GMJ Books are not just written but convey a message or some knowledge on covert operations or Special Forces techniques used to the reader. In Code Name Odette, GMJ 8, we did things a bit different. I decided to write about codes & ciphers and the use of them in covert warfare and it started a journey I still wonder about. Now if I was a more fanciful man I will tell you a strange incident took place during the research (every GMJ Book has a lot of research behind it) and that my laptop crashed so badly that not even professional IT people could fix it (how I missed my late wife who knew everything there is to know about obnoxious laptops). Basically I went on a website relating to Al-Qaeda and ISIS ciphers and the laptop stopped working, it crashed spectacularly. In the end I rebuilt it completely from scratch shaking my head. Was it by chance? I don’t know and could have been coincidental as my laptop is four years old and I typed more than a million words the last year. At some stage I will have to get a new one. Yet, it never happened before and I jest about the incident in the book. If I may speculate I would say I ran into a “red flag” operation set up by someone very smart in computers and we know there is no such agency to begin with. But we just don’t know but it was so weird.
Nevertheless we got some startling information and it is set out in detail in Code Name Odette. For instance when the NSA leaks began the ISIS and rest immediately upgraded their ciphers and now they have five new ciphers mostly used on mobiles. It is rather interesting as we also looked historically at the Enigma Code and what happened in history with codes & ciphers. It certainly was an eye opener for me and I hope for readers. At least your E-Reader will not crash as did my laptop!
To me there are many good moments in the book starting at page one where Angelique takes revenge on Foxtrot for cheating her out of victory in a shooting competition and then tripping her deliberately during a competitive run. The incidents, sad but true, is often mentioned in books and for years she plotted revenge over the “injustices” until she finally got a “confession” out of him. It is rather funny and perfectly describes the complex relationship between the two, at this stage not married but definitely in love and refusing to acknowledge it.
What are interesting to me as author are the many requests I get for more details on Foxtrot’s sidekick, the Zulu warrior called Geelslang. I am often asked what the name means in English…it is Afrikaans for a nasty snake called a Cape Cobra. Many asked where the name comes from. You will have to read GMJ 10, Code Name Honey Bee for that answer – it is given there. Then they ask is Geelslang real? Yes, he is based on a friend of mine, a former Special Forces fellow but remember this is fiction. There are many Geelslangs around. Many would not know this but Special Forces had black members and at times they outnumbered the white men.
The plot in Code Name Odette is simple, inside the South African Secret Service is a training program for new leaders, based on the US Army Ranger principle, where selected Agents are expected to lead conventional Special Forces. You will know in previous books, during the Egg Breaker War, this is exactly what took place. The Agents took command and hunted the Egg Breakers and their commander, Angelique Dawson, down or tried to anyway. This is the book where their origins are described and they try to assassinate Angelique for various reasons given in the book. It is fast paced, lots of good moments and romance and a great read. I know you will enjoy Code Name Odette.