Novels

The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure

Adam Williams’s first novel, an adventure romance set against the historical background of the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, opens with a philosophical debate between a local Mandarin and a foreign medical missionary, Dr Airton. They are discussing the nature of western imperialism that is opening up China on one hand to modernity, and on the other disturbing a feudal way of life that has existed for millennia. The doctor is an idealistic Christian. The Mandarin is a pragmatic administrator who has learned to view what is right or wrong through the prism of expediency. [Read full article...]

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Adam Williams at public event

The Emperor’s Bones

In his second historical novel, a sequel to his Palace of Heavenly Pleasure, Adam Williams moves the scene of his action from China in 1900 to 1920, when the country was in a state of turmoil as warlords fought for power.

Two young women, Catherine Cabot, an English girl who, despite her youth, has already served as a nurse on the Eastern Front in World War One and experienced the Russian Revolution, and a Chinese girl, Yu Fu-kuei, who, unknown to Catherine, is a revolutionary and spy for the Comintern, meet at Oxford University and become friends. [Read full article...]

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The Dragon’s Tail

Harry Airton, a Scottish fisherman, has China in his blood. A chance encounter with a spook during the Korean War gives him the opportunity to return to the land of his birth and serve his government too. They hatch a long-term plan to create the perfect spy: a triple agent with a cover that can’t be broken, because it’s genuine.

What Harry doesn’t realise is that if he is setting the perfect trap, the Communist Chinese may also be finding the perfect bait. And that as the Cold War escalates and China marches towards Cultural Revolution and the end of the twentieth-century, the fates of two people who love each other are entirely unimportant . [Read full article...]

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The Book of the Alchemist

A Quest for Love and Freedom in War-torn Andalucía

Connecting two ideologically-torn worlds a thousand years apart, Adam Williams’ new novel is another masterful adventure and a moving portrayal of love and friendship. [Read full article...]