The Wrecking Crew
Janac's back... and there will be games - so what will you do when it's them... or the woman you love?
Drug baron Janac has unleashed a reign of terror in the South China Sea to fund his battle for control of the Australian narcotics trade. When he attacks an old cargo ship on an evil night off the Indonesian coast, it seems he has also found the perfect victims to exploit with his psychotic games.
Phil Hamnet and his wife Anna are sharing a last voyage before the arrival of their twins. Hamnet escapes Janac's attack, but Anna is taken and held hostage to ensure first his silence, and then his cooperation. But when Janac's rogue ex-Special Forces crew attack more ships and men start dying, Hamnet has to decide if he can continue to sacrifice the lives of unknown sailors to save the woman he loves.
It's an awful decision for anyone to have to make, but for a man who's already had the same dilemma - tormented in a lifeboat, adrift in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean - it's a living nightmare.
Janac's first appearance was in Mark Chisnell's suspense thriller The Defector, a #1 thriller at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.
The Wrecking Crew is an action packed adventure - see for yourself, read the opening chapters with the sample below.
The Wrecking Crew has topped the Amazon thriller charts in Germany.
Originally published by HarperCollins ANZ.
Translated into German as Durch die Hölle und Zurück by Delius Klasing, now titled Schiffe versenken.
'It's a great escapist yarn with Janac a really nasty villain who gives Hamnet untold grief. I enjoyed this one.'
Hawkes Bay Today
'I found it impossible to put down.'
Boating New Zealand
'A real ripping yarn, hard to take seriously but begging to be made into an all-action film.'
Qantas in-flight magazine
'Perfect for summer reading.'
Writing The Wrecking Crew
The difficult second novel. I can't speak for anyone else, but the biggest problem I faced was getting over the shock that there was a second novel - that the first had been published. Then there's the conflict between what you think you want to write next - something different - and what the publisher wants - more of the same. And in between these two stools seemed to fall every single good idea I'd ever had - and meanwhile the clock was ticking, the follow-up book had to be out within eighteen months.
My first solid idea was about a scam to win a triple roll-over lottery by buying every possible number combination - but it got squished by my editor after getting bogged down in the technical details of buying the millions of tickets. The second idea came out as a Sandra Bullock movie (The Net) when I'd only got as far as the fourth chapter of a plot based on identity theft. The third started out when I noticed the parallel between Cornish wreckers lighting false beacons to lure unwary ships onto the rocks, and what could be done to Global Positioning System (GPS) devices with a transmitter sending out false Differential signals - which normally make the system more accurate.
And then it seemed obvious that if this was to be a thriller about modern-day pirates and wreckers, the evil character I'd come up with for The Defector was the perfect man to lead The Wrecking Crew. And I had an idea for another dilemma, as Janac went on to say in the book; 'The distinction is important: saving those we know against saving those we don't. People will go to vast effort and expense to rescue two or three men trapped on a mountain, or in a crippled yacht, when logically they could save many more lives by investing the money in a clean water supply for an African village. But those villagers rarely have names or faces, or distraught wives and mothers giving tearful interviews in a familiar language. It's an empathy with those at risk that seems to change it for people. It seems to remove rationality from the moral equation and leave it driven by emotion.'
The Moral Rationalist
But I needed a worthy opponent for Janac - a ruthless moral rationalist, someone who could take those impossible choices and distil them into an equation solvable for the greater good. Then I remembered another idea that I'd stuck in the file a while back - The Lifeboat Man. Seven men in a lifeboat, days from the shipping lanes and rescue, and nowhere near enough water for them all to make it. Do you share the supplies evenly and keep your fingers crossed for a miracle, or do you ensure just a minority survive long enough - but at the clear and definite cost of the other lives?
Now I had a story, but conscious of the difficult, eight draft development of The Defector, I was anxious to do a lot more planning for this one. I hammered out a detailed synopsis and then began. In retrospect, I'm not sure that it wasn't a little too detailed, that I'd crossed too many t's and dotted too many i's too early, that the final writing of the book needed a little more flexibility. But until I try a middle route - looser structure to the storyline than I had for The Wrecking Crew, but more than just the ending I had for The Defector - I can't be sure... and meanwhile, piracy was becoming news.