Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

Think Lady Chatterley meets Christian Grey. Or Audrey Hepburn meets Gordon Gekko. But this is no romantic comedy. It is high in tension and suspense

Advanced Notice: Book Launch

‘When The Siren Calls’?
By Tom Barry

“Think Lady Chatterley meets Christian Grey. Or Audrey Hepburn meets Gordon Gekko. But this is no romantic comedy. It is high in tension and suspense from the opening line, with the innocent thrown amongst the devious.”

When The Siren Calls is the book that every woman will want her partner to read…
Tom Barry is uniquely placed to throw fresh light on the world of Britain's rich and famous. After 20 years working amongst city of London ‘fat-cats,' and two heart attacks, he retreated to suburbia to live in a celebrity bubble alongside footballers, rock stars and screen idols. If infidelity is as ubiquitous amongst the rich and famous as Barry suggests, then his debut novel will win him few friends amongst his illustrious neighbours.

More Sex Please, We're British

"A very well-conceived story with interesting characters and a tantalising pace. I couldn't ask for more than that." - Jennifer Custer, Literary Agent, A.M. Heath.

"It is exciting to find a new writer who tells life like it is, but with a delectable twist of romance, sex and humour." - Stephanie J Hale, author, ‘Millionaire Women, Millionaire You.'

"A pacy, racy romance novel that simultaneously feels like a critique of a particular social scene. The prose is very strong and the characters are comprehensive and believable." - Tom Fletcher, author, ‘The Leaping'.


When the Siren Calls: a story of seduction, deception and betrayal...
When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat owned by the suave and streetwise Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.

Syndicated interview with Tom Barry

Q: After a long career at the top of your profession, what prompted you to write a novel?
A: “My original plan was to write a business book that distilled down everything I’d learnt about selling over 20 years in the corporate world. But when the opportunity came, I decided that, if I were to be a writer, I'd rather entertain my readers than lecture them! Much more fascinating, it seemed to me, to embody everything I knew about persuasion in a fictional character, in a master persuader.”

Q: So, your business career was key to being able to write this story?
A: “Yes. People tell me I'm a salesman by nature and I’ve spent 20 years in management consultancy, or what I prefer to call the persuasion game. My only tool was my pen, so what I was really selling was hope, hope to corporations looking for salvation. And that is what the master persuader appeals to in my story; to people's hopes and to their dreams.”

Q: You’ve set your story in a fictional luxury tourist development in Tuscany. Where did that idea come from?
A: “Once I had the idea of a character - a master persuader who would use his skills for business and pleasure - I thought about context and setting. I've lived and worked abroad much of my life, and I have bought property in Italy and Spain, amongst other places. I know a lot about the siren call of living in the sun, having answered that call myself, and I’ve learnt the hard way about the perils and pitfalls of overseas property investment. So I set my story against the background of a dream holiday condominium for expats. It could be anywhere you find Brits in the sun, but I chose Tuscany because I love visiting there, and I knew stereotypical hot-blooded and hot-headed Italians would add plenty of spice to my story.”

Q: The master persuader is not your protagonist. What made you give the story a female lead?
A: “I wanted the book to be about the characters and what happens to them, not a case study in selling or in living the expat life. When the Siren calls is the story of two people, Isobel and Jay, but the more the characters came to life as I wrote the story, the more I fell in love with Isobel, and the more I wanted it to be at least as much her story as Jay’s.”

Notes to editors
Media contact: Helen Lewis at / +44 (0)7904801669
Published in November 2012 by Matador ISBN: 9781780883106
Paperback/eBook RRP £7.99 / £5.99
Available in all good bookshops
Review copies, signed copies for competition prizes, photography, interviews & editorial are available upon request

"My novel of course exaggerates, like all satires, the aspects of life it puts under the spotlight. But if you are fascinated by the world of celebrity, or if you are appalled by it, When the Siren Calls is the book for you." - Tom Barry

Five facts about Tom
1. One of eight kids, my life story is the classic immigrant tale of seeking to live up to parental expectations, while working to mark out your own trail.
2. I have aspects of an obsessive personality, establishing a work-life balance was a major challenge.
3. I gave up on my business career in my mid-forties, I just didn't tell my boss! Find something you enjoy doing, and you'll never work another day.
4. I tell my kids education is the best gift I can give them, it's no weight to carry and no one can take it off you.
5. I almost bought Northampton Town Football Club (my birth town) in 2001.


Talking points (Tom is available for editorial commissions):
• Can infidelity be justified?
• Is it better to cheat on a devoted partner, or waste a life?

• Can a woman with high ideals change a man with low morals?

• Is life just a manipulation game, where the lions devour the lambs?

• Does wealth and privilege lead to decadence and a search for the exotic?

• Should we beware the siren call of life in the sun?

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Fully Booked PR in the following categories: Men's Interest, Entertainment & Arts, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit