MARK SIMMONS – ESPIONAGE AUTHOR
Mark comes from a family with a long tradition of service in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In the 1970s he served in the Royal Marines Commandos after gaining his Green Beret he was drafted to 40 Commando seeing active service in Cyprus. Later he served in 3 Commando Brigade, and with the Commando Logistics Regiment. With the Regiment he took part in the Belize emergency of 1977, and served on detached duties with 42 Commando, the Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre, and 36 MAU of the United States Marines.
The British and Cyprus 2015 relates some of the time he spent on the island during the Turkish Invasion of 1975. As does his second book and first novel, From the Foam of the Sea, which has been compared to the work of Alistair MacLean and Desmond Bagley.
Around this time Mark started his online book shop selling a range of second-hand titles, many collectors editions.
In 2013 he introduced his reluctant hero Rob Nicolson, former Marine Commando and MI5 operator, in Room 39 and The Cornish Legacy against the background of the Miner’s Strike of 1984. He investigates the mysterious death of his aunt who worked for Naval Intelligence in WWII which is entangled with the career of an IRA double agent.
This was followed by Nicolson’s Gold in 2017, where Rob has to put his life on the line to protect Britain’s oldest and most closely guarded secret. But is the secret a trap in itself into which Rob could fall. A third book in the series Operation Flamenco came in 2019 in which Rob is sent to Spain on R & R he is given an easy job to look into which soon involves him in murder and a Russian plot to remove Mikhail Gorbachev.
Mark has also written two novels featuring Father Carlo Miller, an Anglo-Italian priest set in the 1930s Italy where he is caught between his faith and the Fascist State. The Serpent and the Cross 2010 is set against the background of 1930’s motor racing and a plot by SOE in WWII to kill Mussolini. The Western Morning News called it ‘A stylishly pacey novel.’ The second volume was published in 2016 Shadows Washed in Blood set on the island of Sicily against the background of the British run Marsala wine trade and the Targa Florio motor race.
Mark has written over 200 articles, mainly on military/naval, travel, and motoring subjects. His latest book, Alistair MacLean’s War, came out in 2022.