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"Ayliffe proves he is a master of the genre."

Sulari Gentill

Someone wants Russian millionaire Dmitry Lebedev dead. After years flying under the radar in Sydney, he’s just had a narrow escape when a sex worker is poisoned in his hotel room. In desperation he contacts his former CIA case officer, Ronnie Johnson, offering to expose a traitor inside the Australian government in return for protection.

John Bailey has spent decades risking his life to break news stories. Along the way he’s made some interesting friends, including Ronnie — who saved his life in Iraq — and Scarlett Merriman, whose night with Lebedev left her in a coma. And now they both need Bailey's help.

While Bailey investigates what happened to Scarlett,
Ronnie Johnson is calling in an old debt. Because the same people going after Lebedev have framed Ronnie for murder.

"Sharp, gritty, sophisticated. Ayliffe's criminal world is terrifyingly real."
Candice Fox

Shortlisted for the 2022 Danger Prize
Shortlisted for the 2022 Ned Kelly Award

Investigative journalist John Bailey is doing his best to turn his life around after losing the woman he loved. He has a new job. He’s given up the drink. He even has a dog.


But then Federal Police raid his home with a warrant granting them unprecedented powers to take anything they want, including all his electronic devices and passwords. When Bailey protests, they threaten to put him in a prison cell.

Someone wants to stop Bailey doing what he does best – exposing the truth. He has been investigating the rise of a global white supremacist group and suspects that a notorious neo-Nazi in the United States has been directing deadly racist attacks on Sydney’s streets.

When a body of one of his key sources washes up on a nearby beach, it’s clear Bailey and anyone helping him have become targets. Bailey reaches out to a ruthless old friend – CIA veteran, Ronnie Johnson – to lure the enemy from the shadows.


"Ayliffe has delivered one of the best thrillers of the year and set himself up to be amongst Australia's go-to thriller writers." 
Better Reading

Battered war correspondent John Bailey has a history of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Finally he’s living something that resembles a normal life. But all that changes when a terrorist murders a woman in front of Bailey in London.


The mastermind behind the attack is Mustafa al-Baghdadi – the terrorist leader who kidnapped and tortured Bailey in Fallujah a decade ago.


Mustafa is plotting more attacks and back in Sydney, the people who matter most to Bailey have become targets.


Bailey turns to the only man who can help – ruthless CIA veteran Ronnie Johnson – to bring down the world’s most wanted terrorist.

"A brilliantly written character starring in a cracking crime thriller." 
Herald Sun

When a sex worker is found murdered in a luxury Sydney apartment, John Bailey is ordered to cover the story by The Journal’s editor, who can’t trust anyone else.

The former war correspondent has barely worked in years. He’s been drinking himself to sleep to fight his nightmares of being kidnapped and tortured in Iraq.

One of the dead woman’s clients, an advisor to Australia’s Defence Minister, is chief suspect in her murder and he’s on the run. He contacts Bailey claiming that he has been set up to silence him over a conspiracy linked to China that could bring down the government.

To complicate matters, the investigating police detective is the woman Bailey walked out on a decade ago. When a ruthless CIA fixer turns up, followed by a murderous Chinese agent hot on his trail, Bailey realises he has stumbled onto the story of a lifetime – one that he might not live to tell.

What people are saying 

Ayliffe proves he is a master of the genre.
Sulari Gentill / Bestselling author of The Woman in the Library

Ayliffe knows his stuff... Killer Traitor Spy is a carefully crafted, propulsive thriller that sails uncomfortably close to the truth.
Michael Brissenden / Bestselling author of Dead Letters

This is a cracking read that blurs the line between fact and fiction. More please.
Michael Robotham / Gold Dagger winning author

A cracking yarn told at breakneck speed. I couldn't put it down.
Chris Hammer / Bestselling author of The Tilt

Sharp, gritty, sophisticated. Ayliffe's criminal world is terrifyingly real.
Candice Fox / Bestselling author of Fire With Fire

A propulsive, sharply plotted spy thriller.
Torn from the headlines and relentlessly paced.
Matthew Spencer / Bestselling author of Black River

Sharp, incisive and scarily prescient, I was hooked from the first chapter to the final page.
Sara Foster | Bestselling author of The Hidden Hours

Bailey is charismatic, sarcastic and broken all rolled into one... a brilliantly written character starring in a cracking crime thriller.
Herald Sun

Utterly compelling and terrifyingly timely. I could not put it down.
Pip Drysdale | Bestselling author of The Sunday Girl

As a correspondent, I lived this world. Tim Ayliffe has written it. 
Stan Grant | Writer and broadcaster

Action packed scenes... as tight as any novel from the likes of David Baldacci or Lee Child.
Glam Adelaide

Ayliffe delivers a taut, nail-biting page-turner, stamping his mark on the modern day Australian thriller.
Better Reading

If Rake were a journalist, with a talent that equals his capacity for surviving being beaten up, Bailey would be him.
Julia Baird | Writer and Broadcaster

Tim Ayliffe delivers a ripping yarn that wraps the struggle between world powers in the clothes of a crime thriller.
Chris Uhlmann | Channel Nine Political Editor

Tim Ayliffe weaves his deep knowledge of journalism and politics into a spellbinding thriller. You won’t be able to put it down.
Michael Rowland | ABC News Breakfast

Who needs Jason Bourne when you can have John Bailey? You won't be able to put it down.
Chris Bath | TV & Radio Host

Where you can meet Tim

Killer Traitor Spy book tour


Thurs July 6 630pm

Roaring Stories at The Royal Oak Balmain

In conversation with Michael Brissenden

Book here

Thurs July 13 630pm

Berkelouw Paddington - in conversation with Sue Turnbull
Details here

Mosman library event postponed to later in the year


Sat July 8 2pm

Burnside Library 401 Greenhill Rd, Tusmore

Book here


Mon July 17 615pm

Books@Stones 360 Logan Rd Stones Corner

Book here

Tues July 18 6pm

Brisbane Square Library
Details here

Wed July 19 630pm

Broadbeach Library, Gold Coast
In conversation with Loraine Peck

Book here


Tues July 25 630pm
Readings Carlton - in conversation with Karina Kilmore
Details here

Wed July 26 7pm

Beaumaris Books - in conversation with Paul Kennedy at Beaumaris Motor Yacht Squadron. Booking details here

Thurs July 27 630pm

Eltham Books - in conversation with Lisa Millar. Booking details here

Friday July 28 430pm

Book-signing at Dymocks Chadstone



Thurs Aug 10 530pm

The Hobart Bookshop

Booking details here


Sat Aug 12 230pm

Wanneroo Library, Rocca Way Wanneroo

Book here


Sat Aug 19

South Coast Writers Festival

Details here


Thurs Aug 24 630pm

Woollahra Library, Double Bay, in conversation with Andy Muir

Book here


Sat Aug 26 3pm
Goulburn Mulwaree Library
, in conversation with Sulari Gentill (book here)

AND at 5pm, "A Night of Crime" - conversation, drinks and nibbles with a bunch of fantasic authors (book here)


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Jeanne Ryckmans @ KEY PEOPLE

Mob: +61 412 286 059


Simon & Schuster Australia

Tel: +61 2 9983 6617

Suite 19A, Level 1, Building C, 450 Miller St Cammeray NSW 2062 Australia

You can also email Tim directly below


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