Social Media Icons

Monday, August 7, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Hit by P.S. Bridge

Hola readers!  As today's stop for HIT by P.S. Bridge, I have a lot of information to throw your way!  Scroll on down to get a synopsis, a day in the life of the author, character spotlight, fact file and my review!

Book Description:

A terrorist threat, a sinister organisation, and a threat to the security of the free world.
Renowned British lawyer and Sandhurst military academy dropout, Mark Lucas King is assigned the case of his career: to prosecute known terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi.

All King wants is justice and to do his job successfully. But his peaceful life is shattered when a team of merciless hitmen targets him and his family and the court case collapses. Framed for assault and suspected of his wife's murder, King must leave his legal career behind and go back to his old career as a British Army sniper in order to catch those responsible and hold them to account. Mark King's brand of justice doesn’t involve a court room.

Forced to battle against highly trained hitmen to clear his name, King discovers that a sinister organisation known as Invictus Advoca is operating behind the scenes. What is their connection to him and the Al-Azidid case?

As the hunt for those responsible takes him far across Europe, can Mark unravel the mysteries that shroud this secretive organisation and peel back the layers to discover why he and his family have found themselves the target of professional hitmen?

Time is not on Mark King's side as he races to prevent a global terror threat, discover who killed his wife, and find out who wants him dead, and why.

About the Author:

Living in Hampshire, right on the edge of Southampton Water, P.S Bridge has spent over a decade working in the private financial and legal sector. Away from his professional life, he embraces his creative side and is often found writing stories whilst listening to music. An avid reader from a young age he counts author Scott Mariani as one of the many influences that finally encouraged him to put the finishing touches to the first in his Mark King thriller series.

A Day in the Life of the Author
P.S Bridge

I haven’t met too many authors personally, so I can only really relate to my own circumstances.

As my partner goes to work most mornings at 5am, my day involves, on a school day, getting up at 7am to take my step-daughter to school. She’s 7 and into everything so it’s a real job to focus her mind on the task at hand, usually having breakfast, packing a school bag, dressing, brushing teeth and getting out of the door without pockets full of toys she shouldn’t be taking to school, all while listening to the entire Moana soundtrack on repeat!

Once I have dropped her at school, and had a catch up with other parents about the latest developments and playground gossip, I tend to rush home to write. I know it sounds cliché but I really can’t wait to find out what’s in store for my characters. I have breakfast when I get home, and the laptop goes on, out comes my brainstorming board and the process begins.

The first step is to re-read what part I got to the day before and cast my eye over the plot synopsis I have usually pre-written, and make sure I’m following the direction I want the book to go in. Some days I see things or hear things which I think I can use, it might be something I hear on the news, or hear someone talking about and I think ‘oh that would be a good idea for the book,’ and out comes the small notebook and pen I carry with me.
The actual writing part usually begins at around 10.30am and it’s usually at this point I pray the phone won’t ring to distract me. I put on YouTube or a CD and the style of music will depend on the type of scene I’m writing. If it’s a battle scene, I’ll look for some fantastic tense and dramatic music to set the tone in my mind. If I’m planning on writing a new scene in a new location, it’s at this point I’ll research everything about that location, the surroundings, the terrain, the type of people and time of day and year, the weather for that time of year, even down to the type of clothes people would wear and the types of vehicles, nature and surroundings to really get the detail.

It’s really hard to tear myself away from writing when I really get into it. I tend to be one of those people who says ‘oh yes I’ll just finish off this little bit then break for lunch,’ and then an hour later I’m still typing away, having forgotten all about the time! But most of the time I’ll set an alarm for say, 12:00pm. Once I break for lunch, if the weathers nice, I’ll go for a walk down to the beach across the road from where I live and actually physically remove myself from writing or I’ll end up going back to it instead of eating. Honestly, the amount of tea’s and coffee’s I’ve let go cold because I’ve sat back at my laptop to re-read something, then begun working on it again, means we go through milk, teabags and coffee more than anyone else I know. Sometimes I’ll get on with housework or spend an hour food shopping at my local Tesco, ironing and washing clothes before heading back to the laptop.

There are days I will set aside for research days. If I am in need of a new character or location, I’ll usually head out to town or again, down to the beach for inspiration, especially on the nicer days. In the winter I tend to stay at home and focus on writing, doing research on the internet. However, before I know it, its 2:30 and it’s time to go back to the school to collect my step-daughter and bring her home.

I will focus on her after school once we get home, sitting and doing homework with her, before getting the dinner ready. As my partner works early and late shifts, it’s only fair that she should come home to a dinner after a long day at work. I sit and eat dinner with the little lady, wash up and let her watch some TV while I do a little more writing. In the evening, she goes to bed and the writing continues until my partner comes home, then I have to be strict and turn the laptop off but not before I’ve described (sometimes in great detail) what I’ve written today to her, before giving her the download on the day as a whole and hearing her download from work. 

