• Alan Reynolds

The story behind the story (8) Smoke Screen

My new novel, available on Amazon now, is the sequel to The Sixth Pillar.

Why write a sequel, I hear you ask? A good question, but I decided to reprise the adventures of Rory Underwood because he was such a good character to portray and the ending of The Sixth Pillar made a sequel a possibility. I also enjoy writing ‘action’ stories.

I won’t go into too much detail about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not read The Sixth Pillar, but Rory Calderwood has decamped back to his roots in Worcestershire. It’s an area I know well as I was brought up in the same county. I have set the story in Worcester as the River Severn plays a big part in the story. It is set in June/July 2007, the time of the big flood; I shall say no more. In the first chapter, Rory is jogging down the path that runs parallel to the river when he hears a woman’s screams shouting for help; her three-year-old has fallen in the water and is being swept towards the weir by the current. What follows is a story of industrial espionage, terrorists, spies and Secret Service that takes the reader from the back streets of Birmingham to the hot-spots of the Middle East.

There is also a separate story-line involving the widow of a former SAS colleague whose daughter has gone missing which gives Rory the chance to team up with some of his former SAS buddies in trying to find her.

For a long time, the title of the book was ‘The Hades Project’; readers will understand the significance from the book, but after several discussions with the publishers we settled on ‘Smoke Screen’ which we thought more suited the story.

The book will appeal to all readers but particularly those who enjoy Andy McNab and Chris Ryan


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