Andropov's Cuckoo

I defy you to pick up this book and be able to put it down. This story is based on a true story told to the author by a protagonist in the story and what happens to Youriko... will stagger your imagination.

  1. Just Books Podcast

Episode 1: Andropov’s Cuckoo

Hello, and welcome to this, my first podcast!

I’m still finding my feet around how to do this, so please bear with me. I learn quickly, believe me.

We’ll start with my bio as an author, so that you know something about me, and then we’ll move onto talking about one of my favourite books Andropov’s Cuckoo – A Story of Love, Intrigue, and The KGB.

    1. Author Bio

Owen Jones, Amazon Best-Selling author from Barry, Wales, has lived in several countries and travelled in many more. While studying Russian in the USSR in the '70's, he hobnobbed with spies on a regular basis. After university, in Suriname, he got caught up in the 1982 coup, when he was accused of being a mercenary.

Later, while a company director, he joined the crew of four as the galley slave to sail, from Barry to Gibraltar on a home-made concrete yacht during Desert Storm. En voyage, the yacht was almost rammed by a Russian oil tanker, and an American aircraft carrier - The Atlantic Challenger.

Since 2004, he has lived mainly in the UK, Spain and Thailand. He now leads a somewhat quieter life in his wife's remote, northern farming village writing, editing and increasing the number of translations, and narrations of his novels.

As he says: ”Born in the Land of Song, living in the Land of Smiles”.

    1. A Proud Celt

“I am a Celt, and we are romantic”, he said when asked about his writing style, “and I firmly believe in reincarnation, Karma and Fate, so, sayings like 'Do unto another...', and 'What goes round comes around' are central to my life and reflected in my work. I write about what I see, or think I see, or dream... and, in the end it is all the same really”. He speaks seven languages and is learning Thai, since he lives in Thailand with his Thai wife of nineteen years.

    1. Early Career

In 2004, he started his first novel, Daddy's Hobby (from the seven-part series 'Behind The Smile: The Story of Lek, a Bar Girl in Pattaya'), but he didn't finish it until 2012. However, his largest collection is 'The Psychic Megan Series', twenty-three novelettes on the psychic development of a teenage girl, the subtitle of which, 'A Spirit Guide, A Ghost Tiger and One Scary Mother!' sums them up nicely. However, since 2012, he has written fifty-odd novels and novelettes, including the military drama Dead Centre; the spy novel Andropov's Cuckoo; a fantasy Fate Twister; a philosophical vampire comedy The Disallowed; a whodunnit Tiger Lily of Bangkok; and Spiritualist drama, A Night in Annwn (Annwn being the ancient Welsh word for Heaven). Not only that, but many have been translated into foreign languages and narrated into audio books. In fact, he has over 1,200 books and novels credited to him at the British Library.

You can find his many other novels on:

Well, that’s who I am. If you’d like to tell me about yourself, please do so in the notes – I’m interested to know.

    1. Andropov’s Cuckoo – A Story of Love, Intrigue, and The KGB.

I studied Russian in the Seventies, and on one study trip to the Soviet union, I met a girl… an ‘older woman’, to be honest. I was twenty-two and she admitted to being twenty-eight. Andropov's Cuckoo is our story… well, most of it is.

The beginning of the story is not true, but it could have been one day. It took me forty years to write the story, but in the book, it took William sixty years, when he was at death’s door, which I don’t think I am. Then the ending is wishful thinking, for the reasons I give in the epilogue of the novel.

At the time of writing, Andropov's Cuckoo exists in thirteen languages.

      1. 1] Here is the description/blurb from the back of the book:

Andropov’s Cuckoo

A Story of Love, Intrigue, and The KGB

A dying man recounts the story of the most amazing person he has ever met, a brilliant, Soviet linguist whom he calls Youriko. It is a tale of love, daring-do, spies and danger set in Japan, Germany, Turkey, the USA, Canada and the UK, but mostly in the Soviet Union of the Seventies.

Two girls, born thousands of miles apart in Kazakhstan and Japan just after World War II, meet and are like peas in a pod. They also get on like sisters and keep n touch for the rest of their lives.

However, one wants to help her battle-scarred country and the other wants to leave hers for the West. They dream up a daring, dangerous plan to achieve both goals, which Andropov, the chief of the Soviet KGB, is told about. He dubs it Operation Youriko and it is set in motion, but does it have even the remotest chance of success?

Andropov’s Cuckoo is based on a ‘true story’ related to the author by one of the protagonists.

      1. 2] Two reviews:

a] Miki’ Hope:

“The beginning of the book is in the voice of an old man who knows his time on this earth is short--and he wants to get this story told. If you have ever been in the company of an octogenarian you will be smiling at the back and forth way he speaks--forgetting then remembering--but bound and determined to get his own way! He ultimately decides that since he is having so much trouble focusing and he knows that he could never write the whole down in time--he uses a Dictaphone.
“I defy you to pick up this book and be able to put it down. This story is based on a true story told to the author by a protagonist in the story (the author tells you all about this after the book ends)and what happens to Youriko, which is not her real name, but one she chose, will stagger your imagination. It all starts in the USSR--when the KGB was feared and rightfully so.
“One thing is for certain, Youriko was not a cuckoo--far from it!!”
b] From Audible:
“Incredible listen! When it started I found it a little slow, but truly this was an amazing listen! More incredible is the knowledge at the end that the story is true. Definitely not what I expected, and outside of my normal choice of literature, but I am so glad to have heard it. The reader is fantastic, from his articulation to his voices, and everything in between. I hope more books like this one come out soon. I will definitely watch for both Owen Jones and James Hill. If Youriko is still alive, I hope she hears this story too.”
      1. 3] Clip from the audiobook
Andropov Sample
      1. 4] Links:

a] The first chapter of Andropov’s Cuckoo is on my blog here:

b] Buy links:

1] Audiobook: ISBN: 9788835438182 Tektime:-

2] eBook: ISBN: 9788835423416 Tektime:-

3] eBook and paperback: ASIN: B094BZYHY4 Amazon:-

4] eBook and Audiobook: GooglePlay:-

      1. 5] Thanks

Thank you for listening to my podcast, I hope you enjoyed it.

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If Andropov’s Cuckoo seems to be your cup of tea, please use the links above to find out more, or buy the book.

I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Until next time,


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