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The Turnglass

ISBN 9781398514492

You're holding a book in your hands. It's not just any book though. It's a tete-beche novel, beloved of nineteenth-century bookmakers. It's a book that is two books: two intertwined stories printed back-to-back.
Open the book and the first novella begins. It ends at the middle of the book. Then flip the book over, head to tail, and read the second story in the opposite direction.
Both covers are front covers; and it can be read in either direction, or in both directions at once, alternating chapters, to fully immerse in it.


The stories
1880s England. On the bleak island of Ray, off the Essex coast, an idealistic young doctor, Simeon Lee, is called from London to treat his cousin, Parson Oliver Hawes, who is dying. Parson Hawes, who lives in the only house on the island - Turnglass House - believes he is being poisoned. And he points the finger at his sister-in-law, Florence. Florence was declared insane after killing Oliver's brother in a jealous rage and is now kept in a glass-walled apartment in Oliver's library. And the secret to how she came to be there is found in Oliver's tete-beche journal, where one side tells a very different story from the other.

1930s California. Celebrated author Oliver Tooke, the son of the state governor, is found dead in his writing hut off the coast of the family residence, Turnglass House. His friend Ken Kourian doesn't believe that Oliver would take his own life. His investigations lead him to the mysterious kidnapping of Oliver's brother when they were children, and the subsequent secret incarceration of his mother, Florence, in an asylum. But to discover the truth, Ken must decipher clues hidden in Oliver's final book, a tete-beche novel - which is about a young doctor called Simeon Lee . . .

Now available in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian, Polish, Estonian, Japanese, Taiwanese, Brazilian and US editions.

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The Winter Agent


February 1944. In London, Washington and Berlin, everyone knows the Allied invasion of Europe is coming. Marc Reece, a French-American agent living undercover in Paris for Britain’s Special Operations Executive, discovers that Germany has a new weapon: a spy highly placed within Britain’s intelligence services who is about to mount an operation that will destroy D-Day from within.

Reece is given a vital mission: locate and recover an SS intelligence file that could unmask the spy and prevent Germany turning the tide of the War. To do so, he must evade the Gestapo major, Sturmbannfuhrer Klaussmann, who is pursuing him with ruthless efficiency.

But, just as Reece gets his hands on the SS document, it is stolen by a member of his own network: Charlotte, the woman with whom he has been conducting an affair. Is she working for the Nazis or is she hiding a deeper secret?

The truth is finally revealed and Reece finds himself a pawn in a gambit stretching from London to Berlin. In the end, he must decide between revenge on those who have deceived him and his duty as an agent.

Inspired by an astonishing true story, The Winter Agent is published by Penguin/Michael Joseph

Reviews of The Winter Agent

Weaving in real events and characters, this meticulously researched story – rich in tales of loyalty and double dealing – captures perfectly the horror and heroism of the era, and is delivered at a cracking pace.

The Sunday Mirror


The plot races along, with plenty of surprises and red herrings.

The Times

Inspired by real life events, Rubin’s gripping second novel follows secret agent Marc Reece as he hunts for a German spy in the months leading up to D-Day.

The i

Rubin brings to life a fascinating episode in wartime history with clarity and style.

The Lady

A galloping read. 

Radio New Zealand

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Read an extract

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8 more Paris thrillers

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The inspiration

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Liberation Square


After the disastrous failure of D-Day, Britain is occupied by Nazi Germany, and only rescued by Russian soldiers arriving from the east and Americans from the west. The two superpowers divide the nation between them, a wall running through London like a scar.
Liberation Square is published by Penguin/Michael Joseph 

Reviews of Liberation Square

One could spend happy hours mentally chewing over the details of Rubin’s “Republic of Great Britain”, and deciding whether or not it improves on reality. (George Orwell has been saved from terminal illness – hooray! – but only after being interned in a “re-education camp” – boo!) However, his ingenuity knows its place, and he gives the knotty plot room to breathe. This is far more than an intellectual exercise – it is a gripping story, with heart.

The Daily Telegraph

Tightly plotted, tense and set in a chillingly plausible world.

Sunday Mirror

A richly imagined thriller set in an alternate past.

The People.

A gripping and well-imagined yarn.

The Sun

It all makes for a good read based on the question: What if Britain had lost the War?

Australian Women's Weekly

Read the opening chapter

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