“Nick Elliott delivers in spades when it comes to fast-paced, intelligent, international thrillers. You feel, smell and touch every authentically crafted location; you’re expertly drawn into a maze of shadows and sinister organizations and characters where nothing is what it seems. This really is thriller writing of the highest calibre.”

Craig Russell, award-winning author of the bestselling Jan Fabel and Lennox crime thrillers.


Having been busy with a conventional and sometimes unconventional career for forty-five years, only a few years ago did I get the chance to sit down and write a book. I had made one or two halfhearted attempts over the years but once the day came it was time to get on with it.



With the first two books in the Angus McKinnon thriller series published, I’m now working on the third with the aim of launching it by mid-2018.

In this latest book, Angus suspects more than the obvious when he’s called to investigate the apparent suicide of a ship’s captain off the Portuguese coast. Why are the owners reluctant to disclose details of her cargo? And what lies behind the mystery of her destination?

The case leads him from the Black Sea to the rain forests of equatorial Africa, setting him against his most formidable adversaries yet…


Nick Elliott was born in Oxfordshire. He has worked in international shipping all his adult life and handled dozens of claims, casualties and other assorted maritime mishaps throughout the Far East, East Med and Black Sea. Many of these cases provide inspiration for his series of Angus McKinnon thrillers.

He worked in Hong Kong and Tokyo for twenty years and Piraeus for a further eight. During the course of an interesting career he has been sent to the Pacific island of Nauru amidst fears of a typhoid epidemic; hid in a storm drain during an inter-gang shootout in Guam; in Georgia investigated the theft of a cargo of ethyl alcohol tracing both cargo and the armed gang to North Ossetia; and overseen the welfare, disembarkation and migration from Hong Kong to the UK of 1,002 Vietnamese boat people rescued by a British ship in the South China Sea.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and now spends his time editing the Inchcape Shipping Services house journal, and writing.

“As a child in the Fifties I can remember my father’s RAF stories and experiences exchanged between his parents and their friends. An old RAF chum told how, on a transport flight from Berlin after the war, he’d made an emergency landing in Yugoslavia. Thinking his plane was carrying relief supplies of blankets and medical supplies to Palestine, he was arrested when crates of guns and ammunition were found in amongst the cargo. He escaped from prison and walked across the mountains to reach safety. Another friend though, had fought and was captured in Burma spending much of the war as a Japanese POW. He never spoke of his experiences.

“Such stories and the books I read when growing up, many involving wartime exploits, gave me a curiosity about the world, and a strong desire to explore it.”

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A spy swap in the Syrian desert, a pirate attack in the Sulu Sea, a devastating confrontation in the Balkans … Beirut 1963: Kim Philby defects to Moscow. As he boards his Soviet escape ship, a young ship’s officer passes him, unnoticed, on the quayside. Valdis Ozols...

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In search of a better life

Of all the dreadful stories that fill the news daily, the death of those thirty-nine young Vietnamese folk found in a trailer in the south of England recently, has stuck in my mind. Call them refugees, illegal immigrants, whatever, they were just seeking a better...

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DARK OCEAN, the second Angus McKinnon thriller, is now available on Amazon.


A World War II wreck lies beneath the South China Sea. Is her cargo worth killing for?

Marine claims investigator Angus McKinnon is summoned to Hong Kong, his personal city of ghosts, where a local shipowner and his beautiful daughter need his help.

But their claim on a mysterious cargo lost during the War is not as simple as they say, and the cold case abruptly heats up when Angus’s old friend and mentor is violently murdered back in Greece.

Haunted, obstructed and plagued by self-doubt, Angus soon finds himself trapped in a web of international intrigue that draws him to the typhoon-lashed South China Sea and the shocking discovery of a plan to attack Hong Kong and hold Asia Pacific – and the world beyond – to ransom. But the trail doesn’t end there …

Amidst relentless danger, Angus’s resolve is once more tested down to the wire.

Nick Elliott delivers in spades when it comes to fast-paced, intelligent, international thrillers.  You feel, smell and touch every authentically crafted location; you’re expertly drawn into a maze of shadows and sinister organizations and characters where nothing is what it seems.  This really is thriller writing of the highest calibre.”

Craig Russell, award-winning author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Jan Fabel and Lennox crime thrillers.

DARK OCEAN – available now on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vIPRyJ


Nick Elliott has produced an eminently readable first novel which builds on his own long experience in the shipping and insurance industries around the world. He lays out the background of these activities carefully in the early chapters and develops both plot and characters at a rapid pace maintaining a high degree of suspense with unexpected twists and turns throughout his tale which moves readily from one corner of the globe to another. It rapidly becomes a book that is highly readable and difficult to put down. His central character, Angus McKinnon, is a match for any comparable hero in other recent thrillers. I suspect-and hope-that we will see him again!


Carrying years of insider knowledge lightly, the author’s sparing use of professional shipping and insurance jargon is enough to give an authentic flavour of that world, without cluttering the text with technicalities. Hard to believe that this is a first novel – easier to see it as the first of a long series.

A very intricate well written plot wrapped around the obscure (and often baffling) flag state, chartering and P & I parts of the shipping business. A great read for anyone in shipping as well as for the general public. Nick Elliott’s main character, Angus McKinnon, is a professional reminiscent of Dirk Pitt in the Clive Cussler series, but in a different sector of the marine industry. I look forward to Angus McKinnon’s next adventure.


Nick Elliott ticks all the boxes in this fast-paced yarn, with a keen eye for descriptive detail and solidly drawn characters. The first-person narrative, complete with ironic internal asides, is the perfect vehicle for a thoughtful and witty style that draws us swiftly into the shoes of its protagonist, a credible and consistent, if not entirely likeable, character.


Nick Elliott’s debut book has a well developed and credible plot within a maritime setting. Angus, the protagonist, uses his Scottish obstinacy to good effect in playing various villains off against each other, finally foiling their grandiose schemes of power grabbing. The action goes from Greece and Scotland to Georgia and the Philippines and a few places in between. I particularly liked the Greek background details and the authentic expressions used which made me feel I was sitting in a cafe in Athens for some of the time. The author certainly knows his shipping business and it provides an interesting and less known backdrop to the criminals’ plans to use their purloined assets for nefarious purposes. And its not without love interests either! I had to keep on reading it to see what happens next and that’s a good sign for a new novel.