I was thrilled to be invited to take part in this Blog Tour, and it’s also the first one I said yes to.
About the book:
James Ballantyne travels to Kazakhstan on a minor diplomatic assignment. A simple task, but he falls for the glamorous aide Ocksana Petrova, sent to guide him through the process. Fate leads him to the rescue of a US special agent who is the target of assassination by the Kazak authorities.
What should Ballantyne do? Should he be led by duty or compassion?
Events force his hand and he recruits smugglers to get the agent away from Kazakhstan. The escape route is dangerous and it becomes clear they are being monitored every inch of the way. Is his new love, Ocksana, behind the surveillance? Or has his own team been infiltrated?
Getting out of Kazakhstan alive will draw upon all of James’s military skills, and a lot of luck. With ambush and deception along the way, will he make it to the border and safety? How can he protect his lover? This journey through a wild country stretches every nerve.
I read the following extract, which comes from Chapter 15. Ballantyne has to engage a sniper who has dominated the firefight between the fugitives and the pursuers. I was immediately drawn in:
“The sniper lay hidden on the other side of the open area. Ballantyne dared not try to cross over again, but he scanned the rock formation for a clue. Nothing moved. He felt stymied until he got some sign of where the man hid. A few minutes passed, and he began to think he would have to cross over open ground, when from behind him a gun fired. Turning, he saw Hammond in full view, holding an automatic in both hands screaming at the top of his voice.
There was no time to shout and he was too far away to pull him down. The American staggered forward, aiming wildly at the other rock face, and fired again and again. A rifle barrel appeared from a crevice in the rock and took aim at the wild figure as it approached. Ballantyne fired. The barrel disappeared and he raced across the divide and leapt up the rock face. Behind the crest the sniper was crouching, about to resume his task. He saw Ballantyne at the last minute and took a wild shot at him as the AK swiveled towards him. The Kalashnikov sprang into life, juddering in his hands, and the man fell at Ballantyne’s feet still grasping the rifle. He died before he reached the ground.”
Whilst I have not as yet read the book, I am looking forward to diving in!
About the Author:
Based in London, Paul Purnell has worked for over forty-years as a Criminal Law barrister. After serving five years stationed in Germany with the British Army, Purnell began his career as a trial lawyer prosecuting and defending in serious criminal cases across the country. Later he was appointed Queen’s Counsel, a role which has seen him engaged in court cases both across the country and to far flung destinations including the Cayman Islands and Kazakhstan. His extensive experience and understanding of the criminal world has provided the inspiration for his short stories and his latest Jack Ballantyne series. When not writing, or in court, he enjoys racing around the country on his motorbike and spending time with his three children and grandchildren.
Previous titles include a series of well-received short stories; The Hireling (2015), Scaramouche (2015) and The Storm (2016).