Paul Mann

The Beirut Contract

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The Beirut ContractThere's barely time to reload as Colin Lynch, veteran of the Special Boat Squadron, the British template for the U.S. Navy Seals, dives into a terrorist hornet's nest in Beirut to rescue American hostages.

Frederick Forsyth says research is the fun part of being an author, writing is the hard part. He's right. As I discovered while researching The Beirut Contract.

At the time Beirut was a battleground between warring Arab militias and I thought it would make a lively backdrop for a story about my Special Forces team going in to rescue American hostages. This time the mission would begin with a HALO approach - High Altitude Low Opening - in which Lynch and his team would jump from a plane 20 miles off the coast of Lebanon and glide in over Beirut to the Beqaa Valley. I needed a quiet location where the team could rehearse the operation and looked around the world for a similar ocean approach to mountainous desert terrain. The Baja Peninsula in Mexico looked perfect.

I flew to Cabo San Lucas - this was before it was the party town it is today - and spent a week exploring the coast, mountains and deserts of the southwestern Baja Peninsula. By the time I was done I had all the locations I needed for my protagonist, Lynch, to train his team. Did I really need to go? Of course not. Was it fun? Oh yeah.

As a sequel The Beirut Contract allowed me to flesh out the characters I'd introduced in The Libyan Contract. To explore the relationship between my protagonist, Special Boat Service veteran, Colin Lynch, and Janice Street, former mistress to Jack Halloran, the American billionaire who finances the operation. I wanted to introduce more intrigue too - the possibility that the operation was compromised before it got off the ground. And once the team hits the Beqaa Valley and the shooting starts the reader has to wonder till the very end who makes it out alive and who doesn't.