Troubador Standing in the Shadows

Released: 28/08/2019

ISBN: 9781789018578

eISBN: 9781838599201

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Standing in the Shadows


East Berlin, 1983.
One dissident rock band. One plan to defect to the west. One traitor.

Udo Dirkmeyer, the charismatic and feckless Mick Jagger of East Germany, is having a tough time of it. It’s hard enough being an outlaw rock star in the world’s harshest police state. But his relationship with Gerda, the band’s beautiful lead singer, is going nowhere and his oldest friend, Thomas, has become a paranoid, alcoholic wreck. Worse still, his arch-rivals, the state-sponsored Poodles, are doing really well while Udo has been banned from every major venue in the entire country.

Smiling in the face of the constant surveillance and persecution from the notorious Stasi is proving exhausting. But then Udo discovers that one of his bandmates is an informer, intent on destroying him. It’s enough to tip even the eternally optimistic Udo over the edge. Just as his life is on the verge of falling apart, his band gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to escape to the West. Suddenly, his dreams of making it big in the free world have a chance of coming true. Udo is determined to escape and make it work but the secret police and his treacherous bandmate will not let him go that easily.

John's new novel, Standing in the Shadows, a Cold War psychological thriller about a dissident East German rock band, will be published by Matador in August, three months before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

29th August:
Book launch event: John will be launching his new novel with a talk, reading and Q&A at 7pm in Blackfriars, Bell Street in Glasgow's Merchant City. All are most cordially invited.

26th September:
Meet the author: John will be giving a talk and reading at Cardonald Library, Glasgow, at 6.30pm.

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John Hatfield

John was an award-winning journalist, columnist and editor with national newspapers and magazine groups for many years (including the Financial Times, and Scotsman) before setting up his own successful media consultancy.

He is also a professional speechwriter, public speaker and screenwriter of two independent films. John is the author of two previous books and has appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

John Hatfield
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