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  • 9781910709153
Edition details


eBook ISBN

Publication date
10th July 2017


Gallic Books

PB b

Extent (number of pages)



BIC category

US publication date
11th July 2017



The Threat Level Remains Severe


A new colleague and a mysterious admirer make life infinitely more interesting for House of Commons secretary Grace, but is all as it seems?

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A new colleague and a mysterious admirer make life infinitely more interesting for House of Commons secretary Grace, but is everything really as it seems?

Grace Ambrose, Brett Beamish and Reuben Swift appear to have little in common, but as each of them negotiates metropolitan life, they find their fates entwined.

Arty, liberal-minded House of Commons secretary Grace has been counting the tea breaks in the same dull job for approaching a decade and feels she could do something better … if only she knew what.

New recruit Brett, a smooth, high-flying Australian, is on a mission to shake up the dusty backrooms of power – and on a collision path with Grace. Office life begins to look up when Grace receives an email from an admirer with musical and poetic talents … but is soulful, enigmatic Reuben Swift really who he says he is?

‘Sharp, funny, warm – and charmingly odd…. If only all fiction emerging from Westminster could be this rewarding’ The Guardian
‘Macdonald’s exploration of human motivation and interaction makes for a wonderful novel that reminds that we’re none of us islands, that we’re never as good – or as inexcusably bad – as we might think’ Litro Magazine
‘A funny, observational comedy on the pitfalls of office life [that] takes a darker turn’ Sunday Express
‘A witty and well-observed contemporary drama’ Good Housekeeping 
‘Intriguing… an incredibly well-written debut novel’ Closer Magazine
‘Sharp and entertaining’ Carys Bray, author of A Song for Issy Bradley
‘A witty, dryly observed love story, but also an eloquent lament on the desperation of contemporary metropolitan life and all the painful injustices of romantic interaction that beset millennials today’ Erotic Review
‘A quirky rom-com set in the House of Commons… this one gets my vote’ Red Magazine, Best Summer Beach Books 2017
‘A deftly crafted and original novel by an author with a genuine flair for compelling storytelling’ Wisconsin Bookwatch Magazine
The Threat Level Remains Severe, shining a sly light into the mundane backrooms and office romances of the corridors of power, is a stylish, bleakly funny and sad, acutely observed contemporary drama’ Shena Mackay, author of The Orchard on Fire
‘Surely one of the most insightful, honest and reassuringly humane tales of the true workings of the Mother of Parliaments in all its shabby, slapdash and vainglorious reality’ Robert Edric
‘Confident, funny and poignant. Macdonald’s world draws the reader in irresistibly’ Jane Rogers
‘Deliciously erotic and hugely readable, with some wonderful moments of illumination’ Maureen Freely
Bonus Material
Download Title Information Sheet
Q&A with Rowena Macdonald
The Threat Level Remains Severe on The Guardian
The Threat Level Remains Severe on Litro Magazine
10 Things I’d Like My Readers to Know About Me
Rowena Macdonald on Why Why Why Book Podcast
Rowena Macdonald

Meet the author

Rowena Macdonald was born on the Isle of Wight, grew up in the West Midlands and now lives in East London. Her debut collection, Smoked Meat, was short-listed for the 2012 Edge Hill Prize. Her short stories have won various prizes and been published by Galley Beggar Press, Influx Press, Ambit, Untha…

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