We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

A Dying Breed

On sale

7th April 2016

Price: £9.99

Select a format

Selected: ebook / ISBN-13: 9781473625440

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.


TREMENDOUS‘ William Boyd
ENTHRALLING‘ Michael Palin

Kabul, Afghanistan.

In a brilliantly plotted contemporary thriller with echoes of Graham Greene and John le Carré, William Carver, a veteran but unpredictable BBC hack, is thrown into the unknown when a bomb goes off killing a local official. Warned off the story from every direction, Carver won’t give in until he finds the truth.
Patrick, a young producer, is sent out on his first foreign assignment to control the wayward Carver, but as the story unravels it looks like the real story lies between the shadowy corridors of the BBC, the perilous streets of Kabul and the dark chambers of Whitehall.

Set in a shadowy world of dubious morality and political treachery, A Dying Breed is a gripping novel about journalism in a time of war, about the struggle to tell the stories that need to be told – even if it is much easier not to.

*And William Carver returns in Peter Hanington’s A Single Source and A Cursed Place – out now*


Will Gompertz BBC Arts Editor
a deeply intelligent, beautifully constructed story
Fi Glover, BBC Radio 4 presenter
Buy this book. Find a quiet place. Switch off your phone and devour it. Hanington's ability to wrap a story around the ghosts of truth is superb. He spins his tale with a true writer's gift. I loved every minute in this book's company
John Humphrys, Today presenter
Peter is that rare commodity in the journalistic fraternity... a natural storyteller. You really want to turn the pages. And that's what matters
Evan Davis, Newsnight presenter
A compelling read, and a great insider's view of life in broadcast journalism. I'm disappointed I am not to feature in the book: it is a brilliant read
Andrew Hosken author of Empire of Fear: Inside the Islamic State, and Today programme reporter
Peter Hanington has crafted a gripping and wonderfully well-paced thriller replete with rollercoaster dips and turns and a cavalcade of villains and deliciously fallible anti-heroes. A Dying Breed is delightfully assured and unputdownable
A.L. Kennedy, bestselling author of DAY
'A Dying Breed is a deeply insightful, humane, funny and furious novel. This is both a timely reflection on how Britain does business and a belting good read
Allan Little, former BBC foreign correspondent and chair of the Edinburgh International Book Festival
A Dying Breed is a gripping, fast-moving tale of shifting loyalties and creeping betrayal... Hanington connects the inner-workings and skullduggery of the BBC's London headquarters to the quiet, menacing stillness of the deserts of Central Asia, where the story turns dramatically and violently in a heartbeat and builds to its tempestuous, thrilling conclusion. It is a world in which your closest friends turn out to be your most treacherous enemies - and all written with an effortless, liquidly-drinkable prose style. A page turner from the first line - and full of insights, some chilling, some hilariously well-observed - into the murky worlds of the war on terror, the secret intelligence services, and the mainstream British news media.
Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph journalist and broadcaster
Urgent, compelling, new bright light on the dark dilemmas of broadcast news
Roy Greenslade, Guardian and Evening Standard columnist and commentator
All journalists seem to think they can write great novels about journalism and 99% of those who try make a hash of it. Hanington is in the 1%. Having created believable characters caught up in the hell that is Afghanistan, he weaves a story that manages to excite, appal and instruct in equal measure. And it reveals one of the trade's most important differences: the chasm that exists between horizontal journalism and vertical journalism.
Mishal Husain, BBC broadcaster and Today presenter
A gripping story, taking the reader from the politics of the BBC newsroom to the politics of a complex and changing Afghanistan. Peter Hanington's clear, assured voice shines out from every page
William Boyd
A tremendous novel - shot-through with great authenticity and insider knowledge - wholly compelling and shrewdly wise
Melvyn Bragg
A tremendously good debut with characters who leap to life. I was particularly struck by the vivid detail and intensity of it: I have not read anything that has taken me anywhere near as close to Afghanistan as a place. I look forward to more of Hanington's work with great expectations
