It gives me enormous pleasure to stay in with Tom Trott today to chat all about his brand new thriller that I think sounds brilliant. Let’s find out what Tom told me:
Staying in with Tom Trott
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Tom and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
It’s great to be here, staying in is definitely the new going out.
It certainly has been over the last couple of years hasn’t it? Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along The Florentine, my latest thriller. I know we’re not supposed to have favourites, like children, but this is definitely my favourite out of the books I’ve written. I set out to write something that was a huge amount of fun, and that would leave readers with a smile on their face, so I hope we’ll have a good evening.
That sounds interesting. What can we expect from an evening in with The Florentine?
I’m a big lover of spy stories, and of classic movies and Agatha Christie, and I poured all that love into The Florentine, so although it’s a contemporary thriller and it partly deals with cyber security and digital espionage, I think you’ll get a warm, fuzzy glow from it because it plays with a lot of elements of those stories that we might remember from when we were young.
That sounds somewhat out of the ordinary. What made you write The Florentine that way?
I know that sounds strange for a thriller, but I think it’s important for us all to remember that thrillers don’t have to be depressing or gritty, they can be an adventure. And it might sound cold or unexciting, but I really wanted The Florentine to be easy to read. Some books are like trudging uphill, the view may be magnificent when you get to the top, but it’s hard work getting there. Other books are like skiing, you start the first page and you just keep going. That’s the feeling I wanted to achieve with The Florentine.
The Florentine sounds just my kind of read. I’m not a great fan of visceral violence in my crime fiction. I’d much rather be entertained by adventure!
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
Well, true to what I was just saying, I’ve brought a film and another book, but also something to drink.
I’ve brought Notorious, the classic Hitchcock film, because it was a big inspiration on a particular section of The Florentine. Claude Rains was also the inspiration for one of the main villains, and who doesn’t love a bit of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman? There’s something so elegant and classy about espionage thrillers from that time. There was still something noble about the world of spying, and although The Florentine doesn’t present the intelligence world as glamourous, I tried to capture that feeling of excitement.
I’ve never seen it Tom so I’ll be interested to watch Notorious.
I’ve also brought Cards on the Table, my favourite Agatha Christie novel, because it really helped me appreciate the mechanics of passing the story between different protagonists, and how to do that in a seamless way. Sometimes you want to cut jarringly between them, sometimes you want one protagonist to pass the story to another like the baton in a relay race. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Christie was a master of technique, but Cards on the Table is one of those stories that doesn’t show off how clever it is, and for that reason I really admire it.
That’ll be another first for me Tom. I haven’t read Cards on the Table. I always associate Agatha Christie with having my tonsils out as an adult and trying to read her when still groggy from anaesthetic so this one passed me by!
To drink, I’ve brought a Chianti Classico, which is only produced in Tuscany, where most of The Florentine is set. There’s a lot of talk about wine in the book (some of the characters are winemakers and an important section is set at a vineyard) so you’ll definitely be longing for a glass. Those who don’t drink alcohol could substitute it for chinotto, a particularly Italian drink. And just to be indulgent, let’s have castagnaccio too, a Tuscan cake made with chestnut flour, nuts, and raisins.
Yes let’s! If you’re going to bring cake and drinks you can come again. Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about The Florentine. I think it sounds fabulous. Now, you cut me a slice of cake and I’ll give Linda’s Book Bag readers a few more details about The Florentine:
When Cain retired from the CIA, he moved to Florence, Italy to get away from his past.
He’s had nine years to enjoy fine wine, good food, and the Tuscan countryside.
But now his old boss has tracked him down, and he needs Cain to do one last job.
What starts as a simple trade entangles Cain in a web of secrets involving the mafia, an NSA whistleblower, and his own past.
With the Italian police and international assassins on his trail, he’ll have to survive the night to solve the mystery of who wants him dead.
Publishing on 6th May 2022, The Florentine is available for pre-order here.