"But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers."
The assassination of a Caribbean dictator....The "hit" on a traitor in Beirut......The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain.....So begins the game......
It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.
But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.
Jack "Gorilla" Grant isn't your typical Cold War secret agent. Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn't fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents. He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.
But "Gorilla" is one of the best "Redactors" in the business. He's an expert at close quarter shooting: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS). He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.
"A Game for Assassins" is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.
The Spy Genre: Gritty or Escapism
I’d always been a big fan of spy/action movies ever since I saw Roger Moore jump off a snow covered mountain in “The Spy Who Loved Me” and release a big Union Jack covered parachute (see that on the big screen and you instinctively let out a big WOW). I mean who wouldn’t – they are just so much FUN!
Fast cars, glamorous women, cool gadgets and let’s face it the hero never has to visit the toilet, put his hand in his pocket to pay for anything, or deal with traffic wardens anywhere!!
For most people the only reference they have of the intelligence game is from the movies. We were all brought up on a diet of 007’s and The Man from Uncle, and as fun as those films were, they didn’t necessarily reflect the truth of how the espionage trade works. Sometimes you have to scratch the surface, even just a little, to get to the reality.
I’m glad to say that it isn’t all one sided. Even in the 1960’s we had Len Deighton and John LeCarre fighting the corner of the gritty spy thriller and even today with films like “Zero Dark Thirty” and TV series like “Homeland” we have a balance to the spy gadgets and cool hotel penthouse suites.
I spent fifteen years working in the world of covert intelligence gathering and undercover work and I wanted to place my characters in a world away from the espionage trade of today. No emails, no mobile phones, no encrypted devices or USB sticks. No easy rides. This was old school spying done in a golden era, the 1960’s.
Readers forget that the Cold War wasn’t the gentleman’s game that is imagined today. It was rough, dirty and lethal and I wanted to convey the dark, gritty reality of this espionage work whilst still giving the reader an action packed ride. From the experiences of my professional life I had a wealth of material to work from, both anecdotal and from some of the personalities that I have been lucky enough to have known. There are scenes in the book that are very close to the truth of how it happens out “on the street” and I tried to convey to the reader that sense of both dread and sudden call to action that Gorilla and his “Redaction” team have to face.
Movies are pure escapism and are not a historically accurate documentary. I believe that you can have a balance in any genre, some hard and gritty and some light and frothy. A “Gravity” to a “Star Wars” or a “Henry V” to a “King Arthur.”
Let’s face it it’s at the viewers discretion – they pay for the ticket.
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About the author:
James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.
He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.
He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.
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