With everything in life, there is a beginning and the end is not always known. If you told me I would be busy with Code Name Angelique, GMJ 39, when I wrote Code Name VFO565, the first GMJ novel just after the unexpected passing of my wife in 2014, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. Writing the GMJ Books kept me sane, they took me to another world and one that I hoped to have left behind. But it was not to be, I understand now that it takes more than two roubles to get out of the Great Game. Of course, you are warned by the old hands when you first sign up but who listens? Most certainly not me, I had fun hunting terrorists. I learned a lot and I did a lot.
I wish to point out that there is a misconception that the GMJ Books are about the much-maligned South African Secret Service. I get letters pointing out the many negative newspaper articles on the Service, mostly to do with political appointees and never the real members working in secret. Unlike most reading here, I worked with the Service for years. There is not a country in sub-Saharan Africa where they are not operating efficiently, and most would be very surprised at their capabilities. They are also in no way disloyal to their own and rated highly by many. As an example, during a 2016 scare, they removed some of their spies within hours out of their assigned countries, feeling that they may be betrayed and in danger. But of course, the characters in my books are fictionalized, the storylines also although some are based on actual operations. It will always be disheartening to me that when you read the comments from some white South Africans, not all, it is stressed, not all, that they are utterly negative in outlook. They shake their heads and mutter totally racist remarks on why the GMJ Books have no claim to reality since no “black fellow” can ever run an efficient spy agency, according to them. Everything in Apartheid was better, obviously, according to them. No matter what you say or what evidence you produce, prejudice will always rule in such people and we will never see eye to eye. They would do well not to read my books. Delete them or burn them, but don’t bother contacting me, I will almost certainly not respond to what authors call “baiting.” Ironically, I doubt if it matters much to the professional intelligence officers what people think of them. Any good intelligence agency prefers to be badmouthed as useless as it makes their jobs so much easier when contemptuously dismissed. Sadly, such readers don’t get that the GMJ Books have nothing to do with the South African Secret Service as such. I get the feeling that they are incapable of understanding where the fiction ends and where not and that dismays me. In the fictional story, Angelique Dawson, the one-time South African Secret Service Head of Counterterrorism and Counterespionage, defects in 2012 to France, her first love and the service she was recruited to 28 years before (Code Name VFO565). The storyline does not claim to be the truth and nothing but the truth, that is why there is a fiction disclaimer and no footnotes. But not all is fiction. I use the books to highlight events, explain tactics, operational methods, worrisome trends and to give expert political analyses together with much history to those able to read between the lines and most readers are able to do so, happily so. I say this often, the GMJ Books are warnings. To write the warnings in any other way than what they are now would be dangerous to my health, professional reputation and the safety of my family.
For what it is worth and to end online speculation, the main character in the GMJ Books, Angelique Dawson, is not based on my late wife but she does have her green eyes, auburn hair and at times, the same watch she had in life. Obviously, the word “Angelique” refers to “Angel” or “my Angel” if you wish. I left many code words for my late wife in the books and doing so made us smile. As I said before and will no doubt do again, the GMJ stories are all true up to a point. They are based on facts and whatever the characters say, is historically accurate and researchable. This reflects in more ways than one – take the cover on this book - the watch Angelique is wearing is the one described in some of the GMJ Books. The broken egg is a symbol of the Egg Breakers and the reticle is from a Soviet Dragunov sniper rifle. Her sunglasses would be her Ray-Ban aviator glasses often described in GMJ Books and a code for my late wife. Curiously, many times after a GMJ Book is published, that what is revealed is printed in the media or hastily denied. These books are like no other and should not be, each author has his own unique style. Lastly, the name “George M James” is a code, a pseudo name to include my late wife’s initials. If I had to rewrite this book, and I will not because it would be cheating, I would have acknowledged that the two main characters, Geoffrey Foxtrot and Angelique Dawson were much closer to each other than admitted and what came out in future books, but I did not, and so it is. In fact, according to my female readers, these are “chick” books because Angelique always wins, she is in command and she kicks ass, they love her because of that. My male readers have other ideas, they point out that Angelique shows respect to her soul, Geoffrey Foxtrot, and that the books are used as training material for SWAT Units. The truth, I suppose, is somewhere in the middle and it is great for an author to read such things, thank you!
Description: The narrator, Major Geoffrey Foxtrot, a former Police Special Forces Company Commander, is in love with his South African Secret Service handler, spymaster extraordinaire Angelique Dawson. She is the head of Counter-Terrorism and they go back many years even if they don’t openly admit so - her father was his former commanding general in Special Forces. He failed to rescue the General after he was taken hostage. Foxtrot and his men were too late, they were held back by politicians. Yet, whilst searching the General’s body for booby traps, he finds a picture of Angelique Dawson and realises that she is his soul. They only meet 8 years later. By now Foxtrot is part of a highly secretive unit known informally as the “Egg Breakers” and Angelique is for all intents and purposes his commanding officer. She uncovered a “truce” that the South African Government entered into with Al-Qaeda to hide and allow Al-Qaeda operatives to hide in southern Africa. Whilst inside South Africa, the terrorists are under the direct protection of Angelique’s people, the South African Secret Service, a highly efficient intelligence service. Foxtrot receives orders to snatch and kill the terrorists and the two groups clash violently. Then Angelique is illegally detained as a double agent, suspected of working for France, an automatic death sentence. Foxtrot must rescue and smuggle her out of the country - a task that he takes on with the help of his best friend and former Special Forces legend, Geelslang Peter Ndebele. It will not be easy and he will do whatever is needed... If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques and military history not known outside the select few. Code Name VFO565 is the first book in the popular GMJ Series.