A Cursed Place

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What to expect

Reporter William Carver comes up against Big Tech’s manipulation and suppression of truth from the mines of Chile to the turbulent streets of Hong Kong.

Knowledge is power. And they know everything.

The tech company Public Square believes in ‘doing well by doing good’. It’s built a multi-billion dollar business on this philosophy and by getting to know what people want. They know a lot. But who else can access all that information and what are they planning to do with it?

Reporter William Carver is an analogue man in a digital world. He isn’t the most tech-savvy reporter, he’s definitely old school, but he needs to learn fast – the people he cares most about are in harm’s way.

From the Chilean mines where they dig for raw materials that enable the tech revolution, to the streets of Hong Kong where anti-government protesters are fighting against the Chinese State, to the shiny research laboratories of Silicon Valley where personal data is being mined everyday – A Cursed Place is a gripping thriller set against the global forces that shape our times.

(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton

Critics Review

  • *Praise for A Cursed Place*

  • A panoramic thriller that shuttles with aplomb between four continents… chockful of vivid characters

    The Sunday Times
  • Whether in rioting Hong Kong, or a doomed Chilean mining town, or a sinister data-mining outfit in Silicon Valley, or the shabbiness of London’s Elephant & Castle, Peter Hanington sustains a narrative drive that catapults you from first word to last. Just make sure you don’t miss the scenery on the way – seeing from the inside how the BBC works and how news is made leaves you feeling that W1A may not be entirely caricature. A good, pacy, sinister and timely read.

    author of A Fine Madness
  • Peter Hanington draws you into the dark world of private cyber-surveillance, and the menace of the world he conjures – the world we all now live in – crackles off the page. His characters are beautifully drawn and so convincing that I found myself shouting “Get out of there now!” The writing is taut – not a wasted word – and the story is fast-paced, moving and twisting and quickening to a conclusion that is full of jeopardy and suspense. And when it ends, it doesn’t end: it leaves you wanting the next chapter.

  • A Cursed Place is an exhilarating and beautiful novel that answers the most pressing question of our time: how to reconcile new technology with timeless human needs. It is written with such verve and precision, and its plot emerges with such terrifying force, that I enjoyed it even when the message it conveyed terrified me. Its characters will, I think, become literary legends. I have gotten to know William Carver quite well. He feels achingly familiar from my newspaper days. I don’t always like him. But I do always admire him: especially that itchy yearning to hold mighty powers to account, and to discover the truth behind their dissembling. Peter Hanington’s remarkable achievement is to have told a story which is as important as it is unputdownable. Anyone vaguely interested in the survival of our species ought to read this book – and will be thrilled they did so.

  • Hanington’s third thriller featuring veteran BBC reporter, William Carver, is a true page-turner, combining the author’s insights and expertise as a distinguished foreign correspondent with a pace that keeps the reader guessing and embroiled in a plot that sweeps us from Peckham, via Hong Kong and Chile, to the Big Tech citadels of Silicon Valley…highly recommended.


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