As William Shaw, he’s best known for the Alexandra Cupidi and the Breen and Tozer series of novels, but this author has another string to his bow; as GW Shaw he crafts standalone thrillers, and it is the latest of these, The Conspirators, which sees him chatting with Jacky ‘Dr Noir’ Collins in the latest of her The Doctor Will See You Now series of video interviews.
The protagonist of the book is a reluctant hero – Jacob Meaney speaks Hindi, Russian and Portuguese and makes a modest living as a translator. His fortunes change when he’s offered a very well-paid job as an interpreter, but saying yes gets Jacob into all manner of trouble which results in him being held captive in Austria. Time for this mild mannered man to find his moxie…
Shaw says the GW books were inspired by his teenage years in the 1970s, reading thrillers by the likes of Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Nevil Shute and Hammond Innes. “Thrillers in the 70s were actually quite sunlit,” he says, recalling their exotic locations, sense of adventure and hint of romance. “I wondered ‘what would Nevil Shute be writing, if he were writing today? What are today’s adventures?’ It went on from there…”
The result is a fast-paced tale with a backdrop of people trafficking and the black market sale of a new wonder fertility drug. And it is the first of those themes that gave him the boost he needed for the story, courtesy of a minor character called Vlada. “The book only came to life in the final draft, and Vlada was the spark that brought the whole thing alive,” he reveals.
The result, says Dr Jacky, is a compelling novel which encourages you to read “just one more page”. Watch Dr Noir and GW Shaw discuss the novel below.
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