MY FORMER COLLEAGUE Stephen Leather has been nominated for best novel in the International Thriller Awards, I learned just now. It is due to be presented in New York in July. Well done, Steve. He and I worked together on the South China Morning Post, many years ago. He was business editor and I wrote a column called Lai See. A couple of times he gave me a manuscript to read through -- it was fascinating to see a pre-edited thriller. His new book is called Cold Kill -- but he's up against tough competition, including the much-praised new book from Jeffrey Archer.