Monday, June 12, 2017

Red Sky: Is Diplomacy Enough? Guest post by Chris Goff

Chris Goff writes International thrillers and the birdwatcher's mystery series. Her debut thriller, DARK WATERS, is set in Israel, smack dab in the middle of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Dubbed “a sure bet for fans of international thrillers" by Booklist, it was nominated for the 2016 Colorado Book Award and Anthony Award for Best Crime Fiction Audiobook. RED SKY, which opens in Ukraine with Diplomatic Security Service Agent Raisa Jordan investigating the downing of a commercial airliner with a fellow DSS agent onboard. Traveling through Eastern Europe and Asia, Jordan tests the boundaries of diplomacy as she races to prevent the start of a new Cold War. Catherine Coulter had this to say, "Breathtaking suspense, do not miss Red Sky." The book will be released on June 13, 2017. 

Chris Goff: 
RED SKY: Is Diplomacy Enough? 

At the end of my first thriller, DARK WATERS, it's clear that Diplomatic Security Service Agent Raisa Jordan is headed to Ukraine on personal business. So when People’s Republic Flight 91 crashes in northeastern Ukraine with a U.S. diplomatic agent on board, it stands to reason Jordan is sent to investigate. The agent who died on board the flight was escorting a prisoner home from Guangzhou, China, along with sensitive documents, and it quickly becomes apparent that the plane was intentionally downed. Was it to silence the two Americans on board?

The idea for RED SKY came to me shortly after the July, 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The plane was shot down over Ukraine while on a routine flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The aftermath raised a lot of questions about who was responsible and what should be done. It happened at the time of Russia's incursion into Crimea, and several international investigations determined that the plane was mistakenly blown out of the sky by pro-Russian insurgents in possession of a Buk missile launcher. The Russians and insurgents denied responsibility, countering that the plane was being followed by a Ukrainian military jet and placing the blame squarely on Ukraine if for no other reason than the plane crashed there. In the end, Malaysia proposed that the UN Security Council set up an international tribunal and prosecute those deemed responsible—an idea that gained a majority vote, but was ultimately vetoed by none other than Russia. Yes, Russia. Does anyone else think it ironic that Malaysia's only recourse was to turn for justice to a UN Security Council that was controlled in part by the very country perpetrating the injustice?

But I digress.

I've always been fascinated by geopolitics. Conflict driven by human and physical geography is a theme that crops up in all of my books—most notably in my thrillers. In DARK WATERS, Jordan finds herself smack-dab in the middle of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In RED SKY, she finds herself in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis. Both places wrought with emotion, exacerbated by any number of key issues, and offering a breadth of opportunity for developing complex and motivated characters that must face incredible adversity. One could hardly ask for more conflict—the basis for great story.

I was lucky enough to spend time in both Israel and Ukraine. I lived in Tel Aviv for two months, during a time when the suicide bombings were gearing up. My family and I experienced firsthand the fear of going about daily tasks: taking a bus, going to the grocery store, drinking coffee in a street-side café. Every venture out was filled with risk, yet we were infused with a sense of defiance as well as the buzz of anxiety and excitement. In Israel the divisions were clear. Not so in Kyiv. While we were in no danger there, the people were somber. Many seemed torn by conflict. While strongly nationalistic, many Kyivans had also grown up under communism. Many of their monuments pay tribute to Russia, and most eastern Ukrainians have Russian family and friends. And, much like during our own Civil War, in Kyiv there were families divided, with brothers fighting brothers, and fathers against sons.

Unfortunately, sometimes, diplomacy is not an option, as it soon becomes clear in RED SKY. This book is an international thriller "packed with pulse-pounding thrills and a white-knuckle joyride for fans of Gayle Lynds." Strap yourself in. RED SKY hits the stands June 13th.

Enjoy it!


kk said...

Oh does this sound great. Now to pre-order!

Anne Louise Bannon said...

Okay. Bird watching and international thrillers. These both sound fascinating. Thanks for the post.

Chris Goff said...

So happy to be guest blogging. Thank you, Janet, for hosting.

Janet Rudolph said...

My pleasure.. thanks for writing such awesome books.