This yellow E-Type Jaguar looks the part – on show in front of the muted tones of an Italian village perhaps? However, I saw the E-Type in 3 WISE MEN in a softer yellow.
If there is one part of 3 WISE MEN that seems to leave a lasting impression on my readers, it is the section that includes the classic yellow E-Type Jaguar car. I won’t give too much away, but this car becomes a symbol of freedom for Jak and yet also a crisis in his life. Here’s a small extract from 3 WISE MEN.
[A yellow E-Type Jaguar pulled up with its wire-wheels flashing brightly.
“Jak! Hop in!”
He stepped off the footpath and into the passenger seat.
“Nina! I am pleased to see you!”
Jak listened to the purr of the six-cylinder engine and reclined all the way back on his generous leather seat. “Thanks for picking me up, but how did you know when I would exit of the hotel?”
Jak paused to take in what Nina said and closed his eyes. He sank into the comfort of the car and its quiet ride. In a short time, he was snoring. Nina rubbed her hand through his curly hair and smiled.
“Sleep well, Jak.”
She eased off the accelerator, and they motored leisurely into the late afternoon sun, its orange glow radiating like a raging fire across the distant sky. She felt relaxed and pleased with herself.
Nina nudged the E-Type along the coastal route, skirting the industrial hub of Genoa. The exhaust growled when she put her foot to the accelerator to ascend up the Alpes-Maritimes freeway. They climbed past small villages and deeper into the rugged terrain and finally pulled over near the summit. Nina’s sunglasses reflected her view across an expansive massif of rolling peaks—their aged and bare ridgelines bent like knuckles, rolling steeply to the sea. She imagined a photographer posing her in the perfect position—dark glasses, yellow E-Type against a warm orange sunset.
“Elizabeth Taylor would have been jealous,” she whispered.
Jak found it awkward to climb out of the low seat, relieved to stretch his legs and inhale the cool coastal breeze.
Nina reached over her seat and fetched a shopping bag. She handed it to Jak. “Here are some things I got for you on my way to the hotel.”
“Thanks! You think of everything,” Jak replied.
By this time, a small group had gathered to admire the classic car.
“Amazing for an old girl,” thought Jak. “She still turns heads wherever she goes.” He smiled to the onlookers and paraded past them—feeling like a movie star on the red carpet.]
Yes indeed – a car that turns heads. I have sat in an E-Type and it enfolds you in a position just above the road – very confined when compared with modern SUVs! This particular E-Type occupies a pivotal space in 3 WISE MEN – one that ratchets up the tension even more for Jak. 3 WISE MEN is available in Kindle or paperback format from Amazon.
Another great review of 3 WISE MEN – this time in the Weekender by Rachel Canning.
“He accelerated around the waterfront, passing between the rows of opulent apartments on his left and super yachts in the marina to his right. People on the sidewalk turned their heads in reaction to the loud disruption. Léo ignored them. He threw the bike from side to side up the Boulevard Albert, frantically searching for an escape route.
Jak felt sick.
To regain his equilibrium, he focused on the distant hills and glimpses of the Mediterranean—wondering if this nightmare would finish without them both being killed.
“Where can I escape?” Léo asked himself.
He lowered his speed and turned tightly into Rue Grimaldi. Near the top of the rise, he paused alongside a bronze statue of the winning entry into Monaco’s first Grand Prix. The life-size driver—Grover Williams—was in racing mode and leaning over, as if looking at something. Léo looked too.
“Of course,” Léo yelled, “there’s a pedestrian underpass!””
“Who do you represent?” I asked him.
“That was a good question, Pierre. Did you find out?”
“He said it did not concern me. I asked him if it was the church.”
David was even more curious, “And?”
“The priest said I should ask no more questions, but that he represented sovereign monarchy—one who had absolute power. Well, it got me thinking. Who has that kind of unfettered control?”
David looked puzzled and asked, “Who, indeed?”
“Yes, an absolute power who would not give up their secrets or allow anyone to steal or copy them. I wondered if he meant the Vatican, but was too scared to ask. Who else could it be? Then he told me to stop all my research in Florence. His exact words were, ‘Halt all investigations if you value your life.’”
The extract above is from 3 WISE MEN and suggests that other groups are also after Jak’s secret formula. But, who are these religious zealots? Does the priest indeed represent The Vatican – a state that has absolute power and doesn’t want it to be lost to meddling researchers like Jak and his friends? Read 3 WISE MEN to read more about this mysterious and unexpected meeting.
What’s in a name – a character’s name, that is? In 3 WISE MEN the protagonist, Jak Daniels, was a very simple name to think up – a name, like the author’s, that causes confusion and mistaken identity. Jak meets a woman on the train – and her name is Sasha. In the early draft she had a different name – an older name, and one less fitted to her young looks and outgoing personality. ‘Sasha’ fitted her persona better and it was a name that worked well alongside ‘Jak’. But I wanted to mention another name used in 3 WISE MEN – Ambrose. His name was, in the first instance, ‘Ambroise’. One reader commented that he found it difficult to say ‘Ambroise’ correctly. Therefore, I reverted to the simpler spelling – ‘ Ambrose’. Again, this small revision made the text much easier to read. Finally, and one that I struggled with, was the name of Jak’s dog. I laugh thinking about it, because the first manuscript had a glaring error – I had given Jak’s dog three different names! Yes, names in a novel are important and need to provide – for a thriller at least- a measure of contrast and good (or bad) character-fit. The names of our 3 daughters also appear in the book, which was a nice touch to honor them. Another name – Andrea – was used (with permission) following a very special tour around Milan by someone of the same name. It took quite a while to come up with names that matched, but I do hope you find the names used in 3 WISE MEN appealing.
3 WISE MEN is now available in a 2nd Edition-released for 2019. This new version has approximately 10 more pages. It has the same action-packed plot with a few typos fixed and more detail added in a few places; plus one more final chapter. At over 80,000 words, 3 WISE MEN continues to be a thriller that is ‘difficult to put down’ and has received rave reviews. Yours for just under a few cups of coffee, or less for the Kindle version. 3 WISE MEN, 2nd Edition, is available from Amazon at this link.
Yes, it is very encouraging to get such great feedback on the tension and pace that keeps readers of 3 WISE MEN engaged and unable to put the book down! One reader commented that the book had no title on the spine. I agreed that this was an oversight and remedied it by making a change to the cover to include the spine. But then I discovered something very interesting – bookstores have to show the front cover when there is no text on the spine. Therefore, I decided to drop the spine text and leave it blank – an action that suits a thriller in some ways. Therefore, dear readers, 3 WISE MEN now has a blank spine – all the spine-tingling action is in the body of the book! Even the Chapters section is deleted too. Why? Since it added nothing to the plot or layout and took up space. You will notice that 3 WISE MEN is now just less than 80,000 action-packed words.
In 3 Wise Men James Hayden takes a formula that’s been tried and tested by Dan Brown, turns it on its head and brings in an edge of seat thriller based on fact and markedly better than any of Brown’s thin and insubstantial efforts. This is a classic thriller with fairly short chapters, which is always good, punchy, gritty realism, gloriously exotic locations and chapter endings that leave you hanging, another tried and tested formula that began with Edgar Rice Burroughs back at the turn of the last century. Thrillers don’t come much better than this – huge fun and very entertaining!