A long-standing Kent MP has written another book whose main character shares a likeness to its working-class author.
The thriller, published by The Conrad Press, sees the protagonist, Michael Palmer, travel the world in a bid to stop an Iranian plot.
Mr Henderson says Palmer reflects some of his own working-class qualities.
He said: “I am as the subheading suggests – cynical, insubordinate and rebellious.”
Mr Henderson grew up on a council estate in Medway and left school at 16.
He went on to have a varied career including running a restaurant in South Africa, working as a senior contracts officer in the Defence Industry, and as the operations manager for a wine company.
Then in 2010, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey.
While the intelligence agency Palmer works for is fictional, Mr Henderson’s 13 years of experience in parliament has helped inspire the book with much of the action taking place in the halls of Westminster.
The spy is also the son of Harry Palmer from the 1965 film The Ipcress File which featured Michael Caine and was based on Deighton’s 1962 book of the same name – the first book Mr Henderson read.
This book set the ball rolling for the MP who wanted to bring the style of Deighton’s book up to date and he started writing in 2019 using his limited spare time.
He added: “The idea for the plot of the book came to me when I visited Venice in 2017 and then was fleshed out when I attended an event on the House of Commons Terrace to see London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display in 2019.
“Because of the lack of writing time available to me, it has taken until now to complete the book, although much of it was written during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.”
The book was launched at Fulston Manor School in Sittingbourne on Friday, November 17, where he read an excerpt from the novel to nine pupils and other members of the public who then asked him questions.
Mr Henderson, who is standing down at the next general election, says he will spend his retirement from politics writing more books.
Despite the time constraints he has already published two other novels – Operation Seal Island and The Mandela Project – as well as a collection of short stories called Pigeon Pie.