Today I’m very honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for James Swallow’s latest book – Exile, the follow-up to Nomad. I have a little extract to whet your appetite but to give you a bit of context, here’s the blurb.
MOVE OVER JASON BOURNE, MARC DANE IS HERE . . .
A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons. A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing. A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he’d let the world burn. A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him. Only one man sees what’s coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it . . . Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the incredible new action thriller from the internationally bestselling author of NOMAD.
Brett inclined his head, his eyes flicking away to glance at something that the camera on his end didn’t show, then back once more. ‘Dr Amadayo,’ he began again. ‘Forgive me for disrupting your evening, but as I am sure you understand, my employers are eager to communicate their concerns to you. And you have been rather difficult to reach over recent weeks.’ Brett’s accent was like the BBC World Service radio broadcasts Amadayo had listened to in his youth, every word balanced, cut to length and positioned in exactly the right place. There was a strangely soulless, machine-like quality to the man, which Amadayo found slightly unsettling. His milk-pale face, his straw-like hair and watery blue eyes seemed unnatural. He reminded the Somalian of albino children he had seen in Tanzania, and Amadayo half-wondered if, like them, the Englishman’s body parts would be worth money if made into charms post-mortem.
He nodded and widened his smile for the camera. ‘It is I who should be begging your forgiveness!’ Amadayo faked a contrite tone. He shook his head. ‘So much work to be done here, you know? So many people with needs to be dealt with and hands held out. It takes up all of my time.’
‘That is why we agreed to have you work as our representative in Somalia, because of your connections,’ said Brett. Personally, Amadayo had always thought of himself as a partner more than an employee, but he let that go for the moment. ‘But we are concerned about a lack of visible progress.’
‘Oh?’ Amadayo raised an eyebrow. Outwardly he maintained an air of quiet concern, but his heart was racing. The shirt stuck to his back like a second skin. ‘I have done everything the Combine has asked of me –’
‘We prefer you not to use that name again,’ Brett snapped, with a wince.
Amadayo bristled at the Englishman’s tone and pressed on, masking his worry with a rising anger. ‘How long have I been helping you in my nation? Your past transactions in Puntland and elsewhere – who ensured that those would proceed without issue?’
‘And you have been paid handsomely for your brokerage,’ came the reply. ‘That guarded compound where you sit? My employer’s money made it possible for you to live in such luxury. And safety.’
There was a threat buried in the words, but Amadayo didn’t waste time on it. This man was half a world away, and the things that Amadayo did fear were far closer than he was.
But then Brett looked out of the screen at him, and it was as if the pale man reached into his thoughts and pulled that fear out across the distance. ‘You enjoy your comfortable life, doctor. You like to say you are the man who knows all the names, the one with a friend in every town and village. But how much of that is true?’ He came closer until his face nearly filled the screen. ‘You promised stability. You told my employers your influence could make that happen. But it has not.’
Wow. I’m not sure I like the idea of Brett or Dr Amadayo. Seems that Marc Dane has a very tough assignment on his hands. If you like the sound of this then you can find out more about James Swallow and buy his books here.
Feel free to check out the other stops on the tour for reviews over the Christmas period and into the New Year.
James Swallow is a scriptwriter and veteran author with over 750,000 books currently in print around the world. He was BAFTA-nominated for his writing on the critically acclaimed video game DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION.