JEFFREY Archer has been threatened with legal action after his latest novel portrayed Russian president Vladimir Putin as a KGB killer.
He received a warning from lawyers acting on behalf of the Russian government.
The book, Heads You Win, has already been banned in Russia.
A source said: “Jeffrey knew the subject matter might ruffle a few feathers, but he’s never been one to shy away from confrontation.
“He had a story to tell. There was no way he was going to water the plot or his Putin character down.”
Archer, 78, was reportedly warned by friends to hire bodyguards when promoting it.
The thriller sees Putin organise the killing of Alexander Karpenko so he can successfully run for president.
A spokesman for publisher Pan Macmillan declined to comment.