Jeremy Duns

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Jeremy Duns (born 10 December 1973)[1] is a British author of spy fiction and the history of espionage. Born in Manchester, he now resides in the Åland Islands.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Duns studied at St Catherine's College, Oxford, after which he worked for several years as a journalist at the Brussels-based magazine The Bulletin.[3] In Britain he has written for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent newspapers. He is an admirer of Ian Fleming and James Bond,[4] and has unearthed pages of a lost Bond novel, Per Fine Ounce, early screenplays for Casino Royale[5] and The Diamond Smugglers',[6] and researched a wartime MI6 operation that inspired the opening of the film Goldfinger.[7]

Duns writes spy fiction featuring an MI6 agent called Paul Dark, set during the Cold War.[8] Duns's novels are influenced by Fleming,[9] Len Deighton[10][11] and John le Carré;[12] his debut novel, Free Agent (2009), was one of the Telegraph's "thrillers of the year" in 2009.[13] The BBC optioned the television rights to the Paul Dark series in 2009,[14] although Duns' own website notes that the option has since lapsed.[15]

Duns is a member of International Thriller Writers[16] and the Crime Writers' Association.[17]

Duns lived in Stockholm, Sweden from 2004,[18] and subsequently moved to the Åland Islands of Finland.[2]

Stance on plagiarism and sockpuppetry[edit]

Duns has criticised other authors for plagiarism.[19][20]

In 2011, he praised debut spy novel Assassin of Secrets by Q.R. Markham, but after reading allegations that a scene in the novel was plagiarised, Duns investigated further and discovered that large sections of the novel had been plagiarised. He informed the British publisher, Hodder, and the book was pulled by Hodder and US publisher Little, Brown and Company.[21]

In 2012, he discovered that novelist R. J. Ellory had written positive reviews of his own books[22] while responding negatively to rivals, on the Amazon website, via the use of sock puppets.[23] Ellory admitted he had done this, and apologised for it.[24] Duns has also examined methods used by British author Stephen Leather since his admission in 2012 that he uses a network of sockpuppets to promote his own work online.[25] Duns has also alleged that Leather has harassed him online in retaliation.[26][27]

In 2012 Duns helped organise an open letter signed by over 50 authors condemning the use by certain authors of sockpuppets, fake reviews and other deceptive marketing techniques.[28]


  • Free Agent (2009) ISBN 0670021016
  • Song of Treason (2010) ISBN 978-1847394521
  • The Moscow Option (2012) ISBN 978-1847394538
  • The Dark Chronicles: A Spy Trilogy (2012) ISBN 978-0143120698
  • Dead Drop: The True Story of Oleg Penkovsky and the Cold War's Most Dangerous Operation (2013) ISBN 978-1849839273
  • News of Devils: The Media and Edward Snowden (2014) ISBN 978-1503322400


  1. ^ "Author Revealed". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 11 May 2009.
  2. ^ a b "My Kind of Town Mariehamn". The Sunday Telegraph. London. 29 August 2010. p. 8.
  3. ^ Foster, Nick (22 October 2010). "From cold war to cool culture". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  4. ^ Jeremy Duns. "Carte Blanche: the greatest James Bond novels". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  5. ^ Jeremy Duns. "Casino Royale: discovering the lost script". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  6. ^ Duns, Jeremy (7 March 2010). "Ian Fleming's book about gem smuggling in South Africa is as thrilling as Bond, and should have been a blockbuster film starring Steve McQueen. So what went wrong?". The Sunday Times. London. pp. 4–5.
  7. ^ Harrison, David (17 April 2010). "The secret war mission that inspired Goldfinger scene". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  8. ^ "A Conversation with Jeremy Duns". Penguin Group. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  9. ^ Hockensmith, Steve (10 November 2012). "James Bond: Four writers carry forward Ian Fleming's spy legacy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  10. ^ O'Connell, John (21 August 2010). "John O'Connell's thriller roundup". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  11. ^ Duns, Jeremy (19 February 2009). "Jeremy Duns pays tribute to novelist Len Deighton". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  12. ^ Jehu, Jeremy (2 September 2010). "Genre: Thrillers". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ Book Reviews. "Thrillers of the year". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Projects". Toby Moorcroft Rights. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Jeremy Duns: About". Jeremy Duns. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  16. ^ Members, International Thriller Writers website
  17. ^ "Crime Writers Association: links to members' web pages". Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  18. ^ Foster, Nick (22 October 2010). "From Cold War to Cool Culture". Financial Times. London.
  19. ^ Italie, Hillel (7 December 2011). "Publisher Says Eastern Shore Author Didn't Copy From Book on Poe's Wife". The Washington Times. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  20. ^ Coscarelli, Joe (7 March 2013). "Did Nate Thayer Plagiarize in the Article The Atlantic Wanted For Free?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  21. ^ Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (9 November 2011). "Spy Thriller An Instant Classic Vanishes Amid Plagiarism Charges". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  22. ^ Andrew Hough "RJ Ellory: detected, crime writer who faked his own glowing reviews", The Daily Telegraph, 2 September 2012
  23. ^ Miller, Phil (4 September 2012). "Scottish Crime Writer Is Victim of Bad Plot". The Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  24. ^ Alison Flood "RJ Ellory's secret Amazon reviews anger rivals", The Guardian, 3 September 2012
  25. ^ Cohen, Nick (5 August 2012). "Welcome to Britain, a home fit for shysters". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  26. ^ "A thriller writer has been accused of running an online smear campaign". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  27. ^ Flood, Alison. "Stephen Leather accused of cyberbullying by fellow thriller writers". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  28. ^ Andrew Hough "RJ Ellory: fake book reviews are rife on internet, authors warn", The Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2012

External links[edit]