish Museum in Berlin.They have found the testimony her grandfather gave after surviving the labour camps in Austria. And, since he was one of Britain's greatest twentieth century artists, they want to exhibit it. But Joseph Silk - leaving behind József Zyyad - remade himself long ago. As Eva begins to uncover the truth, she understands the trauma, and the lies, that have haunted her family. She will unravel what happened to József and his brother, who came to England as refugees. One never spoke of his past - the other couldn't let it go. Their story - and that of the woman they both loved - is in her hands. Revealing it would change her grandfather's hard-won identity. But it could also change the tide of history. This testament can lend words to wordless grief, and teach her how to live.Kim Sherwood's extraordinary first novel is a powerful statement of intent. Beautifully written, moving and hopeful, it crosses the tidemark where the third generation meets the first, finding a new language to express love, loss and our place within history.

Quercus

Hubble

Giles Sparrow
Authors:
Giles Sparrow

For 20 years the Hubble Space Telescope has been hurtling around our planet at 17,500 mph sending spectacularly sharp images of the universe back to Earth. Hubble is a visual celebration of this large and versatile telescope's astonishing scientific and technical achievements. This fully revised and updated edition of Hubble: Window on the Universe (Legacy Edition) showcases the very latest and clearest images of galaxies, nebulae, quasars, exploding stars and stellar nurseries. More than 200 remarkable cosmic images reveal the inner workings of the solar system, the expansion of the Universe, the birth and death of stars, the formation of planetary nebulae, the dynamics of galaxies and the mysterious force known as 'dark energy'. Featuring the history of the project from its origins and launch in 1990, the discovery and emergency repair of a defective mirror, the impact of subsequent servicing missions and finally, its extraordinary legacy this stunning giant volume will take you on a journey through the universe via 200 glorious full-colour images.

Quercus

Mountain Higher

Daniel Friebe, Pete Goding
Authors:
Daniel Friebe, Pete Goding

The hidden gems of Europe's best roads and passes, from the authors of the hugely successful Mountain High.Following the success of Mountain High: Europe's Greatest Cycle Climbs comes a volume focusing on the continent's lesser-known, challenging and spectacular mountain roads and passes. From the heights of the Ötztal Glacier Road in Austria to the 'secret' side of the legendary Alpe d'Huez, Mountain Higher: Europe's Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs explores 50 soon-to-be cult locations and captures stunning scenery from off the beaten track. Featuring the technical details (maps, profiles, lengths, heights) that made Mountain High an indispensable reference book, as well as dynamic descriptions of the routes themselves and Pete Goding's breathtaking photography, this book is a stylish and practical guide to the hidden gems that every true cycling enthusiast needs to know about.

Quercus

The Digital Filmmaking Handbook

Mark Brindle
Authors:
Mark Brindle

Quercus

The Digital Photography Handbook (FIXED FORMAT EDITION)

Doug Harman
Authors:
Doug Harman

In this new, updated edition of The Digital Photography Handbook Doug Harman includes the very latest developments in digital technology - from cutting-edge cameras to up-to-the minute software, such as Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5. Featuring fresh new pictures and a new, easy-to-follow layout, the book will show you how to combine photographic flair with digital expertise in order to achieve stunning results. Crammed with professional hints and tips, this specially revised and updated edition has everything you need to become an accomplished 21st-century photographer.

riverrun

A Division of the Light

Christopher Burns
Authors:
Christopher Burns
Quercus

The Digital Photography Handbook

Doug Harman
Authors:
Doug Harman

In the last few years digital cameras and 'digital darkrooms' in the form of computers and image manipulation software have revolutionized modern photography. Truly professional results are tantalizingly within reach of all - and The Digital Photography Handbook shows you how to combine photographic flair with digital expertise to achieve them. Part one looks at the cameras, the lenses and other hardware accessories, explains the technology behind them and helps you choose exactly what you need. Part two explores the art of photography itself, from composing a shot to considerations such as depth of field, focus or exposure. It also examines a series of themes such as landscapes, weddings and holidays providing tips and ideas for how to photograph them. Part three moves into the 'digital darkroom'. Here, expert instruction will give you the confidence to correct common problems and get the most out of your images, while a series of masterclasses focuses on professional image manipulation techniques and artistic effects, breaking them down into step-by-step stages for you to follow. Finally, part four looks at printing your photographs - whether to paper or on to the web. For those interested in taking their photography a little further, it explores building a portfolio and offers advice on copyright and selling your pictures. In this new, updated edition Doug Harrman includes the very latest developments in digital technology, equipping you with everything you need to become an accomplished 21st-century photographer.

