13 O’Clock

Thirteen O’Clock: A Novel about George Orwell and 1984 (1984)

Thirteen O’Clock is fast-paced and exciting.
Los Angeles Times


One day in March 1945, in recently liberated Paris, a nervous George Orwell burst into Ernest Hemingway’s hotel room and asked to borrow a pistol. He was afraid, he said, that someone was trying to kill him.

But who would want to kill Orwell?

In this suspenseful fictional answer, Thurston Clarke blends the facts of Orwell’s life with a thrilling tale of intrigue that begins forty years after Orwell borrowed Hemingway’s revolver, when Orwell biographer Gina Baldwin narrowly escapes a gunman’s bullet on the remote island of Jura. As Gina searches for a lost notebook of Orwell’s she uncovers a treacherous betrayal in the Spanish Civil War that lies at the black heart of a mystery that sounds suspiciously like Big Brother’s 1984…

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” —George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

“Orwell looked nervous and worried. He said that he feared that the Commnists were out to kill him and asked Hemingway for the loan of a pistol. Ernest lent him the .32 Colt… Orwell departed like a pale ghost.” —Carlos Baker, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story

“There is a curious lack of any letters to any of [Orwell’s] friends while in France and Germany and none of them can remember him talking about the time…It is puzzling.”
—Bernard Crick, George Orwell: The first Complete Biography

More reviews of Thirteen O’Clock

The thinking man’s/woman’s page turner… a good read in the way that Jack Higgins and Frederick Forsyth keep you up well past 13 o’clock turning the pages.
—Philadelphia Inquirer

Jaunty suspense…considerable charm…richly intriguing… Just the thing for fans of fanciful thrillers who also have a more serious literary and political bent.