Saturday, June 21, 2014

What is Jonathan Holt reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jonathan Holt, author of The Abduction.

His entry begins:
I find I can’t read fiction when I’m writing it – mainly because I get ‘talent envy’ and immediately try to turn my book in to the book I’ve just read. Instead, I read around the subject I’m writing on. So right now, as I’m in the middle of writing the third in my trilogy of conspiracy thrillers set in Italy, I’m reading non-fiction about real-life conspiracies in Italy.

A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial by Steve Hendricks is a brilliantly-written account of an ‘extraordinary rendition’. In 2003 the CIA bundled a radical Muslim cleric called Abu Omar off the streets of Milan into the back of van, then flew him to Egypt, where he was tortured on their behalf by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Unusually, a dogged Italian magistrate decided to track down the CIA agents responsible and charge them with conspiracy to kidnap. In doing so, he laid bare the details of how the CIA worked, and their attitude to the law enforcement agencies of other countries. Hendricks writes with a wry, dispassionate, waspish cynicism, with a biting undercurrent of anger at what’s being done in the name of America’s citizens, and the effects that has had on how the US is perceived. It’s a reminder that...[read on]
About The Abduction, from the publisher:
The Abduction is an adrenaline-fuelled tale of mystery and intrigue that moves between the physical world of Venice, Italy, and its online counterpart, blurring the boundary between dark fantasy and even darker reality.

Captain Kat Tapo of the Venice Carabinieri knows that the social media site harbors disturbing secrets—she's already endured one encounter with this digital incarnation of Venice and its creator, the reclusive hacker Daniele Barbo. But she's shocked to discover a webcam feed that streams video of a terrified teenage girl, hooded and shackled. A strand of text repeatedly scrolls across the screen: Stressful Standing Is Not Torture.

At the same time, Second Lieutenant Holly Boland is desperately trying to find the daughter of a US Army officer, missing from an American military base near the city. An intelligence analyst trained to look for clues that others miss, Holly is sure the kidnappers are after more than just money.

When responsibility is claimed by a group demanding an end to US bases in Italy, it seems that the motive behind the kidnapping is clear. But the more the two women investigate, the more the case becomes as murky as the dark waters of Venice's lagoon itself.

Uncooperative at the best of times, Daniele has never before allowed to yield its hidden truths to the authorities. But when secrets from Italy's complicated wartime past begin to surface, revelations that could put them all in danger, he must make a difficult choice. How far will he let them in? If the shocking truth is not discovered, more than one innocent life will be sacrificed....

With The Abduction, the second book in the Carnivia Trilogy, Jonathan Holt delivers a heart-pounding sequel to his acclaimed international thriller The Abomination.
Learn more about the book and author at the Carniva website.

The Page 69 Test: The Abduction.

Writers Read: Jonathan Holt.

--Marshal Zeringue