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Friday, 21 November 2014

FFB - The Devil's Trinity

This is a week where we seem to be looking at spy books and characters. So I might as well continue the trend with this, Michael Parker’s fifth book, The Devil’s Trinity published in 2008. Here, Parker is definitely flexing his writing muscles. His story is mainly set in the Caribbean and CIA headquarters and posits a nightmare scenario of which even the popular Clive Cussler would be proud.

Yet it starts innocently enough with an accident at sea. Marsh and Greg, his business partner, are onboard their yacht the Ocean Quest when a ship runs them down. Greg dies, leaving a widow Helen back at their office. These early chapters are tense and create a mystery you want to resolve by reading on.

Then we meet CIA operator Remo who is investigating the arrival on a beach of an anonymous individual suffering from radiation sickness. Alarm bells start to ring, especially when it is revealed that three nuclear bombs - a trinity of death and destruction - have gone missing from Uzbekistan.

Respectable business magnate Hakeem Khan is behind this latest attempt at bringing the ‘Great Satan’ America to its knees. Onboard a vessel sailing the Caribbean, he finds that his plans have been forestalled by the disappearance or death of the pilot of their submersible, the Challenger, which was key to the mission’s success.

Thus the stage is set for these disparate lives to become intertwined in a race against time. The story involves kidnap, violence and bravery. Marsh is coerced into working for Khan, knowing that Helen’s life is forfeit if he refuses. But he fears that he is expendable too.

Considerable knowledge about underwater exploration and airborne firepower are fairly seamlessly woven into the tale of cat-and-mouse between the cunning Khan and the might of the US.

The fast-paced storyline has the potential to make a good movie. Without a doubt, all fans of techno-thrillers should get their money’s worth with this one.
Parker’s ninth book is due out soon.

Michael Parker was born in 1941 and educated in London and Portsmouth. He left school with no qualifications but a natural ‘bent’ for English, and it was this ability that set him on the path to writing. Michael has written for as long as he can remember, but not with the success he first coveted. His first novel, NORTH SLOPE was published by Macmillan in 1980. His next manuscript, HELL’S GATE was rejected and so began a saga that lasted twenty six years…. Michael’s second novel, THE SHADOW OF THE WOLF, was published in 1984 by Robert Hale of London. It was to be many, many years of writing and rejections before he saw his third novel published in 2007. This was HELL’S GATE, the novel he had been trying to get accepted since 1980. Other books followed from Robert Hale: THE EAGLE’S COVENANT in 2007, THE DEVIL’S TRINITY in 2008, THE THIRD SECRET in 2009, A COVERT WAR, in 2010, THE BOY FROM BERLIN in 2011. This latter novel is also published in paperback by Harlequin in North America and Canada. Harlequin have also taken up the English language paperback rights for THE EAGLE’S COVENANT, also for North America and Canada.

Michael met his wife Pat when he was sixteen and she was fifteen. They married in 1960, have four sons, ten grandchildren and a new great grandson, Harrison. They celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary in January 2010. Michael has worked as an office boy, a Merchant seaman, a plaster’s labourer, a deck hand, a cinema projectionist, an RAF Technician and a maintenance technician in the food industry. He has also worked in the Middle East. In 1997 Michael and Pat moved to Spain and settled on the Costa Blanca. Michael’s hobbies are football, snooker, and keyboard. He was a member of Torrevieja Christian Fellowship (TCF) along with his wife, and used to play keyboard there as a member of the Praise and Worship team. Michael has described his writing hobby as a ‘Sweet curse’. He says that the joy comes from writing a full length novel, living with it, creating the adventure, the characters, the excitement etc., but the curse comes from the number of rejections that are received from almost all the publishers and agents he contacts. But perseverance is the key word, which was the case with HELL’S GATE; twenty six years in trying. Late this year, they permanently returned to the UK.

He has just picked up two unexpected glowing book reviews, also - from his FB page:
Time to blow my trumpet. My novel, The Eagle's Covenant, has remained unsold for over a year. Then suddenly; two sales and two five star reviews. Unsolicited. I have to quote at least part of one review.
Parker's manner in driving this relentless story resembles the speed of bullets flying out of an Uzi and he paces this novel so well that leaving it for a moment feels uncomfortable - the true sign of a gifted author. In a time when so many books and films rely on fantasy and... special effects to terrify audiences, it is a pleasure to encounter a writer from whose pen flows a story that simply with words on a page can shoulder the same degree of tension based not on aliens or Marvel comic book characters, but solely of the extremes of very human personalities. This is an author who will thrive with American audiences. Watch for film offers....Grady Harp, November 14.
Oh. alright then, here's the other one:
The characters are gripping and sympathetic—especially Joanna in her torment over her missing child. Parker has a gift of prose. He executes description beautifully, creating incredibly detailed images.The clever, complex plot unfolds at a smooth and steady pace, pulling the reader deeper and deeper in that world with every chapter. This was my first novel by Michael Parker, but it definitely will not be the last. Highly recommended for fans of intelligent international thrillers.

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