Extract from HIT:

In this scene, Mark King is lying in wait in a freight yard, having tracked a shipment of illegal weapons to a container being stored at the yard by a dubious, slimy yard owner Martin Underhill. I had an awful lot of fun writing this scene and listened to some eerie music to set the tone. As Mark had already visited the location earlier that day, under the guise of one of his Aliases and posing as a client who required shipment of ‘precious cargo’ after finding some paperwork for the company on the body of his previous ‘hit’, he returns at night and attempts to prevent the container from leaving the yard by any means necessary.

Night fell as the freight yard’s automatic lights flickered into action, making a faint pinging sound as the bulbs warmed up. A thick fog was crawling in while the sound of distant foghorns echoed, muffled by the fog. Mark arrived at the shipping company, this time ready for business. He parked in an old disused warehouse next to the freight yard after reviewing the footage his hidden camera had taken and making a note of all the places not covered by CCTV. He eyed up the cranes and forklifts as they sat silently and driverless. As per his earlier visit, Mark had allocated a crane to use as a vantage point but had brought along some specialist equipment he found at the bunker: small remote control camera tripods which were movement-sensitive. He had attached small rapid fire rifles to these and wired the trigger up to the flash so that whenever they sense movement, they would turn and fire. He crept silently and stealthily through the corridors of containers and warehouses, clutching his kit bag and placing these tripods and hidden locations, all the time mapping his route. Finally he climbed the crane where he mounted one of his two sniper rifles. He took out his small notebook laptop and set it up next to him. The display showed an interactive map with eight flashing red dots. These were the tripods. He clicked the option marked ‘activate’ and watched as they all swung round to locate any movement before resting still. He didn’t want to arm them yet as he wanted to wait for hell to break loose. Mark sat silent and still, waiting.

It wasn’t long before armed guards and thugs wandered about on their patrols. Mark had learned since his last ‘hit’ and had removed the telescopic sight cover so nothing reflective could be seen. He swung his M24 sniper rifle around and calculated which guard to hit first so the others didn’t see. Mark took aim at the first guard, waiting until he was out of sight of the others, slowed his breathing down, controlled his heart rate and felt his finger lightly on the trigger. He took one last breath in, eased it out carefully and squeezed the trigger. The only sound was the much muffled thud of the silencer as the guard dropped to the ground, thanks to Mark’s clean headshot. The M24 rifle was quieter now as he had muffled the silencer. Swinging round to the next guard who was on a part run, part jog to where his comrade had fallen, Mark tracked him, waiting until he stood over the body of the other guard. Again breathing deeply and slowly, Mark caressed the trigger, calming himself down from the rush of adrenaline, lined the crosshairs up and braced for the muffled thud. The second guard dropped to the ground, over the first. Mark moved away from his scope and smiled. He had taken him out with another clean headshot.

Mark hit three more guards in quick succession, just as he had done the previous two, before reloading and moving to another location on the roof of the nearest warehouse.

Character Spotlight
Mark King

The character of Mark King was an amalgamation of a few different legal employees I was lucky enough to meet during my 13 year career in the legal and financial industry. One of these was an army reservist who wanted to be a sniper. I took various parts of these people and their background and injected them into one person, and the character of Mark King was born.

Mark was born in Oxford, England and educated at St Andrews University where he met Marie, his now wife. In his university days, he always wanted to be in the Army and quickly came to the attention of his superiors due to his skills with a sniper rifle and ability to his seemingly improbable targets from great distances. He was picked him out as officer material and sent to Sandhurst Military Academy to be prepared for an officer role, but was dismissed for improper conduct and refusal to follow orders.  In fact, the truth was that he attacked and hospitalised several recruits after they attempted to water board a fellow recruit and some sort of initiation ceremony and the recruit nearly died.

Determined to stay in the military, but persuaded to leave by his wife Marie who was terrified for his safety, he abandoned his military career and became a Lawyer, working his way to Leaver & Sons LLP and under the wing of its co-owner Hugo Leaver.
Mark King has 2 children; Hope Marie King, and Joseph Benjamin King (Known as Ben) because Marie insisted on Joseph and Mark didn’t like the name so always used the name Ben. Mark met Marie at St Andrews University after reading Law and the two soon became inseparable, eventually marrying. 

Marks father was in the army, attached to a Military Archaeology Battalion whose task it was to ensure that, during war, historical or archaeological sites were preserved, guarded from the battle, logged, and handed back to their original owners. He died under mysterious circumstances when Mark was young.

