BBC security correspondent appearing at St Albans Literary Festival
PUBLISHED: 05:54 05 June 2016
Â© Colin Thomas
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner OBE, who survived being shot multiple times by Islamist gunmen in Riyadh in 2004, has been confirmed to appear at this year’s St Albans Literary Festival.
Frank, who reports on issues of UK and global security covering terrorist attacks, hostage-taking and Middle Eastern politics, will be discussing his debut thriller, Crisis, which combines his up-to-the minute insider knowledge and fly-on-the-wall insights with heart-in-mouth excitement.
The novel was described by author Tony Parsons as “a nerve-shredding thriller... and intelligent high-voltage storytelling of the very highest order” which he compares to the best of John Le Carre and Robert Harris, but with a knowledge of the political landscape that is infinitely better than all of them,
It focuses on the murder of a British Secret Intelligence Service agent, whose body is discovered in the Colombian jungle, and whose death triggers a crisis which could result in a disaster on a terrifying scale.
Frank will also be talking about his memoir, the bestselling Blood and Sand, and its follow-up Far Horizons, an account of his life as an inveterate traveller and explorer.
He is appearing at St Albans Cathedral on the evening of Monday July 4, replacing Ken Livingstone, who has been moved to the County Club in Ridgmont Road.
This year’s St Albans LitFest follows the inaugural event in 2014, which featured authors including Sir Terry Wogan, Jessie Burton, James Runcie, Leanda de Lisle and Conn Iggulden.
It includes talks and workshops taking place in different sections of St Peter’s and also in the churchyard, using the storyteller’s circle opened there in the summer of 2014, as well as select locations around St Albans city centre.
The festival will be kicking off on Monday July 4 and runs until Sunday July 10, and promises a programme of exciting activities aimed at appealing to both adults and children. Confirmed guests include Human Rights lawyer Anthony Lester QC, graphic novelist Dave Gibbons, crime writers David Mark, Peter Robinson, SD Sykes, Sarah Pinborough and Angela Clarke, and historical authors Alison Weir, Tracy Borman and Amy Licence.
St Albans LitFest will also support any fringe events taking place during the weekend, offering publicity and assistance if any organisation wants to run their own talk.
Run entirely by volunteers, the festival is supported by the Herts Advertiser, and editor Matt Adams said: “We are delighted to welcome Tracy Borman and Amy Licence to St Albans LitFest, and we are sure their insightful accounts of British history will appeal to our community.”