Samuel Carver is an angry man. The protagonist of The Accident Man, The Survivor and Assassin, whose speciality is creating deniable assassination by means of unattributable ‘accidents’ has just discovered that one of his former brother officers in the SBS has been killed in Afghanistan. The man died very horribly and painfully in the hands of the Taliban, lost for want of the helicopter that should have airlifted him to safety.
Suddenly, a situation that has long been a matter of principled outrage to Carver has become very personal. So he reacts in the way that he knows best. He decides to make a bad thing happen to what he believes is a bad person; the person he holds responsible for the death of his friend and many other fine soldiers, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In the tradition of Rogue Male and Day of the Jackal, Carver stalks his prey. In this case he does not choose the boulevards of Paris as his hunting ground, nor the hills and forests of Germany. Instead he goes to the Lake District, where the Prime Minister is taking his summer holiday.
What happens next will be told in a series of three online episodes, to be released this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I’ve already been having some fun trailing the whole Saga on my Twitter and Facebook pages.
If there is any truth at all to all the talk of the mysterious Echelon listening in on all our phone and online chatter on behalf of America’s National Security Administration and our own GCHQ, then there may already be flags being flown and questions asked about the threats being made by a pseudonymous British crime writer and his online henchmen to the safety of the inhabitant of No10.
So to put the spooks’ minds at ease, let me just say this …
The Carver novels may contain elements based on actual events, but the events they depict are pure fiction, as are all the characters in them. So Bloodsport will play by the same rules as The Accident Man. That book centred on the fictional killing of an unnamed princess in the Alma Tunnel, Paris. Similarly, Carver will be stalking an unnamed, fictional Prime Minister. It's a story, pure and simple.
Above all, though, I am in the business of writing thrillers. That means that stories twist and endings are uncertain. People reading this may feel sure they know what is going to happen. When they read the opening lines of the first episode and find themselves sharing the view through Carver’s sniper sight, they may be even more convinced of the likely outcome.
But in fiction, as in life, nothing ever works out quite the way one expects …
And Episode One of Bloodsport will arrive at Author's Place on Friday …