Scholar publishes bestselling cybercrime thriller

  • February 5, 2019
Scholar publishes bestselling cybercrime thriller

Jakub Szamalek's new thriller novel has provoked a widespread discussion in Poland about the dangers of cybercrime.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has published a bestselling book on cybercrime in Poland.

Jakub Szamalek’s new book, Cokolwiek Wybierzesz [Whatever you choose], was published in January and is already on the bestseller list in Poland.

It is thought to be the first book to seriously tackle the issues of cybercrime in Poland and has provoked a lively debate about the dangers related to internet activity.  It has also brought the attention of Polish film producers, three of whom are vying for screen rights to the book.

The book is a thriller about the death of a tv personality. A journalist investigates and finds that what was billed as an accident is something far more frightening. It highlights the amount of information stored about individuals online and how our every move on the web is tracked.

Jakub [2009], who did his PhD in Classics at Cambridge, focusing on the relations between the Greeks and the indigenous peoples inhabiting the Black Sea region, nurtured his writing ambitions alongside his studies, starting a blog on ancient art in the first year of his PhD.  

His first crime thriller, When Athena looks away, which was published to critical acclaim in Poland, was a crime novel set in ancient Athens, drawing on his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the ancient world.

In 2014 he was named one of the top 100 leaders of innovation in Central and Eastern Europe. The list was compiled by Res Publica, in cooperation with the Visegrad Fund, Google and the Financial Times, as well as dozens of institutions from Central and Eastern Europe.

At the time he was a senior writer at CD Projekt Red where he worked on new video games. Now a principal writer, the games he has worked on include The Witcher, which is based on a book series by Polish science-fiction cult author Andrzej Sapkowski. It is described as one of the most successful Polish products of its type.

Jakub and fellow Gates Cambridge scholar Maria Pawlowska [2007] are married and have a child together.

Jakub Szamalek

Jakub Szamalek

  • Alumni
  • Poland
  • 2009 PhD Classics
  • Clare College

First and foremost, I’m a Hellenophile – that is, I’m fascinated by the archaeology, art and history of Ancient Greece. Whilst in Cambridge I will study the material remains of Greek settlements in the Black Sea area. I’m particularly interested in the nature of the relations between the Greeks and the indigenous peoples inhabiting this region.

Maria Pawlowska

Maria Pawlowska

  • Alumni
  • Poland
  • 2007 PhD Earth Sciences
  • Clare College

I am respnsible for coordinating the International Research Agendas progromme worth Euro 125 million.

Latest News

Provost wins top Royal Society award

Gates Cambridge Provost Professor Barry Everitt has been selected for the Royal Society’s premier award in the biological sciences. Professor Barry Everitt FMedSci FRS has been awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2021 for his research on the application of his findings on brain mechanisms of motivation to important societal issues, such as drug addiction. […]

Addressing energy injustice in the Global South

A new framework which uses artificial intelligence to analyse textual data on energy use and behaviour could help policymakers develop a deeper understanding of energy injustices in the Global South. The study, Grounded reality meets machine learning: A deep-narrative analysis framework for energy policy research, was led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Ramit Debnath [2018] and is published in the journal Energy Research […]

Scholar wins top German prize for PhD thesis

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has won a prestigious international award for her PhD dissertation on the relationship between offshore finance and state power. Dr Andrea Binder was named winner of the Körber Foundation’s German Dissertation Award 2020 for social sciences. The prize, one of the most highly endowed for young researchers from Germany, honours excellent PhD research which […]

Developing a farm for impact model

Shadrack Frimpong has not yet started his PhD, but already his and his team’s work has earned him awards from the Queen, the Clinton Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Foundation. The awards are for their outstanding work in creating a potential new development model for rural crop-growing communities starting from Shadrack’s own village in Ghana. […]