WWII Romantic Suspense
Finding a killer in the middle of a blitz is murder.
When a cryptanalyst in Britain’s top secret Code and Cypher School is murdered, alarms sound in the highest echelons of Parliament. Was it merely a lover’s quarrel that ended her life, or was she killed after telling the Germans everything they wanted to know? That’s what MI6 Agent, Commander Grey Hamilton must find out.
He is joined in the chase by an old university friend from Scotland Yard, and a young American genius who has been singled out by the killer as his next victim.
As the Luftwaffe escalates its reign of terror over London, the unlikely team dodges bombs while searching the Underground and London docks knowing failure is not an option. The lives of English soldiers and perhaps the fate of the British Empire itself, is at stake.
Nike: Do you write exclusively in one genre, or do you “cross-over” to other genres? What draws you to the genre(s) you write in?
V.B.: Primarily, I write contemporary suspense. I have crossed-over to speculative fiction (The Watchman) and historical (Deathwatch) but still in the suspense genre. I cut my teeth on Agatha Christie novels and was hooked. I love watching the protagonist work his way through the clues and red-herrings to find the killer.
Nike: How did you go about researching for this novel? Did you go anywhere outside your usual locale, or experience anything of note in the researching of this novel?
V.B.: As you might imagine, there is a lot of research in doing a period novel. The internet was my biggest source of background. I re-watched two of my favorite WWII series, Herman Wouk’s Winds of War and War and Reembrace. I also contacted a writer friend in England who gave me great insight into the food and settings. Writing this novel was a great and also humbling experience. I’m not sure how many people realize how perilous times were in 1940 London.
Nike: Can you give us a sneak peek or preview into the next work in progress (WIP) you’re working on? When do you expect to release it?
V.B.: I’m currently co-authoring a novel (David Arp) set in Benghazi during the attack on the consul. We’re hoping for a Christmas release. Here’s the blurb:
It was the mother of all bad days.
The date, September 11, 2012. The place, Benghazi, Libya.
While a brave band of warrior’s fight for their lives in the consulate and CIA annex, outside, a Mossad Agent, a missionary, and a Mississippi giant fight a different battle.
Caught between terrorist and an enraged Russian arms dealer, they must complete the mission and manage to stay alive until they can escape or the cavalry arrives.
Never assume things can’t get worse.
Nike: Does your MC(s) read much? If so, what does he/she read?
V.B.: The female lead doesn’t have a lot of time to read, but in one scene she is reading MRS. MINIVER by Jan Struther. The book was later made into an academy award winning movie.
Grey entered the dining area the next morning and found Miss Sullivan already seated at a table. He ignored how lovely she looked despite the early hour. Apparently, she hadn’t lost any sleep over his rudeness last evening. “I’m glad to see you’re punctual. That will make my job easier.” He called the ancient waiter over and placed his order.
She grinned behind her cup. “I aim to please, Commander.”
“Is that sarcasm, Miss Sullivan, so early in the morning? And here I came to apologize for yesterday.”
“There’s no need . . .”
He held up his hand. “Let me get through this. I practiced all morning while shaving. Apologies do not come easily to me.”
“Then by all means, proceed.”
“Before I begin, have you eaten?”
“I’ve ordered toast and jam to go with my tea.”
“That’s not breakfast; it’s mid-morning tea. You look like a strong wind would blow you away. Now where was I? Oh yes . . . my apology.”
The waiter tottered over and placed toast in front of Grace, then a steaming plate of fried Spam, powdered eggs, before him. He raised his fork. “You know, Spam is a much maligned delicacy. Most people turn up their noses having never tried it. It’s quite good. You should give it a go.” He speared a forkful and offered it to her. “It would put some meat on your bones.”
She shook her head. “No, thank you. My bones are quite happy as they are. Is that your apology?” Her mouth spread into a wide grin that brightened her face. “Are you actually comparing yourself to Spam? Is that your subtle way of saying I should get to know you before I decide to dislike you?”
“That was merely an aside before I get down to serious business, but it isn’t a bad analogy.” He placed the fork on the table, wiped his mouth with the napkin then sat back in his chair, studying her face. “You were right yesterday. I was putting my personal preference before the good of this investigation and my own country. If you come aboard, you will be a wholly contributing member of the team, and I will show you no mercy. You and Milford will be at my beck and call whenever needed. Understood?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She gazed down at his plate as he finished off his breakfast. “For a lord, you have bourgeois taste buds.”
“Lords are merely men, Miss Sullivan, although spoiled more than most, granted a title at the whim of the king. Not of the blood royal, so to speak. Besides, rationing has forced me to retrain my palate. Are you packed?”
“I never unpacked.”
“You and I are going to get along famously, Miss Sullivan.”
“About that ‘Miss Sullivan’ business, do you think since we will be working together we might be less formal?”
“Absolutely. I shall call you Grace and the Inspector, Aubrey. You can call me Commander.”