Quercus

The Digital Photography Handbook

Doug Harman
Authors:
Doug Harman

In the last few years digital cameras and 'digital darkrooms' in the form of computers and image manipulation software have revolutionized modern photography. Truly professional results are tantalizingly within reach of all - and The Digital Photography Handbook shows you how to combine photographic flair with digital expertise to achieve them. Part one looks at the cameras, the lenses and other hardware accessories, explains the technology behind them and helps you choose exactly what you need. Part two explores the art of photography itself, from composing a shot to considerations such as depth of field, focus or exposure. It also examines a series of themes such as landscapes, weddings and holidays providing tips and ideas for how to photograph them. Part three moves into the 'digital darkroom'. Here, expert instruction will give you the confidence to correct common problems and get the most out of your images, while a series of masterclasses focuses on professional image manipulation techniques and artistic effects, breaking them down into step-by-step stages for you to follow. Finally, part four looks at printing your photographs - whether to paper or on to the web. For those interested in taking their photography a little further, it explores building a portfolio and offers advice on copyright and selling your pictures. In this new, updated edition Doug Harrman includes the very latest developments in digital technology, equipping you with everything you need to become an accomplished 21st-century photographer.

Doug Harman

Doug Harman has over 15 year's experience as a journalist, writer, photographer, and digital camera and technology tester. He has written extensively for a multitude of digital photography magazines and websites, including Amateur Photographer, What Digital Camera, Total Digital Photography, Professional Photographer and Photography Monthly. David Jones is a professional photographer with an extensive commercial portfolio, particularly in the fashion and advertising industries. He has also been widely exhibited and contributed photographs to many magazines and books, including Brunel, How to Keep Dinosaurs and Master Chef.

Ian Farrell

Ian Farrell has been shooting pictures since his parents bought him an SLR for his 12th birthday, and hasn't been far from a camera since. He is a professional portrait photographer with studios in both London and Cambridge. Author of the bestselling Digital Photography Beyond the Camera, Ian also writes for a number of leading industry publications, including Amateur Photography, British Journal of Photography, DSLR Photography and Digital Photography. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

