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“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” E.M. Forster

What if the person who meant the most to you, the man whose face you saw every time you stared at your child, was someone else altogether?

What if the life he told you all about was a fantasy made up by others determined to destroy you?

What if the most meaningful relationship of your life forced you to lie the whole time about who you really were?

What if the person you trusted the most was only there to betray you?

What if you thought you had felt the depths of intimacy, only to discover none of it had ever meant anything?

A research student and a young librarian are making eyes at one another across the floor of a university library in a dull provincial English city. Neither is who they appear to be. Ally has spent the past three years suppressing her fiery nature, leading a blameless, spinsterish existence according to her orders. Likewise, Simon’s PhD studies are a sham.

So begins their dance, a dance grounded in deceit and betrayal. As the respective causes to which they have committed themselves draw them closer to one another, both are forced to question who they really are, and how far they are willing to go for what they thought they believed in.

Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of the war between the British Government and the IRA, the themes surrounding The Insider’s Guide to Betrayal have been placed into sharp focus by recent revelations concerning the police practice of using undercover informants to inveigle their way into the lives of political activists.

About Donald Finnaeus Mayo

Read an interview with the author: “Donald Finnaeus Mayo about journalism, modern history and inspiration” (Part I and Part II)