Mark loves classical music and 80’s music, John Player Special cigarettes which he frequently tries to give up, and Glenfiddich Whiskey, often using this to treat shock and stress. ​He has a love for walking, especially in the Scottish Highlands where he can be himself and enjoy peace and quiet. He hates Interpol, Detlev ‘The Wolf’ Kastner, head of the German Intelligence Service and injustice in general, with a particular dislike for Social Services in the UK. His other pet hate is Dr Duncan Medway, Battlefield, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.

He has a multitude of skills including many with a sniper rifle, currently holding the UK record for the longest distance shot. He prefers small weapons usage because they can be easily concealed, and is adept at hand to hand combat and tactical planning.
Mark likes nothing more than a high calibre, long distance, powerful sniper rifle and there are several Mark likes. The Israeli-made DAN.338 Rifle is exactly that, and it's Mark's favourite, along with the AX50 .50 calibre rifle and the rifle he trains with, the Armalite AR-30 .338 Lapua. However, he will use practically anything he can make use of. His preferred sidearm is a Glock 22 with a suppressed silencer.

After his wife is murdered by professional hitmen, he sets out on a path of revenge to make those who murdered her, pay for their crime. Deep down he knows it was a professional hit but it takes some persuasion to convince his mother-in-law Wendy. He looks for her blessing before setting out on his mission and realises they will never be safe until those who murdered Marie, are dead. The interesting journey for me when creating Mark King, was the change he goes through from advocate of truth and justice, to hitman, breaking the law rather than using it to punish criminals, and his use of the same criminals he put in prison, to aid him. He visits several offenders he prosecuted during his career including one, Russo, an Italian mafia boss and weapons hauler who Mark never quite managed to put in prison. The humour element of it as far as Mark is concerned, is that Russo is fully aware of Marks circumstances by the time he faces him, and actually insists on providing Mark with weapons and a vehicle to help him defeat Invictus Advoca, simply because it’s putting his own men out of business.

Throughout the book, Mark is very serious. The once jovial loving family man has gone, and in his place, is a cold, hardened killer with revenge at the forefront of his mind. The problem is, to start with, Mark is not very good, and makes several mistakes. He is somewhat blinded by vengeance and often cannot tell the difference between justice and revenge. He believes the only way to ensure his families safety, is to kill, and keep killing until everyone connected with his wife’s murder, is dead. He also believes putting them on trial is no good as the courts will simply let the victim down, and so death, in his mind, is the only option for these people.

I found the idea of Mark King intriguing, not least because of the change in both his employment, and his loss of direction after his wife’s murder. He gets so caught up in killing, that it starts to affect him psychologically, relying on Glenfiddich and cigarettes to obtain release from the trauma and fear. However, when he is behind the scope of his sniper rifle, he has the ability to focus his mind, relax himself, and take the shot because it requires several steps, much like preparing a case for prosecution. He knows he has to relax his muscles, calm his breathing, and clear his mind of everything but the target, and can compartmentalise everything else, dealing with it at a later time.

Mark’s determination to bring his wife’s killers to justice didn’t account for there being a wider situation where his wife’s death was only a small part. As he delves further and further into the darkness, he uncovers more and more things he used to think were the stuff of conspiracy theories and stories. One such conspiracy was the idea of a secretive and mysterious organisation which rules from the shadows and has world governments in its pocket. Suddenly, he believes the idea of finding Marie’s killers gets a whole lot harder and just when he thinks he has the person who pulled the trigger, he finds out there is someone else higher up the chain of command, which may be responsible. He has to come to terms with the fact that it is not just a case of finding someone and putting a bullet in them, but about knowing who to trust and who is useful who can lead him to those who make the decisions.

Mark King’s life is as much about self-discovery as it is about changing everything he ever knew. Suddenly his family depend solely on him, after spending so much time away on his high flying career. He has to learn how to be a parent as well as a protector and a killer, and he doesn’t find it easy. 

One thing you can be certain of with Mark King; until he feels his family is safe again, he absolutely will not stop.

My Thoughts:

I'm not big on politics, terrorism or anything of the like so when I first started reading this I groaned... what did I get myself into?  But the story is actually more based on Mark getting justice for the murder of his wife.  I really wish I had the above character description read before I finished the book.  I think it gave me much more insight to Mark's character and made him more likable and the book more enjoyable.  The book starts fast with action and continues throughout.  While the action is forthcoming and continuous and keeps you turning the pages to see if Mark will actually get there - there seems to be a bit of lack of character building.  I think as the series continues, maybe we will get more insight to Mark.  One thing is certain, he will not stop until he gets vengeance for his wife's murder.  It was definitely quite the ride in seeing how he got there - a hot shot lawyer who puts work before family delving back into his own military training....  If you're big on action, revenge with a bit of a feel like the movie, Taken, you'll love this book.  

No comments

Leave a Comment