22nd June 2011

I  have now completed the first draft of my newest novel.

‘Tito’s Legacy’ is an attempt to write a thriller from a different point of view. The main character is a woman – not a female equivalent of James Bond, but an ordinary everyday young woman. She has been through a fairly recent messy divorce, is low on self-confidence and self-esteem and, through no fault of her own, she finds herself embroiled in the Yugoslav Civil War.

It is September 1991. Croatia is attempting to secede from the Yugoslav confederation and gain independence. Croatia is an unusual-shaped country. The bulk of its land mass is in the north of Yugoslavia but it also has a long narrow coastal strip running down a large part of the eastern side of the Adriatic including the coastal islands. At the southern end of this strip, and cut off from the rest of Croatia by the short length of the Bosnian coastline, there is the World Heritage City of Dubrovnik and its environs.

In the autumn of 1991the area was besieged by the Serb-led JNA (Jugoslav National Army) and a Serb-crewed corvette was patrolling the coast. JNA guns were trained on the international airport and Dubrovnik was effectively cut off from the outside world. The international community was doing plenty of talking and the American sixth fleet was patrolling the southern end of the Adriatic, but they were refusing to take military action at that stage to try to resolve any of Yugoslavia’s problems, This inaction was a partial cause of the tragedies which were to blight that unfortunate country in the following years.

Caroline Daley is my heroine. She finds herself trapped in the beautiful old city and gets caught up in the underground tangle of complex machinations between Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins and other races who are trying to gain the upper hand in the escalating struggle.

This leads her into personal danger and forces her to fight for her personal survival and the causes she believes in. It also leads to unexpected love, self-discovery and fulfilment of her personal desires by the time we reach the conclusion of the story.

The novel has a certain amount of sexual content, so it is not for prudes.

Consideration is being given to changing the title to ‘A Dance with Spies’ or something similar.