Over the years several spy thriller authors have been awarded the 'successor to John le Carré or Frederick Forsyth' kind of title. I'm not sure they all live up to the plaudits, but for me, Peter Hanington is one who does; in fact he's by far the closest and most exciting I've read yet. Whether describing the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of the BBC newsroom (of which he has experienced at first hand) or the vicious and bloody streets of Kabul, the twin backdrops of this story are as vivid as the pictures he paints of the people who inhabit them. Whether old hacks, ambitious news editors, helpless diplomats, ruthless military contractors or inexperienced producers on their way up, he strips them down to their bare essentials and delivers a first-class tale that simply leaps off the page and demands your attention. I haven't enjoyed a thriller like this for a long, long time, and I sincerely hope Peter Hanington is already writing another one. My only reservation is that while reading this book, instead of finishing my day with a brief planning session of the next day's work, as is my custom, I found myself glued to the pages instead - and way past my bedtime. But I'm not complaining. It was worth every minute. Go out and buy it, as it is highly recommended
Crime Time
His journalistic background is an obvious plus factor here, but nothing can substitute for sheer narrative command, and that Hanington proves to have in spades. There are many books about journalism in time of war, but this is a notably vivid addition to the canon... There is the authentic vividness reminiscent of the work of such writers as Graham Greene and Eric Ambler - which is to say the book, despite its topicality, is old-fashioned in the very best sense of the word.
Art of Danger
A Dying Breed is a well written and compelling debut thriller. Hanington is particularly good at painting his characters and is clearly mining his own experiences as a reporter in Afghanistan to make the book feel authentic
The Times
It is a pleasure to welcome A Dying Breed, an impressive debut by Peter Hanington, with many years on Radio 4's Today programme behind him. The multilayered plot, set in Afghanistan and BBC headquarters, moves excitingly and entertainingly but also raises serious current issues about dodgy political and commercial interference with the search for truth by journalists...The subplots and secondary characters are admirable. Hanington has true talent
The Sunday Times (Thriller of the Month)
A former stalwart on the Today programme, Hanington is as good on BBC politics as he is on the UK's ambiguous role east of Suez, and excels, too, at character portraits of figures such as the British ambassador. There are nods to John le Carré, but his impressive debut is its own thing, with three radio men (including the Radio 4 breakfast show's dissolute editor) at its centre, not spooks or civil servants
Book Oxygen
A beautifully written account of myriad deceptions and mortal dangers in a country that has been at war with itself and the outside world for generations. And in the end there is gentleness here too. This is a terrific novel
Crime Pieces
There are quite a few novels written by current and former journalists but I'd be hard pressed to think of a crime book that has brought alive so vividly the passion and politics that goes into producing a radio news programme... A Dying Breed is a fascinating book. It's extremely well written and, unusually for me, I enjoyed the incidentals about news production as much as the crime story itself... I'm sure this is the start of a bright new career for Peter Hanington. A Dying Breed is an excellent read and distinguished by bright, clean prose that never gets in the way of the story. It's a little bit different from other crime novels out there and I'd highly recommend it.
Thoughtful, atmospheric and grippingly plotted
Booksellers New Zealand Blog
A Dying Breed is the first book by Peter Hanington; I hope it won't be his last... This book is fast-paced and extremely well-written... this book is hard to put down and leaves no questions unasked. Just like a good news story really.
This has the old-fashioned phrasing and style of a John Le Carre thriller. But once you overcome that anachronism, it settles into a modern, fast-paced thriller set in a post-conflict Afghanistan.
Otago Daily Times
Hanington fleshes out a cast of interesting characters... He perfectly illustrates the hierarchy of a news organisation and uses humour in describing the daily struggle for ratings while balancing ethics and pressure from agenda-driven authorities... It's adventurous and entertaining.
Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News
A very effective thriller... it is to Hanington's considerable credit that he fleshes out the character convincingly without reaching for the tempting clichés lesser writers might indulge in... Credit, too, to the author for giving us real insights into the lives of ordinary Afghan people... An impressive list of BBC names have queued up to pay tribute to the book's readability, style, and authenticity. You know what? They're right
Graham Greene-lite but rings true, like an episode of Homeland spiked with a bit of Spooks
Michael Palin
A Dying Breed is an enthralling page-turner, and, as befits an author steeped in newsgathering, there's a real sense of authority and authenticity at work in this quality thriller.
Country Life
A powerful and compelling story. His characters are vivid and interestingly unpredictable... These are real people in real places and it is impossible not to become too deeply involved in a plot that is intriguing without becoming over-complicated, and which builds to a gripping climax