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British screen legend Sir Michael Caine, star of such iconic movies as The Italian Job and Alfie, is to see his debut thriller Deadly Game published by Mobius in the US and Hodder in the UK on 23 November.  Both houses are part of Hachette.

Hodder publisher Rowena Webb and fiction publisher Nick Sayers bought world English language rights from Caroline Michel at PFD in London.  The publisher says: “Sir Michael Caine, who celebrated his 90th birthday in March, has long wanted to write a thriller and this debut was inspired when he came across a news item about the discovery of uranium by workers on a dump in London’s East End.”

In echoes of his famous role as Harry Palmer, the fictional secret agent in the film made of the Len Deighton novel The Ipcress File, the novel introduces readers to DCI Harry Taylor.  Taylor is called in when just such a package is found, mysteriously abandoned in Stepney in east London and stolen before the police can reclaim it.  When security agencies around the world go to red alert, it is former SAS man Taylor and his small team from the Met who must race against time to find who has the nuclear material and what they plan to do with it.

Sayers said: “When Rowena and I met Sir Michael last year, I discovered that he is not only a lifelong reader of thrillers, but also an author bursting with ideas for fiction of his own.  Deadly Game  is a cracking thriller with a real voice and a super twist.”

Webb said: “It’s wonderful to be following on from the bestselling success of Michael’s memoir Blowing the Bloody Doors Off with his first thriller. I’m sure everyone is going to love the adventures of DCI Harry Taylor and his team.”

Caine, who is 90, said: “It’s been my ambition for years to write a thriller. It’s the genre I most love to read, and I’ve really got a buzz out of working on Deadly Game and teaming up with Hodder once again to publish it. I hope readers enjoy getting to know Harry Taylor as much as I did.”