Welovethisbook.com

Q&A with Elly and Keith Walters

Elly Griffiths tells us about her fourth novel in the Ruth Galloway Investigation series, a possible BBC adaptation, and why she hates Time Team In A Room Full of Bones, new mother and forensic archeologist Ruth finds a museum curator dead ahead of the opening of a new medieval bones exhibition. How have the character dynamics changed now that Ruth Galloway’s one-year-old daughter Kate is around? It feels like a real privilege to have the time and space to develop the characters. It does get easier but I have to say that Kate was a challenge. I wanted her to be a distinct presence in Ruth’s life – every parent knows that a baby disrupts your life completely – but I didn’t want the books to become diatribes about the hardships of being a single parent. Are museums somewhere you spend a lot of time? I used to live in South London and visited the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill a few times. I have to say, though, that the museum that influenced me most is the Booth Museum in Hove. It’s very near my old school and I remember many happy stolen hours staring at the Great Auk... Was it always your intention to make Ruth dissimilar to traditional female detectives, with her clumsiness and weight issues? I just wanted to make her real. It wasn’t until after the book was published that I realised how many crime heroines were, in essence, superwomen – looking beautiful, cooking gourmet meals, running twenty miles before breakfast. Ruth could certainly eat a gourmet meal but she would struggle with the rest. Are the Rebus and Springsteen references in the books favourites of yours, as they appear to be the books and CDs of choice to Ruth Galloway? Do you have a favourite Boss album? Yes, I’m a big fan of both Ian Rankin and Bruce Springsteen. My favourite Springsteen album is Born to Run and my favourite track is Thunder Road. Are there any crime writers who have been a particular help or influence when you started out? I hadn’t read a lot of crime novels when I wrote The Crossing Places. My biggest influences were probably Victorian writers like Wilkie Collins. Since then I have met quite a few stars of the crime world and they have all been incredibly friendly and supportive. Val McDermid, in particular, has been delightful. Crime writers seem particularly charming. Maybe they exorcise all their demons in their books. I don’t know any Brighton-based writers, though I did meet Peter James when we were both shortlisted for the same award. You featured a location map in the first book, The Crossing Places, are there any plans to get maps into any future books? I love drawing maps and managed to get one into The House at Sea’s End. I think every book should have a map at the front. How do you write? My system hasn’t really changed. I write a rough chapter-by-chapter outline and then go for it. I write for about three hours a day and the rest of the time it’s going round in my head. I hope my plots have got a bit better as I’ve gone on though. Is Ruth going to be brought to the TV screen? The BBC has expressed interest, but I don’t think I’m allowed to say more than that. I would love to see Ruth on TV. Not sure who would play her, though... The location of your books is fantastic and they all give a tremendous sense of place - but could you ever see yourself writing Ruth into Brighton, or writing a standalone novel in Brighton? Or is your hometown too crowded with fictional crime already? Peter James does have Brighton sewn up and I’m sure I couldn’t better him. I do have a vague idea about a historical crime novel set in Brighton, though. My granddad was a music hall comedian and I’d love to write about that world. Ruth has no plans to leave Norfolk, although in book five she does visit Blackpool. Why does Ruth not like Time Team? Well, I have a bit of a grudge against Time Team, as my husband had a well-paid city job before he started watching it and now he’s a poorly-paid archaeologist! I think it’s a great programme, but Ruth, being a professional, would be rather sniffy about it (whilst, at the same time, watching it avidly). What can we look forward to next from Ruth Galloway or from Elly Griffiths? I’ve almost finished book five, which will be about Roman remains found near Blackpool. It takes Ruth into Nelson’s territory and, of course, into danger. I’ve already got a pretty good idea for Book 6. After that, who knows? A Room Full of Bones is out tomorrow, published by Quercus.

Quercus highlights for February

February is a month where everybody begins to feel the spring in their step return. You’ve battled through the long, cold and dark month of January and finally, extraordinarily slowly, you have made it into February, the shortest month of the year. To celebrate, and why shouldn’t you, why not pick up a new book? Trust us; it’s the best present you could get yourself or a loved one on the day-that-shall-not-be-named in February. We’ve rounded up some of our biggest February titles to give you some ideas. Don’t Tell the Brides-to-be, Anna Bell The author who brought you Don’t Tell the Boss and Don’t Tell the Groom, brings you the brand new instalment in her series: Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be. Penny is back, and things are finally looking up. The gambling is gone. Instead Penny has a new focus, her new business: Princess on a Shoestring, an all-inclusive service for brides-to-be looking to plan low budget, but beautiful weddings. Wedding planning, however, proves to be no piece of cake, but family rows and bridesmaid calamities prove to be the least of her problems; another planner is intent on taking her down, step by step, bride by bride. Can Penny save her reputation before it’s too late? This Valentine’s Day put down the lingerie and the over-priced sickly sweet chocolate and think outside the traditional heart-shaped box. Don’t Tell the Brides-To-Be is an inspiriting story with an abundance of fun that you’ll enjoy long after those rose petals have wilted. The Lovers of Amherst, William Nicholson William Nicholson’s CV reads like a who’s who of Hollywood stars and literary accolades. William is a British screenwriter who co-wrote the script for the film Gladiator and who also scripted Les Misérables and Mandela. His books are critically acclaimed and are often cited as cinematic examples of fiction. His latest novel, The Lovers of Amherst is a beautifully written depiction of the life of the poet Emily Dickinson, and how her life influenced others. The prose is elegant, fluid and believable, the context intelligent and thorough. The Lovers of Amherst introduces a sophisticated and alternate approach to the taboo and negativity surrounding marital affairs. This is one not to miss. Stonebird, Mike Revell Mike Revell’s touching and delicate debut novel, Stonebird has been gaining fans left, right and centre. Described by Fiona Noble from The Bookseller as ‘A really special debut, full of heart, hope and the power of storytelling’, it follows ten-year-old Liam who learns the importance of memory, what it is to lose, and how to grow up. When ten-year-old Liam moves house to be closer to his dementia-suffering grandma, he’s thrown into an unfamiliar place, with a family that seems to be falling apart. Liam doesn’t remember what his grandma was like before she became ill. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards. He wants to fix it, but he can’t. When Liam stumbles upon an old stone gargoyle in an abandoned church that isn’t your usual gargoyle he begins to think things can change, can they? Mike Revell’s Stonebird both bewitches and teaches. Do you believe in the magic of stories? Stonebird is one destined to be loved by readers of all ages. A Killing Winter, Tom Callaghan ‘My world is a hopeless, brutal place, a land peopled only by regrets and lost love.’ Set in Kyrgyz, with passages described in effortless vivid detail, so much so that you’ll be able to taste the ice on your tongue and the alcohol in the back of your throat, A Killing Winter is an unforgettable debut. A woman has been brutally murdered, the snow is dyed red. When Inspector Akyl Borubaev of Bishkek Murder Squad arrives at the scene, all evidence points towards a ruthless serial killer. But when the victim’s father turns out to be a government minister, Borubaev has to solve the case not only quickly but also quietly, by any means possible. Until more bodies are found . . . The deadly but beautifully written prose is so consuming, so alluring, that even the faint hearted and weak kneed will struggle to put it down. This is crime writing at its best.

