A Desire for Vengeance - L.R. Puttock
I'm not much for Political Thrillers. But I do appreciate the intense amount of time, effort, and research that they take to create. Whether based on an actual event/inciting incident or merely the brainchild of someone who has their finger on the political pulse, these types of thrillers always force readers to ask "Could this have actually happened?"
What I really enjoyed about this book, was just how realistic the main character was. While she's a strong female lead, she wasn't particularly likable. I appreciated her determination, her courage, and her loyalty to her sister and beliefs, but I would not want to attempt to befriend this woman. Nor did I agree with all of her actions: choosing to continue to put herself, her little one, and her sister in danger. I'm always skeptical of characters that are perfect and 100% likable. They can lack the depth of real personality. So this definitely added to the realistic quality of this thriller.
All the components add together to create a very thrilling ride of a book. Those of you who truly enjoy political thrillers will not be disappointed in A Desire for Vengeance. The writing is excellent, the characters are strong, and the logic all seems sound.
Some Bio Information
I was born in Hackney, in the East-end of London in 1955. After leaving school at the age of fifteen, I had many jobs, including a brief stint in the army, finally fetching up as a computer operator for an insurance company. Forty-two years later, I still work in IT for a major US bank in London. I now live in Surrey (about twenty miles south of the centre of London) with my wife, Jayne, our children, Robert and Jennie and granddaughter Millie.
1. What inspired you to write this book?
I have always had a desire to be a writer and must have planned 100’s of novels and short stories in my mind over the years. However, it was only relatively recently that I put pen to paper – or more accurately, fingers to keyboard.
Throughout my career as a computer analyst/programmer and database designer my job was to develop and build structures that satisfied the firm’s requirements. The process is not unlike developing a plot and narrative so my creative needs were satisfied. Then they made me a manager and my opportunities for creativity were suddenly confined to status reports and staff appraisals.
I started to read even more than I had before, immersing myself in the works of Wilbur Smith, Frederick Forsyth, Bernard Cornwall, Richard Woodman and many others. Before long, I had exhausted the supply of adventure novels in my little local library. Left for a weekend without something to read, I began to write my own.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Process is probably too strong a word for it. It implies a degree of organization. I know where the story begins and have a loose plan in my head of where it is going. The route it takes depends on the characters and their response to the events I throw at them. I try to put myself into the POV character’s shoes and have them act as I think they would. Their reaction to an event triggers a further reaction in other characters, leading to more events. It is a bit like playing chess with yourself, turning the board each time to see events from the other side and reacting accordingly. That is probably why the book is longer than it should be.
3. Who is your favorite fictional character?
Oh dear! A cast of many! Probably C.S Forrester’s Horatio Hornblower, but also Wilbur Smith’s Sean Courtney (When the Lion Feeds, etc), Bernard Cornwell’s Uthred of Babbenburgh (The Warrior Chronicles series) and Lisbeth Salander (the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). I like to think of Sandy as “Giving Lesbeth Salander a Long Kiss goodnight and adding a pinch of SALT”
4. Will we be seeing more of Sandy?
There are two, maybe three more adventures for Sandy. I am currently writing the prequel of D4V, “Operation Cevapi”. There is also a part-written sequel set 20 years later where Sandy (in her new ID, Penny Thorpe) is a research scientist working on a secret weapon, only to have people and events from her past come back to haunt her.
5. How much research did this book require?
Quite a lot, mostly on the internet but I have also read a number of books pertaining to the Bosnian Civil war, which was the underlying cause of the action in D4V. The character of Amanda was inspired by Stella Rimington, the first female Director General of MI5, who was in post at the time D4V is set. I read her autobiography a few years ago and got quote a lot of detail from it that I could put into my novel.
6. Describe your favorite place.
The island of Santorini lies in the Aegean Sea, roughly halfway between Crete and Athens. Four thousand years ago it was the hub of the Minoan civilization, but it was destroyed by a cataclysmic volcanic eruption, in which the centre of the island disintegrated and sank into the sea (some scholars believe it was the inspiration for the story of Atlantis). What remains are two islands forming three-quarters of a circle, with a third-and-fourth island in the middle that have been formed by undersea eruptions of the still-active volcano.
At the northern end of the island stands the little town of Oia. Layers of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches cling to the precipitous side of the old caldera. So steep are the cliffs, that from the sea, the buildings appear to be stacked one upon the other. To stand on the cliffs and look out across the azure sea to the far side of the caldera is an artist’s or photographer’s dream. I visited this marvelous place two years ago and declared it then the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
My goal is to have people read my book and enjoy it. Sure, I would like to be successful and make lots of money – who wouldn’t – but that is not my goal. My writing is to me the same as a concert performed by an orchestra or perhaps more relevantly, a soloist. I get a buzz from people reading my work and telling me that they enjoyed it.