Welcome to Under Current


Strode course inspires Wells man to write début spy thriller

It was the Creative Writing evening course at Strode College that gave Simon Lawder the confidence that has finally seen his spy conspiracy thriller Under Current launched in print this month.

Under Current, now published by local company Mercer Books of Mells, is my début novel. It concerns an international espionage conspiracy at the heart of government. I found it odd that, since the Cambridge Five in the 1950’s, no more spy networks had been unearthed in Whitehall; or at least we were never told. So I decided to invent my own, deep cover traitors dedicated to the humiliation of this country. The story describes their recruitment, how they set up a plot to assassinate a leading figure, and the desperate race to stop them.

“While I was away living and working in France, I wrote a series of irreverent newsletters about the French way of life, as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home. By the time I returned to Wells, I’d really caught the writing bug. The Strode course leaders did a great job of training me to craft my work. One short story led to another, then I started exploring some of the big What if? questions we all face in today’s world.

“By then, a small group of us were meeting every two weeks in Glastonbury under the guidance of author and course leader Liz Williams, where we each present the latest chapter of our novel for the others to review.

Under Current is my third novel, all featuring several of the same characters, heroes and villains, but this is the first one to go public. The other two, a conspiracy by billionaire businessmen to take political control and the rise of extremism in the Western world, need more work. That’s my next task: to get them ready for publication.


Contact: Phone 01749 572672 / 07976 098581.
Email: simon@simonlawder.com

Under Current reviewed


A masterly début novel
Under Current by Simon Lawder will have you transfixed after the first few pages. It will hold your interest throughout until its dramatic conclusion.

The diversity of characters, from different national and political backgrounds, are thrown together in the most intriguing way. Who are they, what is their objective and where is their allegiance? As the story unfolds, you will get to know them, what drives them and learn about their individual desires and ambitions.

Lawder has clearly researched the locations and the technology needed to make this story both plausible and unsettling. He will take you to different continents and introduce you to a leader with political aspirations that would have malign consequences. Also, being a story for today and tomorrow, intriguing advances in technology play their part.

This story will challenge your preconceived beliefs about the establishment and world politics.

This is a masterly début novel with a complex plot and brisk pace which will leave you looking for more from this author.”

Cilla Grain, author of “Watershed”
Lynne Sandbach, teacher and artist

A pacy page-turner
“Simon Lawder’s pacy page-turner zips around in time and space like a spook with a shady tail. An excellent, enigmatic start make you want to read on, to find out just why the Chinese wish to control the minds of UK’s movers and shakers. Will the Last Resort Squad rid to the rescue in time, or will the known world collapse in a welter of badness? Pack this hot rod of a spy thriller, and head for your favourite hide-out”

Best new spy novel
“A terrific debut novel by Simon Lawder: intelligent, well-researched and thoroughly entertaining. Can’t wait for the next one!”

Five stars
“Great yarn with pace and imaginative background theme Chinese power and new technology. Compulsive read to the end.”

Intelligent and fast moving
“Intelligent and fast moving. For once I agree with the promo on the back cover – ‘… memorable characters and thought provoking use of technology’. Give it a try.”