Wednesday, June 22, 2011

National Crime Writing Month

On Location with Robert Landori

A Good Memory is a Shortcut to Great Locations
I wrote my very first book on a dare, for a girl-friend whom I had indelicately criticised for reading trash. She had reposted with: “All right smart aleck, if you’re so intelligent why don’t you write me a book that’s better?

Within a year she was reading my first novel.

I hurried to finish the book because I had bet her a dinner that I could perform within twelve months. So I had to look for short-cuts and there was no time for researching “locations”. To solve this problem I delved into my memory banks and chose the venues I knew intimately: Montreal, the Laurentian Mountains, the hospital in which I had worked to earn money as an undergraduate at McGill, the countryside around the English public school I had attended, Georgetown near Washington etc…

I am a lucky man. My work has allowed me to travel far and wide, and to visit enough locations to “situate” at least ten novels.

Galindo’s Turn
(my first novel)
Before he became Robert Lonsdale his name was Bernard Lands.

He lived with his wife, Andrea, in a remote area in the Laurentian Mountains near Montreal. (Picture 1). Islamic terrorists, tipped off by a mole inside the CIA as to his real identity, attempted to assassinate him while he was cross-country skiing, but only managed to wound him.

He was treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Picture 2) where the assassins struck again, missed once more, but killed his wife.

Land fled to the Washington area and entered the CIA’s Employee Protection Program where they gave him a new name, a new face and a new identity. He became Robert Lonsdale an obscure analyst with the US Environmental Agency. He bought himself a condo in Georgetown (Picture 3) and started to work for the Agency’s super secret Counter-Terrorism and Counter Narcotics Division (Picture 5).

It took him a year to identify the mole who had betrayed him and whom he then hunted down and neutralized at Frensham Ponds in Surrey, England (Picture 4).

Robert Landori went to school in England, France, Switzerland and Hungary; of necessity he learned eight languages in the process. He completed his education at McGill University in Montreal, became a Chartered Accountant then traveled for over twenty years in the Caribbean and South America as an exporter‑importer, business consultant and trustee in bankruptcy.

Charged with espionage in Cuba, he spent sixty-six days in solitary confinement, and was eventually ‘let go’ without explanation. His experiences in prison prompted him to write his fifth book, Havana Harvest (a story about a Cuban general, condemned to death by the Castro regime).

His first book, GALINDO’S TURN, was the result of a challenge, twenty-five years ago, by a girlfriend to “write an intelligent book within a year”.

Shh... "The Agency’s super secret Counter-Terrorism and Counter Narcotics Division"

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