The Danger of Life

It is late 1942. Group Captain Robert Sutherland’s first week in charge of Military Intelligence 11’s operations in Scotland and northern England is not going smoothly. A murder at the Commando Basic Training Centre in the Highlands is being investigated by one of his teams, until events take an even darker turn that draws Bob in personally. He is also trying to discover who was behind an attempt to steal an advanced reconnaissance aircraft from a military airfield in Fife, an investigation made no easier by the perpetrator’s death.

The complication he could really live without comes via a telephone call from Monique Dubois in MI5. An operation she’s been running in Glasgow, without Bob or anyone else knowing, has gone badly wrong, and she wants him to intervene before it is entirely compromised.

'The Danger of Life' is a fast-paced thriller set in Scotland during the Second World War. It is Ken’s second novel to feature Bob Sutherland and Monique Dubois and picks up not long after the end of his first, 'Eyes Turned Skywards'. The action moves back and forth across Scotland, with much of it set in Lochaber, where the present war intersects with another conflict that took place two centuries earlier: with deadly consequences.

'The Danger of Life' was published by Fledgling Press on 10 May 2019. The magnificent cover art was the work of Graeme Clarke. The book is available as a paperback via this link, signed and dedicated at no extra cost if you wish, or as a Kindle edition from Amazon.

Cover of The Danger of Life



Reading Beween the Lines

See my reading from the Prologue of 'The Danger of Life' on Reading Between the Lines.

Reading Between the Lines

Noir at the Bar

I had a great time at Noir At the Bar, Edinburgh, on 18 September 2019. The event brought together a dozen crime writers to give short readings of their work. As a historical thriller writer I felt something of an imposter, but read a suitably murderous piece from the prologue of 'The Danger of Life'.

Noir at the Bar


Hair Past A Freckle, 11 July 2020: "The Danger of Life has a well-structured, believable plot. I really enjoyed this exciting and suspenseful novel and recommend it to anybody who is looking for an addictive, action-packed wartime thriller. "

Books by Bindu, 6 July 2020: "I really enjoyed this book set in wartime Scotland. I loved reading about the places in which I live and seeing them through the historical lens that this book provides. It was a fast paced thriller, with multiple storylines that all came together in the end and gave a satisfying conclusion. The Danger of Life is a thrilling read and I hope you will go ahead and read it!"

Jessica Belmont, Author & Blogger, 20 June 2019: "The Danger of Life kind of drew me in with the cover. It’s visually striking and with a tagline like, 'when the past comes back to haunt you,' I knew I had to give this one a shot. And I’m glad I did... the setting of Scotland during the Second World War feels very authentic. I felt as if I was transported there... The Danger of Life is a fast-paced, cleverly written mystery/thriller that kept me guessing from beginning to end. I highly recommend checking this one out!"

Alex J Book Reviews, 17 June 2019: "This is a cracking good World War 2 thriller. A real traditionally told tale the author... spins and weaves a very clever mystery thriller. Fast paced from the outset, there is rarely a page where nothing is going on! A very enjoyable read."

Readers' Reviews on Amazon

You can see our Amazon reviews here. A selection of the comments can be found below:

=> After reading Eyes Turned Skywards, I wanted to go on following Bob Sutherland's adventures in Scotland. Besides an exciting inquiry led by Bob and his MI11 comrades, we have the chance to travel through northern Scotland and enjoy Loch Arkaig, Spean Bridge and so many other places. I haven't been bored a single minute while reading this novel. (Winston1984)

=> Addictive, action-packed wartime thriller. John Buchan's novels are mentioned a couple of times in The Danger of Life which seems apt as this exciting thriller is definitely reminiscent of a Hannay story. (karlou)

=> Excellent escapist page-turning thriller! A great plot set in WW2 in Scotland. Time and place are evoked brilliantly and with deep knowledge of flying, aeroplanes and Scottish places and history, all of which makes for a genuinely interesting and novel setting. (Bob Long)

=> Bob and his Mata Hariesque accomplice Monique Dubois bring 1942 RAF Leuchars to life and guide us through a web of military intrigue and political tension. The story bears Ken Lussey's hallmark of incredible attention to technical detail combined with geographical accuracy and a genuine feel for the period and characters. Both of the main characters grow and develop into far more interesting individuals but also combine their talents in a way that is both dynamic and heartwarming at the same time. (Stuart Parkin)

=> Cracking WW2 Thriller. A real traditionally told tale. The author Ken Lussey, clearly an expert and fan of military aircraft spins and weaves a very clever mystery thriller. Fast paced from the outset, there is rarely a page where nothing is going on! A very enjoyable read. (Alex Jones)

=> Excellent follow up. Another excellent book following up on what happens to the two main characters. The descriptions of Scotland and the restrictions that are in place during WW2 make it seem like another world. Can’t wait for the next instalment. (Kenny Henderson)

=> A great find. A most enjoyable read. A wartime thriller set in a beautiful area of Scotland, a real feel for the 1940s combined with a familiar landscape, bring on the movie! (Nigel Fitzsimmons)

=> This, though a work of fiction, has been superbly researched with the locations, local history lending the backdrop to a tale that draws you in and keeps you in suspence throughout. Throughly recommended read. (Mr G. Main)

=> A cracking good read. (J. W. Cookson)