Humphrey Hawksley

Espionage Thriller

Author of international thrillers, novels of future history and geopolitical non-fiction launches second book in his Rake Ozenna espionage series.

Humphrey Hawksley is an author, foreign correspondent and commentator on world affairs. His work with the BBC has taken him to crises all over the world. His journalism has also appeared in most mainstream media in the U.K. and U.S., such as NPR, the New York Times and the London Times. His latest non-fiction book is Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion, on which he has lectured widely, including at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and the RAND Corporation in Los Angeles. He presented a series of award-winning BBC documentaries exposing child labor in international supply chains, such as Indian cotton and West African cocoa. Hawksley has written ten international political and military thrillers. Man on Edge is the second in the much-praised Rake Ozenna series which was launched in 2018 with Man on Ice, set on the U.S.-Russian border.

Learn more about Hawksley on his website.


Dragon Strike: The Millennium War (1997) 

Dragon Fire: The Realistic and Gripping Novel of the Next War (2000)

The Third World War: A Terrifying Novel of Global Conflict (2003)

Ceremony of Innocence (1998)

Absolute Measures (1999)

Red Spirit (2001)

Security Breach (2008)

Democracy Kills: What’s So Good About Having the Vote (2009)

Asian Waters: The Struggle over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion (2018)

Man on Ice (2019)

Man on Edge (2020)

Your biggest literary influences:  

Alistair McLean, Clive Cussler, Graham Greene, Raymond Chandler, Scott Fitzgerald, Nelson de Mille, John le Carre, Lee Child, Leo Tolstoy

Last book read: 

Kossuth Square by Adam LeBor

The book that changed your life:   

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee. This is Laurie Lee’s account of how, as a young man, he walked out of his home in Gloucestershire, England, to travel around Spain, sleeping, eating, making a living and falling in love wherever he could and finally coming face to face with the Spanish Civil War. His beautiful prose gave me a yearning for adventure, the exotic and the unpredictable. It prompted me to walk out of my home in Suffolk, England, and hitch a ride with the merchant navy to Australia and on my travels finally bump into the Indochina wars. As a journalist, I’m not sure we ever stop walking and watching. Thank you, Laurie Lee.  

Your favorite literary character:

Thomas Fowler in The Quiet American by Graham Greene. Fowler is a middle-aged reporter based in Saigon in the early 1950s as the Vietnamese guerrillas are driving the French from Vietnam. His newspapers may be closing the bureau. He has a wife he no longer loves waiting for him England, a Vietnamese mistress who understands his basic needs but not the Western concept of love, a war that might enable him to stay in Saigon if it flares up enough, and he befriends an American government idealist, Alden Pyle, who wants to steal his mistress and believes that with the right bombs democracy can come to Vietnam. So much in Fowler is so familiar throughout my trade, as is the duplicity and the politics which endures today.

Currently working on:  

Man on Firethe third Rake Ozenna thriller.

Words to live by:

Failure is not an option.

Advice for aspiring authors:   

Show your finished work to a professional editor before showing it to friends or family. 


Financial Times

Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

Shots Crime and Thriller Ezine


“Humphrey Hawksley’s Man on Edge is reminiscent of the very best Cold War fiction, filled with intrigue, double-dealing and ingenious political intrigue. Hawksley’s hero, Rake Ozenna, is smart and tough, and we’re glad to have him on our side. Well written, fast-paced and cleverly-plotted page-turner.”

—Nelson de Mille

“An up-to-the-minute, page-turning spy thriller with the atmosphere of a Cold War classic.”

—Charles Cummings, New York Times bestselling author, on Man on Edge 

“This one keeps you intrigued, ready for the gut punch … authentic settings, non-stop action.”

—Steve Berry on Man on Ice