I had not written a blog in a while, festive season and so forth, so happy New Year to you and may you be blessed. But then again, I was not exactly idle. I wrote another GMJ Book, number 17 and called Code Name Wrangler. It is about a topic I fancy myself on, hostage rescues and it should be read by everyone interested in covert operations, Special Forces and military history. At 316 pages, it is also the longest GMJ Book in the Series (for now) but not uninteresting, no GMJ Book is boring. Every one of them has its moments and I love them all, for me, they are like kids.
I was asked the other day, by a reader, why do they always win, Angelique Dawson and her team, in the GMJ Books? Why not more desperation? Well, a couple of things. There are desperate moments in the books, I recall Foxtrot swimming after the Gripens sank the EBS Orlando and he making peace with death (Code Name Lise) and also where Angelique got herself shot down (denied by her to this day) in Code Name OST-M and many other instances. But what you will not find is the Hollywood crap of “OMG feel sorry for me as I am a flawed hero” since these people are not like that. And yes, in real life, good guys do win and do so often.
Code Name Wrangler is with the editor and won’t be ready for another week or so but we deal with the rescue of a hijacked aircraft. As with all GMJ Books we take a deep look, it is fascinating, on what happened before in history at Munich, Entebbe, Mogadishu (not the 1990s fiasco), Marseilles and many other air hijackings or rescues, even the infamous Operation Eagle Claw. And I mention that it is never hard for a sniper to pull the trigger or for the team commander to give the order to assault the aircraft. Really, I find Hollywood irritating with their “OMG I am going to kill someone” and usually there are dark flashbacks to some stupid event in the past. This may well sell books and movies and ask a great deal from the actor but it stays crap. In real life, the rescuers, the assaulters (those guys dress in black you see on television) have one purpose, to rescue to hostages. And if that means killing the hostage takers, then so be it. There are no qualms and “OMG” moments.
As with all things in life, they fail at times in the sense that hostages die. In the last 3 years, the US Navy SEALs and British Special Air Service failed spectacularly in Africa and the Middle-East to rescue anyone alive (not their fault, the reasons are discussed in Code Name Wrangler) and yet the French GIGN succeeded in Africa, mostly. Now I say again, for there seems to be a misunderstanding about the GMJ Books, that it is not about who is the toughest, or who is the best, but who is the best in what sphere of operations. And in all the “failures” above, one constant remained, the hostage takers died. And that is what I mean when I say the good guys win, they may lose a hostage or a member but they get the hostage takers and as such, seen in this light, they never lose. It is seldom that a hostage taker is spared and it is not murder, it is reality. When a man becomes a terrorist and willing to kill innocents, what do you expect the rescuers to do? These days many of the terrorists wears body armour and a suicide vest - so guess what, you now going to be shot in the head. Only a difficult target only for untrained people. And when shot in the head, guess what, you will die.
Seen in this light, when a rescue team is released to storm that aircraft, all hell is going to break loose and to be successful, the terrorists will die and that is how I write these books. We are not talking about normal people here, Angelique and mates are not normal people. We are talking Special Forces, covert operators and A-type personalities, they want to win and any cost and they will win. So there is no Hollywood crap of deep feelings and terrible anguish about the poor terrorist being shot in the head many times or feeling sad afterwards. What you read in GMJ Books is as real as it gets in that world.