The Grotto's Secret by Paula Wynne

Hell's Gate

Genre: Action Adventure, Historical Fiction

For Fans Of

Wilbur Smith

Book Summary

HELL’S GATE is a historical action adventure set in British East Africa in 1898. It is inspired by the true events in the British Protectorate when the British government constructed a railway line from Mombassa on the east coast of Africa to the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. At the same time the German government was building a line from Zanzibar to Lake Victoria. History records that the ‘race’ was conceded to the British by the governor of the German Protectorate. Into these facts, Michel Parker has woven a tale of intrigue, violence and conspiracy against a backdrop of the splendour of the Rift Valley and the volcanic landscape that threatens the very existence of the railway line itself. But it isn’t just the forces of nature that need to be fought, but the threat of 10,000 warring Masai led by the evil slave trader, Piet Snyder. Against this menace, Captain Kingsley Webb, commandant of the British East African Rifles is ordered to defend Nairobi railway camp and the two thousand souls who make up this teeming, tented city with just two hundred soldiers under his command. His love for the beautiful Hannah Bowers is also challenged by the widowed farmer, Reuben Cole who is forced to set out on a quest to find his son, David, kidnapped by Piet Snyder. The explosive mixture of love, conspiracy, treachery and political intrigue are brought together in a beautifully woven tapestry in this compelling tale. Will suit readers who like stories of colonial Africa, the British Empire, railway construction, slavery, action heroes, 19th. century military and romantic intrigue.

About the Author

I began life in 1941 in London, a normal, working class lad. My mother wanted me to be a journalist. My aspirations were no more than was usual for a working class boy, but I had an enormous interest in reading, and read most of the children’s classics. As I moved through my adolescent years, my reading tastes gradually changed. As a teenager, the author who had the greatest impact on me was Mickey Spillane. Venturing into adulthood, I was reading about four of five books a week (no television in those days) and discovered writers like Hammond Innes, Denis Wheatley, Nigel Tranter and a host of others. It was these amazing authors that unwittingly encouraged me to write, but having no idea about the process, although I could write, I never believed I could do it. I did write a novel, which my sister typed out for me, carbons and all, but that never saw the light of day.
Eventually I wrote my first, published novel, North Slope. It was picked up by Macmillan and I believed then I had made it as a writer. I was described as a “Gifted Narrator” in the Financial Times, which sold me on the idea that I was destined for the career I had dreamed of for so many years. It never happened, and it was four years later that Robert Hale published my second novel, Shadow of the Wolf.
Over the years I continued writing but not publishing. Eventually I retired (I was fifty five) and my wife, Pat and I moved out to Spain. A few years later Robert Hale published my third novel, Hell’s Gate. The flood gates opened then and I ended up with nine, traditionally published novels. They were all stand-alone, cross genre thrillers. Except one — a romance titled Past Imperfect. It was a complete departure for me, but my publisher liked it and agreed to publish. My tenth novel, A Dangerous Game, was independently published by me on Amazon. You can see all my books on my website, and also see a couple of television interviews.
Two of my books have been published in paperback in North America by Harlequin Books (The Boy from Berlin and The Eagle’s Covenant). In the early years I had two of my novels published in Sweden.
My writing career, always a hobby, meant fitting it all in around my work. Night shifts never helped, but were necessary to put bread on the table and feed my family. Although I never made it as a best-selling author, I can still say I am an established writer.

Michael Parker (2016)

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