Lost Causes

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Lost Causes
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IF YOU LIKE JAMES BOND, JASON BOURNE OR JACK BAUER, THEN YOU”RE GOING TO LOVE JOHN BUCHAN!

John Buchan is a relic from a bygone age, a man constantly at odds with the modern world; a man who finds sanctuary in the only role that brings him peace of mind – as an assassin for a top-secret British government agency called the Mill. Specializing in what they call ‘ungentlemanly warfare’, its operatives are instructed to kill their targets wherever they find them, irrespective of boundaries, laws, jurisdictions or circumstances. Day-to-day, Buchan lives a simple, anonymous life in the Belgian countryside, restlessly roaming the battlefields of the Western Front in an attempt to kill time. All the while he waits patiently for the message that will signal the start of his next mission. It’s a message that will arrive, the way it always does, hidden within the solutions of the Daily Telegraph’s cryptic crossword puzzle. And when it does arrive, it’s like he’s been reborn, because in Buchan’s world being on a mission is the only time when things really make sense; the only time he feels truly alive. He barely remembers the time before he was recruited by the Mill.

His name wasn’t John Buchan then. In those days he was known as Charlie Hook, a happy-go-lucky, rugby-playing, ex-Rhodesian Light Infantry trooper turned Gurkha officer with an eye for the girls. But Charlie Hook is long dead, and so too are his memories of the events that led to him becoming a professional killing machine. Buchan is getting older now. Retirement beckons, but the man he calls Control has one last mission for him. It involves a ruthless army of some of the world’s worst terrorists, an equally ruthless drug lord, an enormous hurricane and seemingly unsurmountable odds. But it also offers Buchan a last, desperate chance to take revenge on those that took his young life – and love – away from him all those years ago, and he plans to go out with a bang.

Set against a backdrop of unprecedented worldwide socio-political upheaval, Lost Causes is an old-style thriller that moves from the modern-day Ypres Salient and London to the badlands of Northern Ireland and the exotic but deadly jungles of southern Mexico. Mixing the kind of plot found in an Ian Fleming novel with the unashamed masculinity of an Alistair Maclean or Wilbur Smith hero and the tough, muscular prose of Mickey Spillane, Lost Causes is a startlingly intelligent and original work that interweaves dramatic action, sudden violence, stunning plot twists and subtle humour to entertain and inform in equal measure. It will especially appeal to anyone bored by the stale unambitious writing, and inane, politically-correct sensitivities of so many modern novels; as well as anyone looking to understand the sinister and dangerous forces that have plagued our lives for decades and which now threaten to destroy our civilization altogether.

Richard Nichols studied philosophy and psychology at Edinburgh University. He was a businessman for several years before turning his hand to writing. He enjoys watching rugby and visiting battlefields. He hates crossword puzzles.

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