Published: Lightning Books (April 2020)

ISBN: 9781785631733

Beneath the Streets

Adam Macqueen


When Jeremy Thorpe hired thugs to kill his ex-lover, they botched it. What if they had succeeded?

‘A breathtaking, heartbreaking thriller’ – Jake Arnott

It is February 1976, and the naked corpse of a shockingly underage rent boy is fished out of a pond on Hampstead Heath. Since the police don’t seem to care, twenty-year-old Tommy Wildeblood – himself a former ‘Dilly boy’ prostitute – finds himself investigating.

Dodging murderous Soho hoodlums and the agents of a more sinister power, Tommy uncovers another, even more shocking crime: the Liberal leader and likely next Home Secretary, Jeremy Thorpe, has had his former male lover executed on Exmoor and got clean away with it. Now the trail of guilt seems to lead higher still, and a ruthless Establishment will stop at nothing to cover its tracks.

In a gripping thriller whose cast of real-life characters includes Prime Minister Harold Wilson, his senior adviser Lady Falkender, gay Labour peer Tom Driberg and the investigative journalist Paul Foot, Adam Macqueen plays ‘what if’ with Seventies political history – with a sting in the tail that reminds us that the truth can be just as chilling as fiction.






‘A wonderfully evocative walk on the wild side of 1970s London, Beneath the Streets is darkly comic and deeply moving. A breathtaking, heartbreaking thriller’

Jake Arnott

‘A f***ing fantastic read. A gripping what-if thriller, packed with vivid period detail and page-turning twists. To find myself actually making an appearance in the final chapter was just cream on the cake’

Tom Robinson

‘A page-turning mystery, skilfully plotted and filled with tension, Beneath The Streets lifts the lid on 1970s subculture to spine-tingling effect’

Paul Burston

‘A thrilling and brilliantly imaginative novel. It takes you into the secret world of Soho in the 1970s. But then suddenly it opens another door into the hidden world of violence and corruption that still lies underneath the England we know today’

Adam Curtis




Adam Macqueen

Adam Macqueen’s books include The Prime Minister’s Ironing Board and The Lies of the Land: A Brief History of Political Dishonesty. The King of Sunlight, his biography of the soap manufacturer William Hesketh Lever, was named by The Economist as one of its books of the year.

He has contributed to Private Eye since 1997, and wrote the bestselling history of the magazine which was published for its 50th anniversary in 2011. He is also on the editorial team of Popbitch, and from 1999-2002 was deputy editor of The Big Issue.

He lives on the South Coast with his husband, painter Michael Tierney.

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