Erm. I’m not sure if I’ll be…

Because, there’s something bothering me…

See, the thing is… I keep getting new Manilas.

And I don’t like it.

I mean, I volunteered for the first one, the old one, The Da Vinci Code. I was on-board for that. And the current one, Valhalla Rising – well, I took that on for the challenge and, true, based on what I know now maybe I wasn’t fully prepared, but I went into it with my eyes open.


About a month ago Angels & Demons arrived. Well, I think I’ve established my bravery by now, but one thing at a time, eh? Then, three weeks ago, there was something new. Something called Seven Ancient Wonders, by something called a Matthew Reilly. And I ask myself, what’s going on here? Even if, in all honesty, none of these were really surprises. You know. I asked for all this.

But now. Yesterday, in fact. Something else.

Something… awful.

Medusa, the new Clive Cussler novel, something I did not ask for, which I genuinely did not seek out, and which I would not seek out even if you paid me –

It’s here.

How is this happening? Why? More to the point…Who? I mean, the next bloody Dan Brown novel comes out soon. Is this a warning? Because I’m scared.

It’s almost as if it’s… watching me.

I think I need to get out of here. I’m going to lie low for a bit.

Until things cool off.



I realise I have important work to do here, but some things outweigh even the breathtakingly significant task at hand – and so I would like to take a moment to underline the dazzling courage of one Al Kitching, a vital moral leader of our times and the man behind the epic ongoing contemporary cultural analysis that is These Glory Days, who is shortly to attempt to upstage Lawrence Oates by actually surviving outdoors for a week in the heart of the antarctic – and one can make a donation at that very link.

In truth, I may be exaggerating the scale of his endeavour slightly, but what is certain is that the cause he acts in support of, The Anthony Nolan Trust, is a worthy one; and further, two lithograph prints by Matisse are to be charitably auctioned, with the winning bid added to his contribution. For more auction related details, see here.

May I, Cliff Knoetz, a humble best-seller waiting in the wings of literary history, and my creation, Agent Don Brawn, a fictional hero in Al Kitching’s actual mould, wish him all the best?

Yes. We both may.