The Napoleon Complex

complex – noun.

  1. an intricate or complicated association or assemblage of related things, parts, units, etc.
  2. Psychology. a system of interrelated, emotion-charged ideas, feelings, memories, and impulses that is usually repressed and that gives rise to abnormal or pathological behaviour.
  3. a fixed idea; an obsessive notion.

Napoleon stood before a stormy sky. In his hand was a scroll, and on that scroll were characters. Etruscan characters.


How was Napoleon able to coordinate his armies over great distances in an age before radio or the telegraph? What lay behind his string of astonishingly accurate predictions? And how did the son of a provincial Corsican family raise himself up to be the most powerful man on earth? The second instalment of the epic Book of Thunder series catapults reporter Jake Wolsey into the seismic geopolitical events of the nineteenth century. But if Napoleon Bonaparte obtained the ability to predict the future, why was he ever defeated? And could the Etruscans’ sacred text have fired the growth of the greatest empire the world has ever seen – the superpower that flourished under the Union Jack?

Wolsey’s bid to uncover the secret history of Britain’s golden age takes in Sierra Leone, Israel, Egypt, Thailand, Austria, Tanzania and Burundi – and peers back into the smoky Westminster drawing rooms of leading Victorian statesmen.

Can Wolsey evade the attention of the Washington and MI6? Will he prevent the bid of a maniacal Prime Minister to help the sun rise on a new British Empire? And can he solve the Napoleon Complex once and for all?

To be published by Duckworth, 25th August 2016.


‘An extraordinary fusion of fact, fiction and labyrinthine plotting … one of the most intelligent historical thrillers I’ve read in a long time. Heart-stopping action and compelling use of science and legend. This author is one to watch.’

Dean Crawford, bestselling author of Covenant, Immortal and Apocalypse

 ‘A clever and compelling tale of intrigue and deception, packed inside a fast-paced thriller. Riveting action and excellent historical research weave together to produce a gripping adventure … this is a gem of a novel from E. M. Davey.’

Rob Jones, author of Valhalla Gold

This one unfolds against a broad canvas, the plot expertly controlled, pushing the envelope to the edge and beyond. There’s everything I like: action, history, secrets, and conspiracies. You’re going to like it too.’

Steve Berry, international bestselling author of The Templar Legacy on Foretold by Thunder

The Napoleon Complex

The Napoleon Complex is the second of three thrillers by E.M. Davey to be published by Duckworth – London’s oldest independent publisher