Big books for February

February is a month where everybody begins to feel the spring in their step return. You’ve battled through the long, cold and dark month of January and finally, extraordinarily slowly, you have made it into February, the shortest month of the year. To celebrate, and why shouldn’t you, why not pick up a new book? Trust us; it’s the best present you could get yourself or a loved one on the day-that-shall-not-be-named in February. We’ve rounded up some of our biggest February titles to give you some ideas. Don’t Tell the Brides-to-be, Anna Bell The author who brought you Don’t Tell the Boss and Don’t Tell the Groom, brings you the brand new instalment in her series: Don’t Tell the Brides-to-Be. Penny is back, and things are finally looking up. The gambling is gone. Instead Penny has a new focus, her new business: Princess on a Shoestring, an all-inclusive service for brides-to-be looking to plan low budget, but beautiful weddings. Wedding planning, however, proves to be no piece of cake, but family rows and bridesmaid calamities prove to be the least of her problems; another planner is intent on taking her down, step by step, bride by bride. Can Penny save her reputation before it’s too late? This Valentine’s Day put down the lingerie and the over-priced sickly sweet chocolate and think outside the traditional heart-shaped box. Don’t Tell the Brides-To-Be is an inspiriting story with an abundance of fun that you’ll enjoy long after those rose petals have wilted. The Lovers of Amherst, William Nicholson William Nicholson’s CV reads like a who’s who of Hollywood stars and literary accolades. William is a British screenwriter who co-wrote the script for the film Gladiator and who also scripted Les Misérables and Mandela. His books are critically acclaimed and are often cited as cinematic examples of fiction. His latest novel, The Lovers of Amherst is a beautifully written depiction of the life of the poet Emily Dickinson, and how her life influenced others. The prose is elegant, fluid and believable, the context intelligent and thorough. The Lovers of Amherst introduces a sophisticated and alternate approach to the taboo and negativity surrounding marital affairs. This is one not to miss. Stonebird, Mike Revell Mike Revell’s touching and delicate debut novel, Stonebird has been gaining fans left, right and centre. Described by Fiona Noble from The Bookseller as ‘A really special debut, full of heart, hope and the power of storytelling’, it follows ten-year-old Liam who learns the importance of memory, what it is to lose, and how to grow up. When ten-year-old Liam moves house to be closer to his dementia-suffering grandma, he’s thrown into an unfamiliar place, with a family that seems to be falling apart. Liam doesn’t remember what his grandma was like before she became ill. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards. He wants to fix it, but he can’t. When Liam stumbles upon an old stone gargoyle in an abandoned church that isn’t your usual gargoyle he begins to think things can change, can they? Mike Revell’s Stonebird both bewitches and teaches. Do you believe in the magic of stories? Stonebird is one destined to be loved by readers of all ages. A Killing Winter, Tom Callaghan ‘My world is a hopeless, brutal place, a land peopled only by regrets and lost love.’ Set in Kyrgyz, with passages described in effortless vivid detail, so much so that you’ll be able to taste the ice on your tongue and the alcohol in the back of your throat, A Killing Winter is an unforgettable debut. A woman has been brutally murdered, the snow is dyed red. When Inspector Akyl Borubaev of Bishkek Murder Squad arrives at the scene, all evidence points towards a ruthless serial killer. But when the victim’s father turns out to be a government minister, Borubaev has to solve the case not only quickly but also quietly, by any means possible. Until more bodies are found . . . The deadly but beautifully written prose is so consuming, so alluring, that even the faint hearted and weak kneed will struggle to put it down. This is crime writing at its best.

