Photograph: Gabriele Moser
Leigh Turner is writer and inspirational speaker based in London and Amsterdam. A former British ambassador to Ukraine and Austria, he grew up in Nigeria, Exeter and Lesotho, before education in Swaziland, Manchester and Cambridge.
After hitch-hiking around 27 of the United States in 1979, Leigh had a 42-year diplomatic career, lessons from which he draws in his forthcoming “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Diplomacy” (Czernin Verlag, 2023). He is the author of three thrillers and “Seven Hotel Stories”, a collection of feminist black comedies, and is a former writer for the Financial Times. He lectures at the Oxford University Diplomatic Studies Programme and the Danube University Krems, and is a Visiting Professor at Graz University.
Leigh is currently working on a Hitchhiker's Guide To Diplomacy, part-memoir part-guide, which delves into his myriad experience within the Foreign Office.
"Show me the head of the President."
Legend tells that the Palladium, a powerful talisman dropped from heaven by the goddess Athena, protects modern Istanbul. What if it falls into the wrong hands? Moments after archaeologist Elif Mutlu finds a mysterious relic in a tomb in Istanbul, terrorists kidnap her and slaughter the rest of her team. Elif's lover, disgraced MI6 agent John Savage, races through the city searching for Elif with the help of her brother Orhan, a proud Turkish cop who hates foreigners. As bombs explode, Elif's captors announce they will destroy Istanbul. While she fights to stay alive, John and Orhan, pursued by cops and threatened by terrorists, must find the Palladium to save Istanbul, a living symbol of 20 million people that East and West can co-exist.
Glamorous, petite Ms N is the world's best - and deadliest - manager of super-luxury hotels. Do you think "men will be men"? Ms N and her ally, the beautiful but naive Tatiana, won't put up with bad behaviour. Whether they use a giant cake, a posse of alligators, an enraged sushi chef, the Russian mafia or three metres of concrete - Ms N and Tatiana will always get their man.