Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Strained Relations And The Boss

No, not that Boss. Another one. I just couldn't resist.

Heaven & Hell continues to proceed, and there are a couple of things I wanted to touch on today.

I've written in some parallels between my main characters. Both have a common theme of parental (or near parental) disapproval. Stryker, whose parents are dead, lives with the disapproval of his mentor, a second father of sorts, Professor John Kersten, who cannot understand why he abandoned archaeology. Stryker is unable to tell him what he really has gone off to do, and so there's a state of estrangement between the two men. Though Kersten is only mentioned in passing in this book, he'll turn up again down the line in subsequent chapters.

Devon lives with the disapproval of her mother. Her father is dead, and her mother, a doctor and a society woman, does not approve of her daughter's choice of profession. Rather then a spy, she would have wanted her to become a doctor. This has caused some deep strain between them. They're not on the best of terms. I had actually considered writing a brief scene between them prior to Devon's departure to Israel, but thought better of it. Doctor Devon's first appearance will have to wait awhile.

The other matter is the chief of the Mossad, Udi Zahavi. Below you'll find a passage that ends chapter nine, bringing Stryker and Devon into Israel. It seemed like the right way to wind up the chapter.

Zahavi represented something of a challenge for me. In the last few months, I was reading Daniel Silva's novels revolving around the character Gabriel Allon. His boss, Shamron, heads up what's informally called the Office, but which is obviously Mossad. The challenge for me has been to write Zahavi differently then Shamron. The temptation is there, sure. Shamron is a larger then life character.

I'd thought of writing a female Mossad chief. Still, as I've already got a woman heading up MI6, it felt like a bit too much. Then I started developing the character, and the differences started coming through. Zahavi is younger then Shamron, perhaps a bit better natured. Shamron, you see, barely speaks to his children, who make a point of living far from him, and he's probably too ruthless. I wanted a Mossad chief who's dedicated to the survival of his country, and yet not overly ruthless. Zahavi believes in the law, and he's not that suspicious of the help of outside agencies.

So the two characters, while having a few things in common, are different creatures altogether. It seems to be working, but now that my main characters are in Israel, it's going to be intriguing to find out how Zahavi relates to them.

Especially now that the Covenant is well on their way to unleashing the Very Bad Thing...

The Learjet touched down at Ben-Gurion Airport late in the evening, after a four and a half hour flight. Stryker, Devon, and Sabra said their goodbyes to the RAF crew, who would soon get a chance at rest before their return home in the morning. Leaving the plane, they found three unmarked cars waiting on the runway. Several bodyguards lingered together. Another man was standing at the back of one of the cars, with a bullish build, his face hidden in the darkness. He stepped forward, his grey brush cut hair visible. Sabra walked towards him, and extended a hand. “Sir,” she greeted him.
The bodyguards came forward. The man shook her hand, and nodded at Devon and Stryker as they joined the pair. “Welcome to Israel,” Udi Zahavi greeted the two agents in a slightly accented English, shaking hands with them.


  1. Excellent! Well-developed plot and characters, antagonists who are NOT stereotypical villains, protagonists who are damaged goods. This is going to be a wonderful novel, bud.

  2. William, love the plot! Sounds very exciting. Do you have a target date for completion?


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