As we lead up to the release of my next Fight Card novella, The Iron Fists of Ned Kelly, I thought I’d share some of the wide array of books already released about Ned, covering nearly every aspect of his life. Most of these images have been sourced from eBay (my thanks to those who photographed and uploaded the images).
This Aussie crime pulp novel isn’t too old. I think I picked it up around 1996 or so (was published in 1995). I can’t remember too much about it now, so I’ll let the back cover blurb do the talking for me – although this description reads a little muddled.
A tropical paradise on the outside
a slaughterhouse on the inside
When professional gambler, Jack Speerman goes looking for his mate Charlie in Far North Queensland, he already knows something is wrong. Not that the crocs have left much of Charlie to find. Not that Charlie’s girlfriend, Verve is saying much either. Until someone else gets killed right in front of her eyes and a head shot from a moonlit beach into a crowded restaurant, turns the brains of an American privateer to sauce.
The hunt for Charlie’s killers follows a bloody trail of bodies leading to an international bird smuggling ring more ruthless and deadly than the crocs which snatch the unwary killers.
As Charlie and Verve unreel the layers of deception, greed and murder – they learn to trust no one, not even each other…
Green’s novel is based on the disappearance of five bird smugglers and a wildlife officer in FNQ. Authorities are still searching for the bodies.
G’day all. I am running a promotion over the next few days (from September 25th to 29th), where my first Jarvis Love novella, The LIBRIO Defection is available as an eBook for free from Amazon.
The LIBRIO Defection is a fast paced novella filled with international intrigue and espionage.
1966: The world’s greatest violinist, Soviet, Alexander Stanislas wants to defect to the West after the violent death of his half-brother. But he has one condition; he wants his Italian mistress, Belladonna Librio to come over with him.
Jarvis Love works for the Global Intelligence Network. He is young, inexperienced and about to be thrust in the explosive world of Cold War espionage for the first time. His assignment seems simple enough; locate Belladonna Librio and escort her back to London. Major Sacha Vorinski, of the Fifth Chief Directorate has other plans.
Filled with brutal fights and wild chases, The LIBRIO Defection is a white knuckle action adventure which harks back to the great spy novels of the ’60s and ’70s, but infused with the high-octane punch of a modern thriller. In this edition, also included is a sneak peek at Jarvis Love’s first full length adventure, The DANAKIL Deception.
Time for a bit of old time carnival spruiking – picture me standing on stage, first gargling from a hipflask of cheap gin, then glassy-eyed, raising a bullhorn to my mouth and doing my best Tom Waits impersonation…
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, my latest novel is now available … Be warned, if you have a heart condition, it contains sequences of extreme action, excitement and DANGER!!! Set in the harsh Volcanic lowlands of north-eastern Ethiopia – a land so arid and inhospitable it is not fit for man nor beast. Into this unforgiving environment comes Jarvis Love – a young secret agent – assigned to discover the secret of the Danakil Depression – in the earth shattering thriller ‘The Danakil Deception’ – available from Amazon… Get yours now!!!”
I will now return you to normal programming…
My latest spy thriller, THE DANAKIL DECEPTION, has just been released by Pro Se Productions, and I have got to say I am really happy to be part of the Pro Se family. On the surface, as Pro Se is highly regarded as a publisher of New Pulp tales, it may seem an odd fit. But I beg to differ – Pro Se has a healthy selection of espionage themed books – and more importantly a philosophy that is similar to my own. Before I go any further, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good thriller grounded in the here and now, and that holds a mirror to the reality of every day living. But I must confess I love a good story that drags me away from the everyday – escapist fare that takes me away from the mundane troubles and stresses of modern life, and that is what Pro Se specialises in. You don’t have to be a spy fan to be caught up in the adventures of the Rook, Thunder Jim Wade, or the Silver Manticore.
But, of course, if you’re reading this, you probably know me as a ‘spy guy’. And that’s a hat I am happy to wear. But if you combine ‘spy’ with fast paced ‘pulp adventure’ then you’ll really appreciate where I am coming from, and that’s what THE DANAKIL DECEPTION is all about.
So what is this Danakil thing I keep talking about? It’s an area in north eastern Ethiopia called the Danakil Depression. As a boy (and still as an adult), one of the many aspects I loved about a good spy story was the globetrotting. I was enthralled as I discovered cities, countries and cultures much different to my own. When i decided to write a series of spy novels, in the same spirit, I knew I had to take readers to locations that they had never been before – hence the Danakil Depression.
It’s an area of the world that is off the tourist trail. I read that it has about 70 visitors per year. It is also the hottest place on earth, with temperatures soaring up to 60 degrees C in summer. Then there’s the volcanic landscape, a virtual kaleidoscope of colour, pockmarked with salt plains and sulphurous acid pools. Sort of like a snake-bit version of Monument Valley.
So this Danakil thing – it’s a part of the world that is seldom seen, and it’s the primary location in my latest espionage thriller.
THE DANAKIL DECEPTION is the first of six full length adventures featuring agent, Jarvis Love. This story sees him young and at the beginning of his career. He makes mistakes and has to fight to make things right. And that’s one of the key elements to the series – Love’s a fighter. Many a time he finds his back to the wall, but he refuses to give in, fighting tooth and nail to stay in the game.
If Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery, then surely Helen MacInnes is the queen of espionage stories. The Salzburg Connection is based on her novel of the same name.
The film begins with a photographer named Bryant developing shots of Lake Finstersee, then cleverly cuts to him erupting out of the water in a wet suit. In his hand he has a rope. At the other end of the rope is a heavy iron chest. He drags the chest to shore and places it in a knapsack. What he doesn’t realise is that he is being watched by two men hidden in an old World War II Nazi bunker on the opposite shore. As he turns, he catches a sunlight glint from the telescope lens – and realises he is in trouble. He quickly runs off with his haul. But it isn’t long before two men catch up with him (however, by this stage he has hidden the chest). The two men question him about the trunk, but Bryant refuses to talk. Then things get rough. Bryant is kicked backward and his head strikes a rock killing him.
The story moves to the city of Salzburg, and focuses on William Mathison (Barry Newman), a lawyer for New York publishing company, Newhart and Morris. He is walking through the streets as the church bells play. Little does he know he is being followed. He goes to Bryant’s photographic store seeking him. Bryant (as you’re aware) is not there. His wife, Anna (Anna Karina) is holding the fort with her brother, Johann (Klaus-Maria Brandauer).
Mathison explains that he is working for Newhart and Morris, and something peculiar is going on. It appears that Bryant received an advance for a photographic book about the Austrian Lakes – but the publishers have never heard of him, and did not pay the advance. Mathison, who was holidaying in Switzerland at the time, was asked if he could look into the matter. Something rather fishy is going on.
But if the publishers didn’t pay Bryant to take photos of the lake, who did? Mathison and Anna become the innocent pawns fighting, not only for their lives, but to understand what is going on around them as multiple factions all compete to acquire the chest (and the contents within).
The film starts of quite lively enough and serves up quite a few good suspenseful sequences, most notably, on a chair lift and a rather unusual car chase, after Anna had been kidnapped. But, and it’s quite deliberate on the film-makers part, the characters are ill-defined and their allegiances are never explained. This way the viewer does not know who is good or who is bad (and this is very much a film where no-one is exactly who they seem). The problem, however, with this approach, it makes it very hard to sympathize with any of the characters – and therefore care about their fate.
The Salzburg Connection is not a stinker. It is watchable, but at the end of the film, if you can explain who was working for who, then you’ve done better than me.