I’m into thrillers. I have been since reading John Buchan as a child then graduating to Alistair Maclean, Hammond Innes, Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Le Carre, et al. Today I read travel, history and the odd biography as well but I tend to default back to the genre I grew up loving. Recently Mike Ripley (see his “Mike Ripley’s Getting Away With Murder” ezine) published Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang which for me presented a feast of memories and introduced me to many writers I had never read or even heard of. The title is borrowed from how Ian Fleming described his Bond stories. Lee Child (author of the Jack Reacher novels in case anyone anyone needs reminding) wrote the Foreword and with characteristic eloquence, reflected on the post-war era in which the books Ripley covers in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, were written, and in which Ripley, Child and myself grew up in: “…we were in a liberal democracy, at peace, with a cradle-to-grave welfare system that worked efficiently, with all dread diseases conquered, with full employment for our parents, with free and excellent education from the age of five for just as long as we merited it. We had no bombs falling on our houses, and no knocks on our doors in the middle of the night. No previous generation ever had all of that, not in all of history,...Read More
I spotted this just now and thought it would be of interest to all those of you who responded to my previous post on the subject. This book was published just last month and I see it’s available on Amazon. Not particularly cheap but these kinds of translated historical accounts rarely are. Here’s the blurb as it appears on Amazon: “A FAITHFUL RECORD OF THE LISBON MARU INCIDENT is a recent translation from an original Chinese publication covering an important chapter in Hong Kong’s wartime history. It gives details of the Lisbon Maru Incident of 1942, seen through the eyes of the Chinese fishermen who rescued hundreds of British prisoners of war from Hong Kong, whose ship had been torpedoed. The Japanese had tried to keep them in the holds as the ship sank, and then shot at them as they tried to escape. “These courageous fishermen not only prevented hundreds more deaths, they also hid three prisoners under the noses of the Japanese until they could be sent secretly on a journey across more than 1,000 miles of China to reach Chongqing, from where they could tell the world what had happened. “The book also recounts the visit to Zhoushan in 2005 of one of the survivors of the sinking and his emotional reunion with those who saved him; as well as a visit to Hong Kong in...Read More
A friend has sent me this link to a disturbing, in-depth article from today’s Guardian. It’s well worth a read and is enhanced by excellent graphics: The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks Exclusive: the unmarked graves of thousands of sailors are threatened by illegal metal salvagers https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2017/nov/03/worlds-biggest-grave-robbery-asias-disappearing-ww2-shipwrecks This follows the recent discovery of the wreck of the “hell ship”, Lisbon Maru which features, disguised as the Lady Monteith, in my book, DARK OCEAN. Artists conception of the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales (top left) and HMS Repulse by Japanese aircraft on December 10, 1941. Courtesy of MaritimeQuest...Read More
I love this quote by Lee Child: As a writer of thrillers, he may never be embraced by some literary critics. But he believes well-crafted popular fiction serves a profound purpose, rooted in our earliest history. “At some point we began telling stories about things that had not happened,” he explains. “This made people feel emboldened or empowered and just a little bit more self-confident, which would help them survive. “You are shown the edge of the cliff, but you’re told you don’t have to fall off.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41594347 In the Studio with Lee Child can be heard on the BBC World Service at 11:30 GMT on 31 October. I’ll be tuned in. Nick...Read More
WORK IN PROGRESS With the first two books in the Angus McKinnon thriller series published, I’m now working on the third with the aim of launching it by mid-2018. In this latest book, Angus suspects more than the obvious when he’s called to investigate the apparent suicide of a ship’s captain off the Portuguese coast. Why are the owners reluctant to disclose details of her cargo? And what lies behind the mystery of her destination? The case leads him from the Black Sea to the rain forests of equatorial Africa, setting him against his most formidable adversaries...Read More
- KISS KISS, BANG BANG: THE BOOM IN BRITISH THRILLERS FROM CASINO ROYALE TO THE EAGLE HAS LANDED
- The LISBON MARU
- The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks
- Lee Child on fiction
- WORK IN PROGRESS
- DARK OCEAN
- WRECK OF WW2 “HELL SHIP” FOUND
- Sea of Gold in the ascendant!
- Celebrating the publication of DARK OCEAN with friends in the Auld Hoose, North Berwick
- Dark Ocean launched!