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

February is a month where everybody begins to feel the spring in their step return. You’ve battled through the long, cold and dark month of January and finally, extraordinarily slowly, you have made it into February, the shortest month of the year. To celebrate, and why shouldn’t you, why not pick u

February Round-Up

Our Favourite Reads This Winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

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Q&A with Andreas Norman

If there was a film of Into A Raging Blaze, who do you think would play the main characters of Bente Jensen, the Secret Service Head, and Carina Dymek, the civil servant on the run? Well, the Swedish original of Into A Raging Blaze (En rasande eld), is actually being adapted for bigscreen right now by a major Swedish film company. They are right now starting to cast it! But then of course, Bente and Carina will be played by Swedish actors. In a British remake I would love to see a character actress like Jodie Foster or Imelda Staunton play Bente, who could take on that utterly unsentimental, tough-minded, no-nonsense type of woman. Carina – I think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt or Sarah Solemani would be perfect for the role. Brainy actresses with a lot of energy. You worked in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ten years in Counter-terrorism and Security. Can you tell us anything about the kinds of projects you worked on, and what it was like? They were mainly projects launched to prevent further terrorism – in other words, the recruitment and radicalisation of individuals and groups in countries around the world. I can't tell you much more, it is all very classified information; other than that we worked in partnership with other countries on this, and their police forces, intelligence agencies as well as various local non-governmental organisations. Our main slogan was: counter-terrorism without the respect for human rights is counter-productive. That was a one-liner I came up with, actually, in order to easily convey the Swedish view on these matters. And I still believe that it is absolutely valid. If you violate people's basic rights, you will end up with more politically motivated violence, and that is unfortunately what is happening today in, for example, Pakistan and many other places around the world today. How much is the diplomatic service as portrayed in the novel based on your experience of that world? The descriptions of the Ministry’s interior and other places are absolutely authentic; you could use the book for a guided tour around the Swedish MFA and the Government offices! If you ever visit the pub Pickwick’s on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan in Stockholm, where all the civil servants hang out after work, look out for the elk head hanging on the inner wall. You'll find that place, and all other locations in the book exactly as I describe them. It was great fun to portray my workplace and the people in it. There are such a wealth of stories and characters in the diplomatic and intelligence community, that for most of the time remain untold, unseen, due to the secrecy that surrounds the trade. At the same time, there’s a lot that is universal which every person who spends their days in an office can easily relate to: the struggle for having an office with a nice view, the byzantine procedure for requisitioning an ergonomic chair, the career angst, all that. You left the Ministry to become a full time writer. What do your former colleagues think of the novel? Were you worried about revealing any government secrets? They think it’s great! I was surprised and happy to get so many positive reactions from colleagues in the MFA. Dozens of ambassadors and desk officers from all over the world have emailed me to congratulate me on what they felt was both a very entertaining and wholly accurate panorama of the rather absurd everyday life in the foreign service. I think many felt that, for once, their profession and work life had been portrayed in an authentic way. I wasn't worried for a second that I would reveal any secrets. I'm so used to handling classified information, you know, and the people in the ministry knows that. But just to be sure, I actually read my first draft as if I were looking for intelligence, classified procedures, etc. In some cases I obscured one or two details to make sure that Into A Raging Blaze would be useless – as intelligence, I mean. Your novel has a plot point whereby British agencies and GCHQ use cyber-spying to access private communications in European countries, even from governments. Was this based on fact when you wrote it, and if so, how did you come across the information? Sure, this is common practice. Just look at what Snowden revealed: NSA tapping the mobile phones of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My book basically outlines GCHQ’s mass surveillance programme code-named Tempora. I was not aware of the code name at the time I wrote the book, but knew something like this existed. That was in 2009. It was also in this period that NSA got enormously enhanced capacities to collect and store data, and later, to mine them. They were building big new facilities in Utah for data storage. As part of my job in the Foreign Ministry, I had the opportunity to learn how the signals intelligence agencies were organised, their methods, their technology. It was top secret back then; now you can find all about it on Google in an instant. Since you wrote the novel and it was published in Sweden, the world woke up to the same reality when Julian Assange published Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. What was the reaction to your book when this happened? A lot of readers were surprised by how close to reality my book actually was. Everyone who read it reacted with, ‘Wow, did you know about all this?’ Especially since the depth of the partnerships between NSA, GCHQ and the Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA was revealed later that year. Then even political op ed's in the main Swedish papers started using my book as a starting point for discussing the surveillance scandal, which thrilled me. The Swedish agency took a lot of criticism for being mixed up in the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden, and my story pointed towards precisely this partnership. It´s called Five Eyes, by the way. Al Gore has now come out in support of Snowden. What do you think of Snowden’s and Assange’s actions, and the reaction to them? I completely agree with Al Gore's statement. Snowden has done everyone a great service. Leaking classified information is always damaging someone, and sure, if it’s being revealed to the public, there is a risk of jeopardizing national security or hampering operations that can save lives. But when state agencies like the NSA or GCHQ operate massive systems that violate the basic civil rights of millions of innocent people, and do so without any democratic control, you end up with a state within the state; an omnipotent machine working outside the boundaries of democratic society, and that is very dangerous. That cannot be tolerated in an open, democratic, rule of law-based society. Assange created the platform for leaks, and Snowden provided the content. How uncomfortable it ever may be for state agencies and corporate executives, I think society will always need whistle-blowers like them. That the intelligence community reacts with horror is no surprise. Disappointing, but not a surprise at all, is the way the Obama administration is pursuing whistle-blowers like Snowden and Manning, in spite of their rethoric about openness. What is most worrying is the complacency of the public. But I think this is due to the fact that we, the ordinary internet users, have no alternative to the internet. Even though our digital lives are being monitored we have no real way to protest, since you can't really say, ‘Hey, I'll stop using the internet and go buy some other product!’ In a way, it shows the limits of consumer power. What is needed are sound state policies that put citizen rights first. The leaked documents in your novel are plans for a Europe-wide intelligence service that would not only cross borders, but skirt national and international law in the name of counter-terrorism. Are there any signs that this is a real possibility, and what would you consider are the major risks of such an operation? The idea came to me when I learned about the US drone warfare in Pakistan. There you have exactly this situation. The US Air Force fly thousands of drone missions for the CIA over Pakistan every year. They fly wherever they want, target whomever they want, regardless of Pakistani law, and probably also in violation of international law. What if drone missions were carried out over UK soil, with the silent approval of the British government and the EU? That is the question I hope my book raises. Even more chilling is that the US administration also targets its own citizens, putting not only foreigners but Americans on so-called 'kill lists'. This practice not only violates basic rights of individuals, but weakens the judicial system, and corrodes the trust we put in our governments. It's a disturbing development. Your fictional ‘European Intelligence Service’ had a clause allowing American services to launch attacks within European borders if they could justify a potential threat. Your novel shows convincing ‘threats’ can easily be created from little evidence. Do you think that US intelligence services pushes the boundaries of acceptable strategy, and how much are European services in thrall to them? Yes, well, you know, intelligence services are masters of fabrication and betrayal. To fabricate ‘threats’ to support wars and other foreign policy adventures are textbook tactics. Just think of the introduction to the Iraqi war, and the massive fabrication of ‘threats’ back then. Or the last and current US administration's circumvention of international law, in order to justify huge counter-terrorism operations. Today, the Obama administration have moved more towards extrajudicial assinations, drones and special forces operations, and the CIA, together with parts of the US military, like the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have turned into smooth war machines. What if it would lie in the interests of the US to launch the same counter-terrorism operations they carry out in Afghanistan or northern Pakistan in the heart of Europe, and the EU would condone it? That question lies at the core of my book. It's fiction, but at the same close to reality. Because all intelligence services depend more or less on each other. You trade intel, you build alliances. The US service is the most powerful player, simply on the strength of their vast capacities. They can push boundaries