Contemporary Fiction

The Oxford Photograph
A novel of mystery and suspense

The Oxford Photograph is contemporary fiction - a mystery/suspense novel set mostly in England and also, briefly, in Scotland, Austria and Germany. 


Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo 
for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)

The Oxford Photograph by Tony Thistlewood is a tantalizing mystery featuring terrorism and intense drama. Prime Minister Nancy Melville is under fire after receiving a handwritten note that suggests an impending nuclear attack. In a climate where numerous murders are being committed and no one seems to have a clue about the killer, and where the presence of a radical preacher could incite a new form of fanaticism, the Prime Minister is under great pressure to take control, but can she be trusted? And who has sent the note? Who is behind the imminent terrorist attack and who are they targeting? Most of all, what has an old photograph taken at Oxford University have to do with anything? This is a powerful blend of thriller, investigation, and mystery; a work of great talent and imagination. 

The Oxford Photograph is a novel that will thrill many readers. The writing is clean, punctuated with humor, great dialogue, and enticing suspense. I was hooked from the first paragraph: “…little about John Kater was real: his slicked black hair, greying at the temples, was not real, and nor was his salt and pepper moustache. Even his slight limp was faked.” Immediately the reader wants to know who this character is and what role he plays in the story. The sense of mystery is introduced with this character, and the reader, upon meeting him, has the feeling that there are not going to be any easy guesses. And that is right. Tony Thistlewood is one of the masters in the storytelling craft with the uncanny ability to woo readers and keep their eyes glued to the pages. An engaging plot with compelling characters! Irresistible. Great writing.

Scroll down for more reviews and how to buy The Oxford Photograph


6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
352 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1539353669 (CreateSpace-Assigned) 
ISBN-10: 1539353664 
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General

More Reviews of The Oxford Photograph

Reviewed by Andris Mitt  December 2016

An Excellent Thriller (5 stars)

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The Oxford Photograph is an excellently plotted, near masterfully concocted thriller. The characters are exceptionally well crafted and very believable. This is especially true when it comes to Prime Minister Nancy Melville and the pseudo religious leader dubbed, Jesus II. The story unfolds in a very interesting way and the fact that the United Kingdom is now being run by a woman Prime Minister and that Britain has been in such a state of confusion in the year 2016, make this piece of fiction feel all the more real. Finally, the way the behind the scenes doings of the world of 10 Downing Street are presented and imagined was very intriguing to follow.

If the book has one flaw is that it is very heavy in its use of British slang and terminology. Being a North American, I found myself reaching for the dictionary every so often in order to fully understand the meaning behind some words. However, this was a minor inconvenience and did not detract from the overall high quality of the book.

Therefore, if you are in the mood for a good thriller or just a great piece of fiction you should read The Oxford Photograph. It is well worth your time.


British intelligence agents must figure out if a potential nuclear threat in London is motivated by politics, religion, or something more personal in Thistlewood’s (Bastards & Baronets, 2016, etc.) thriller. Prime Minister Nancy Melville is concerned about a note she received in the mail that references a name, Basiliskos, and biblical verses that hint at a possible nuclear attack. There’s also been a series of murders of London prostitutes, each taking place during or just after gatherings led by a popular evangelist known only as “Jesus II.” The latest killing, however, is of Didier Thomas, a member of Parliament and a co-founder of the Doffers, a notable group of religious enthusiasts. MI5 Director-General Sir Charles Pithcart is uncertain whether Thomas’ assassination was motivated by politics or religion. He’s also looking into the aforementioned note, which his journalist daughter, Claire, also decides to investigate. Her colleague, cadet reporter Emma McKay, links it to her late physicist father, Douglas, who, back in the 1980s, worked on an American project called Basil—“something to do with lasers,” Emma explains. Evidence soon points to numerous murder suspects, including terrorists. Thistlewood’s story is practically bursting with subplots and theories. Various characters, such as British Director of Counter Terrorism Mike Mortlake, postulate their own scenarios, often with specific suspects in mind. The story is dizzying but enjoyable as the author deftly establishes various character relationships; the mutual dislike between MI-5 Deputy Director-General Martin Aston and Director of the Analysis Centre Sue Remlick, for example, is abundantly clear. Further illicit deeds bolster the plot, including a scandalous affair and more than one instance of blackmail. Much of the story’s dialogue is refreshingly distinctive, and even captures its American characters’ distinctive drawl. Oddly, though, Thistlewood censors the profanity in his narrative (“Well, where the f...”) until the final act, in which the players use quite a few F-words. A dense, absorbing tale featuring dogged characters that give the plot momentum

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Comments on
Tony Thistlewood's books ....

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

(5 Stars)

"... a beautifully written story with strong psychological underpinnings"

Demeter's Dream 
Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite 
(5 stars)

"Demeter's Dream is ... a rare combination of mythology and politics ..."

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
(5 stars)

 " ... a great story ... Thistlewood is a master at weaving all the elements of a tale into  one coherent, intelligent masterpiece."

Click on image for details

Reviewed by  Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite       (5 stars)

"... a work of great talent and imagination ..." 
Read Romuald's full review here

"... a dense, absorbing tale ... bursting with subplots and theories ..." -  Kirkus Reviews

Click on image for details

 ... a tale full of twists and turns that will leave the reader surprised ... ( Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorites )

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Non-fiction: the Kings & Queens of England and how they got there. 

Reviewed by  Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite (5 stars)

" ... a wonderful primer ... incredibly well organized and well written ...
" ... comfortable and interesting read for all ages… ”

Read Melissa's full review here

C aistor Parsons The Gingerbread Man

... a brilliantly written, edited and formatted work… Wow! Recommended for all lovers of historical fiction ...
(Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers' Favorites)

Click on image for details and reviews

Stealing Tomorrow's Thunder

(Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorites)

… An immensely entertaining and enlightening mystery story… the real deal… Fans of literary mysteries will enjoy the fruits of Thistlewood's research into Shakespeare…

Click here to see the full review.

… Descriptive writing was amazingly good… I enjoyed it immensely - DGM, Cardiff, UK

… I can not put it down… will need to take it to the hairdresser with me. - JM, NSW, Australia

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