The Solemn Hour

Nuno Nepomuceno is represented by Agência das Letras.

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Cover of the Portuguese edition

“Fight, ye men of valour.

A terrorist belonging to a criminal organisation turns himself in to the secret services. At the same time, a violent attack occurs on board an aeroplane flying over Ireland, and a video is sent to the offices of a famous TV network. At the heart of these events is man who is stabbed in the street and left to die. Will he be able to survive the web of false truths and illusions that dominate his life?”

London, United Kingdom.

On a cold and windy night, a man is stabbed in the street and left to die. A few miles away, a terrorist belonging to a criminal organisation calling itself ‘The Goth’ turns himself in to the secret services. At the same time, a violent attack occurs on board an aeroplane flying over Ireland, and a video is sent to the offices of a famous TV network.

The plot thickens when a millionaire becomes the victim of extortion. At the heart of these events is André Marques-Smith. As a senior official at his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Portuguese spy is obliged to protect the man being blackmailed. But he is not alone. Two dissident former colleagues who had been on the run now return and reveal to the world the true genesis of an old genetic engineering project. And there’s a woman, too. Her whereabouts unknown, the enigmatic spy could be the key to the whole mystery. But why did she disappear? And will the two agents be able to bridge the gulf that now lies between them?

On a breakneck journey that whisks him between stunning real-life locations such as Moscow, London, Hong Kong, Macao, Prague, the Great Blue Hole and Lisbon, the dangers start to mount up and André finds himself fighting for his life. Matters of ethics, morality, religion, family and the value of human life all come into play. And a web of false truths, illusions and complex personal relationships is laid bare in the final chapter of this series of spy thrillers, which has already made a splash in the world of Portuguese fiction.

After seeing his talent confirmed with the success of China Girl, following hot on the heels of The Portuguese Spy, which won the Literary Note! Prize in 2012, Nuno Nepomuceno now presents The Solemn Hour, the third and final part of the Freelancer trilogy, this time inspired by a wartime speech by Winston Churchill. A spy novel full of unpredictable twists and turns, in the author’s hallmark sophisticated and intimate style, the book’s traditional Portuguese values mingle with an innovative and unique plot that promises plenty of surprises.