to fit their objectives and cooperate with European services when it serves their interests. The Brits have a privileged position in this business, being very close to the US system, whereas the Swedes are just a minor, but useful partner. As I put it in Into A Raging Blaze: the Brits and Americans create the weather of tomorrow, while the Swedes are forced to guess the forecast. In the novel, a young Egyptian-born civil servant in the Swedish Ministry of Justice is suspected of being linked to a terrorist cell. How much do you think immigrated Arabs, North Africans and people of Islamic origin are at risk of being unjustly persecuted? Or is paranoia justified in the face of a terrorist threat? Intelligence services nurture professional paranoia, and rightly so; it’s part of their job description to be suspicious. But in the today’s era of counter-terrorism, with its strong focus on Islamic fundamentalism, whole Muslim minorities run the risk of being regarded as a ‘problem’, or an environment conducive to political violence and terrorism. When a security service try to pin down someone who might pose a terrorist threat, a large number of people are screened, which is standard procedure for all investigations. The problem is, with the mass surveillance currently in use, it is possible to screen literally millions, which means that whole populations of Muslims or immigrants – for example, everyone in the UK with the surename ‘Mohammad’ – could be routinely monitored. This is a depressing reality, and adds to the strong islamophobic tendencies we witness in Europe today. In the UK, John Le Carré’s novels were instrumental in forming the spy compromised group in opposition to the realpolitik practices of ‘big brother’ CIA. In your novel there’s a similar relationship, but between the Swedish and British, relatively. Is this a realistic portrayal? Yes, absolutely! The only difference is, Swedes are nicer because they are weaker and further down the food chain in global politics. If Swedish services had the same spying capacity as the colleagues in Vauxhall, not to mention Langley, they would be meaner, I'm sure. But there are historic reasons as well to why Swedish services are less ruthless than their AngloSaxon counterparts: we have not been forced to fight for our survival in World War II or fight terrorism at home; we have no recent colonial history, no real ambition to dominate the world – other than perhaps through exports of pop music, cars and crime novels. Swedish intelligence services are just small, efficient sub-suppliers in the global security business. It’s funny you mention LeCarré, since his latest novel A Delicate Truth is quite a turnaround where he portrays the British government and the MI6 as the corrupt and morally rotten ones, don't you agree? I hope Mr LeCarré nods in approval of my portrayal of the Swedish-British relationship. The recent European elections saw a surge in extreme right-wing groups gaining votes. Why do you think this is, and how might it affect counter-terrorism and relationships between diplomatic services? Oh, I just get depressed when I think about the recent EU-parliament election . . .The reasons for this can probably be found in the recent economic recession that plagued many European countries since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Europe is being strongly affected by globalization, and financial crises with immediate repercussions in national economies, resulting in redunduncies and harsher everyday lives for a lot of people. This generates fear and hatred. When citizens don't feel that there is a social contract anymore, that there is no state to provide them with basic services, there is always a temptation to join the populist chant. It’s easy to blame immigrants, or a weak minority with no voice, like the Roma. Fascism offers a tempting dream of unity and strength. It’s an enthusiastic ideology, selling easy solutions. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost in this dream nowadays. To diplomats, the appearance of right-wing extremists in leading positions around Europe complicates bilateral relations. Some relations will become frosty, new alliances will be made. For example, a social liberal democracy like Sweden cannot rely on support from Hungary or Denmark in the EU-council for its view on migration. And so on. For professionals in the intelligence services, an increase of militant right-wing extremists of course means more work, and in the long-term perhaps also a shift towards monitoring right-wing terrorist networks more closely. After the Utöya massacre and the bombing of the Norwegian government offices in 2012, this has certainly been the case with Norwegian and Swedish security services. What are you writing next? I have a book out in autumn, 9,3 på Richterskalan (9,3 on the Richter scale). It's an eyewitness account of my days in Thailand after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. I was sent to Thailand as a member of some one the first response teams, being a young diplomat who just entered the service. My publisher calls it a harrowing read, I suppose it is. Right now, I'm writing the sequel to Into A Raging Blaze. You'll see more of Bente Jensen, this time in a family crisis with lethal consequences. Surveillance, counter-espionage, deadly lies and deception, all against the backdrop of the recent Crimea crisis. That’s about all I can tell you, the rest is classified!