Code Name Willow Bay or GMJ 12 follows on Code Name Honey Bee or GMJ 10 and for the first time in the Series I am excited enough about a book to write this blog on it before it is even published. They are good, really good reads but this one goes further than that, it is special.
Code Name Willow Bay is about a method developed in great secrecy by South African Special Forces to capture a ship, even a warship, on open waters and yes this is done by many other units including the US Navy SEALs but not like this. They use helicopters and fast rope down or they approach by rubber duck and climb aboard (as does pirates). Admirable as such methods are they will not work against a warship or a mother ship with trained operatives on board. A helicopter can be seen on radar and shot down rather easily and the fast spinning screws of a rubber duck will not escape sonar. So how do you do it then? By stealth and in Code Name Willow Bay we take a hard look at this method which has never been published before (as far as I know).
As with all GMJ Books, the story flash forward and backwards and it is often that I am told “Ah, yes, so that is what Angelique was up to or what Foxtrot meant when this or that happened.” Here we flash back to Code Name Pour Angelique or GMJ 2. Readers will remember she and Foxtrot is happily married and then the Ukuthula Ranch is attacked to wipe them out and the Egg Breaker War kicks off with a meeting in Dubai where Angelique reveals her “master plan” to capture the mother ships holding the kidnapped radicals. In Code Name Willow Bay we show how she got to that plan and how she tested it and how Geelslang perfected it. This makes for great reading and the book is longer than the any other book at about 300 plus Kindle pages.
We don't have a cover yet but I suppose the artist will have a HAHO (high altitude, high opening) jump on the cover as it features a lot in the book. This is real Special Forces stuff where you jump at 30 000 feet, open your parachute immediately within 15 seconds) and glide forty miles to where you want to be. It is by far the hardest and most dangerous military jumps and you can imagine Foxtrot's reaction when Angelique announced that is exactly what she intents doing and he is going with to ensure she lives to tell the tale.
I really loved writing and researching this book. We took a good look at the history of capturing ships with Special Forces (it started officially in the Falklands War) and then we go into the methodology of establishing the concept of proof. You will be sorry if you miss out on Code Name Willow Bay which will be published soon. And in the next GMJ book, it has no name yet, GMJ 13, Geelslang will play a much larger role (as asked by many who find the man interesting).
Code Name Devorah is the eleventh GMJ Book and the one where where we go into the future. I am often asked what happened further to Foxtrot and Angelique after the Egg Breaker War ended in Code Name Dawson or GMJ5.
In this book you are taken four years hence and the twins now toddlers and with Foxtrot and Geelslang farming on their ranch. They say they are retired. Angelique too says she is retired but as you should suspect, a spymaster like that simply never leaves the Great Game and they are shanghaied to help the MOSSAD with an operation in Somalia. They use South African manufactured and designed Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicles to great effect.
Without giving too much away it is a really good book to read as Angelique did not in anyway stopped from being “otherwise” and more dangerous than most making Foxtrot even more grey than what he already is. But it also shows a tender side of Angelique Dawson-Foxtrot. She wants a belated wedding reception and turns out to be a great mom for her kids. The best moment in the book and there are others too discussed below, is for me where she reveals her late husband's secret connections to MOSSAD. Old friends return in this book and each has its own agenda. In this way the book is a real spy thriller but also fast paste action describing mobile (mechanized) warfare combined with Special Forces. I loved writing it and it brought me many fond memories of the brilliant Ratels arriving in a cloud of dust to save our butts. I will not say so in public but we liked the “panzer” at such times and forgave them their superior attitude.
Technically the book is 100% correct as is all GMJ Books. Whatever is described with those Ratels (they are six wheel armoured fighting vehicles, like a smaller US Army Stryker) is exactly what happened before and I am sure many will recognise the one on the cover.
Another good part of the story to me, who wrote it, is where the twins are strapped onto Angelique and her French Minder (whose name is revealed per request of many) and they jump from a stricken aircraft. According to the children they were not alone on that jump, there were what they call “angels” with them. Now we often hear such things from small children and dismiss it. That is your prerogative but I liked the moment and I hope you will find the same enjoyment in Code Name Devorah as I did writing the book.
George M James is a pseudo name for the author and used for security reasons. He is an expert on counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in sub Saharan Africa, a military and war historian and published author of 43 books. His late wife was an American Patriot that served with the U.S. Navy. His books are widely read among military veterans of many nations.