Wrong film – Right book

The helicopter landed gently in the clearing. My cameraman wanted to reload with film. The Philippine commando pilot turned and grabbed something from beneath my seat. A lethal machine gun, spilling a belt full of bullets. He pointed it into the jungle.

Hey whoa what’s happening?’ I cried, admittedly with panic in my voice.

Insurgents’ was the whispered reply.

The film we were making was about the environment, not a bloody war film.

Well let’s take off and load the film somewhere else,’ I said shakily, trying to sound cool.

Wrong film but, later in life, the inspiration for the right book. My documentary films have taken me from the African Bush to the Indonesian jungle. Every location provides its own adventures, ones that I weave into each of my novels. The plots of my books are fictional-well some of them anyway-but the events and locations experienced by the crew are all based on fact. Hardly surprising then that the exploits of documentary film director Nathalie Thompson adds veracity to the world of crime and terror that she inhabits.

My latest thriller, Drugs to Forget, uses the backdrops of Zimbabwe and Eastern Java to convey the story of a group of insurgents who have a grudge against what they call the “Western exploitation of Africa”. Nathalie’s crew takes the same course that I did many years ago, and the anecdotes are surprisingly similar. What differs is the crime and terror that have been implanted in the novel. Nathalie is not making a film on the environment but one about bioterrorism. A foreign chemical agent has been found on British soil. She tries to find who did it and what methods they used? Now where have I heard that before?

Drugs to Forget available from the 4th June is published by RedDoor



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