The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland
Hello and welcome to The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland blog tour!
Today sees the publication of The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland, a fast-paced, high-concept thriller from an award-winning journalist. You won’t be able to put this one down!
SHE CAN’T SAVE HER SISTER
Journalist Madison Webb is obsessed with exposing lies and corruption. But she never thought she would be investigating her own sister’s murder.
SHE CAN’T TRUST THE POLICE
Madison refuses to accept the official line that Abigail’s death was an isolated crime. She uncovers evidence that suggests Abi was the third victim in a series of killings hushed up as part of a major conspiracy.
SHE CAN EXPOSE THE TRUTH
In a United States that now bows to the People’s Republic of China, corruption is rife – the government dictates what the ‘truth’ is. With her life on the line, Madison must give up her quest for justice, or face the consequences…
To celebrate The 3rd Woman publication day I have an exclusive Q&A with the author himself. As well as being an author, Jonathan Freedland is he is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He is The Guardian’s executive editor for Opinion, overseeing Comment is Free, editorials and long reads.
Interview with Jonathan Freedland
What was your inspiration for The 3rd Woman?
The origin of so many thrillers is a “What if?” question. The 3rd Woman started with me regularly hearing politicians, diplomats and experts arguing over whether, when and how China would overtake America to become the world’s leading superpower. I found myself wondering, “What if that happened? What would it be like?” I began to imagine how America would look and feel if it were no longer number one. In a world dominated by China, what food would everyone else eat, what cars would they drive, how would they talk? And then I began imagining a young woman – a brave, slightly reckless investigative reporter – forced to navigate through that world to find a truth that matters to her very deeply.
How close do you think we are to the political scenario which forms the background to the novel?
I don’t know when it will happen, but I think it’s striking that in a new survey of the world’s people, most said they believe China either will replace, or has already replaced, the US as the world’s leading superpower. So this is happening. Whether it expresses itself the way I imagine in the novel – with a Chinese military presence on US soil – no one can be sure. All I would say is this: if you had asked British people in the 1920s whether they would one day play second fiddle to the US and have American military bases permanently stationed in Britain, they’d have laughed in your face. Yet that happened in 1945 – and has been the reality for 70 years.
Is the timing of the book an alternative present or an alternative future?
Somewhere in between!
Previously you were writing conspiracy thrillers in the mould of Dan Brown. What makes THE 3RD WOMAN different?
I hope this book has the same exciting, page-turning quality which many readers have been kind enough to say they enjoy in the Sam Bourne novels. But those books also aimed to shed some light on the real world, either by drawing on events in history or by rooting themselves in carefully-researched fact. I hope The 3rd Woman does all of that too – a gripping story that says something about the world we live in. If some find it a more credible, more mature novel, that would be great too.
Why have you come out from behind the pseudonym?
It was never a secret that I was the man behind Sam Bourne. But one big thing has happened in the nine years since the first Sam Bourne novel – The Righteous Men – was published: the rise of social media. These days, writers and readers are able to interact with each other directly online – and somehow a pen name felt like a barrier to that kind of direct contact.
It’s also true that this latest book includes a fair amount of both journalism and politics – and since these are areas I’ve worked in for nearly three decades, there no longer seemed to be a gap between the two halves of my writing life, at least not the kind of gap that might once have required the bridge of a pseudonym.
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