Havana Sleeping

“As I look out, I see lamps everywhere, at every window, above every door, all of them softly beautiful, telling us that this is a city of magical loveliness; lying to us with their blinking, amber eyes. Tonight is the last time we shall meet.”

Havana in the 1850s is a city as dangerous as it is exotic. The murder of a night watchman at the British Consulate seems to worry neither the consul nor the police. But one person cared for the old man. The enigmatic courtesan Leonarda cannot find peace until she understands the mystery of his death. In wintry England, George Backhouse is plucked from desk duties in the Foreign Office and given an unexpected promotion. His task: to travel to Cuba and take a stand against the illegal slave trade still flourishing there.

But Havana is a tinderbox of intrigue. As the great powers of the region conspire against each other for control of the island, Backhouse comes to see that the most innocent of actions could spark a devastating war. 

Part mystery, part spy thriller, part romance, Havana Sleeping is a tale of ruthless power and quiet heroism in a world where nothing is quite what it seems. In 2015 it was shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger award.

  • “A clever and unusual espionage thriller” – The Sunday Times
  • “Martin Davies..is back with another scorcher… Havana Sleeping is totally unforgettable.”-The Book Bag

Published by Hodder & Stoughton in September 2014