The characters in The Seventh Wave series are broadly fictitious. Actually, that is untrue. Many are very real, based on real people with their strict permission.
There are of course some embellishments - name a story that isn't. But the facts are there as true as the day they were outlined to me in a 3x3 ofice in a corner of an international airport terminal. Told through the eyes of a woman who had only hours to recount many years of torment, violence and obscene wealth.
The main characters were formed after hours of timeline planning and countless hours of lost sleep. The curse of a writer is being visited in the night, every night by images, sounds and tangible occurrences - crafting those dreams into reality takes many more hours than the seconds of rapid eye movement activity that is after all the stuff of dreams.
Hopefully the characters come to life - in your own minds - and importantly you grow to love and hate them equally.
Jack, or rather John was named after a Shakespearean hero from the English government rebellion in 1450. His parents, divorced and disparate made their own way in life and left Jack to pick up the pieces. An only child who ponders on things a little too long, as such he has a hint of vulnerability.
At 'Thirty-something' he's comparitively well-travelled, averagely fit, a shade under six foot, tanned with salt and pepper hair (more salt than pepper) and signature blue eyes that captivate both sexes, normally the more attractive ones. He has a sublime sense of humour and an enquiring mind. He loves to love, but needs to be loved more. Women that meet him say that combining the need to love and an enquiring mind brings out the best in him..
Married, once, and vowing never again he despises bullies and more so criminally-minded bullies. He loves the fairer sex, but again, was let down badly by his wife who always wanted more, often in view and generally bordered upon nymphomania.
His police career was in danger of suffering terribly as a result of his wife's playful nature, often with his own colleagues, and routinely with more than one at a time.
As with all good, and often real life stories just when he thought it couldn't ever get any worse...it of course did.
Cade moved to a new station, at an international border, met a new team and within a day had collided with an overweight perspiring DJ and a mysterious, but rather beautiful Eastern European redhead and...his life changed.
International passengers, ludicrous pursuits, tattoed criminals, great food, better sex, it was as close to "Double O" as you could get, yet very much trapped in the real world of getting hurt, hurting others, working long hours and having to pay tax, and occassionally, the ignominy of having to iron a shirt and put it away..
With a new team under his wing he soon discovered that the fabled six degrees of separation were just that. There was always a seventh. And in his case the Seventh was a group of highly-organised, avaricious Eastern Europeans who operated under the collective name of The Seventh Wave. Their claim to fame? Wanton greed, a plague of offending and a mark, in the deepest ocean blue, in the shape of a wave, found on the right wrist.
In all cases, except one, its bearer, a male with a pseudonym had the same mark - but in black.
Thrown very much in at the deep end and rapidly trying to build a unit capable of, at best, staying one step behind their target Cade had to move quickly: New life, new role, new city, new colleagues, new girl(s).
O'Shea is a complex character. Pretty, in a girl-next-door way. A mind to challenge the best and naturally analytical. Her mind and body were damaged in an event that she would rather forget and she was all-but abandoned by an organisation and leadership team she would secretly and occasionally overtly despise.
Described by some as obsessive, compulsive and with a cold stare that wouldn't be out of place in the Southern Ocean Cade would soon learn that her darker side was also the most attractive.
Her mental and physical attributes were also what Cade found difficult to first contend with - underneath the rational, neatly-attired and analytical exterior was a mind that toyed with his and a body that was evidently designed for play - if only he would actually notice..
Brilliantly outspoken, her ability to link crime series and patterns was what made her popular with the management at New Scotland Yard, with none of her colleagues ever able to crack the 'Ice Maiden'. God help those that tried - and above all, keep her away from the stationery cupboard..
O'Shea is the antithesis of everything that Cade normally finds himself attracted to - but one memorable moment, a fleeting hug at an airport, provided him with a sense of deja vous. When their lips hovered millimetres apart in the briefest of kisses he sensed they had met before, somewhere along the way.
She would cast a spell over him that no amount of training or experience could ever predict or prevent. A fisher of men, her hook was in his mouth, his mind and his heart from the day they met.
Harnessing her sheer talent in the office and her potentially lurid mind in the bedroom would prove to be one of Cade's greatest challenges..
It would however take a series of events and the passing of many years for him to realise.
Married, two young children and a penchant for overly-loud ties Roberts remains a feature of Cade's many exploits. A young but natural leader and strong team player with strict rules he likes to lead from the front but doesn't always get it one hundred percent right. It's one of his more endearing qualities.
A stupendously sharp sense of humour and a humble nature allows him to take a step back when Cade arrives into his professional life. Their paths would cross, and cross again from the day they first met.
Cade considers him a friend first and foremost and a colleague a very close second. His knowledge of London makes him invaluable to Cade, a northerner.
Often the unwitting fall-guy Roberts meets some fascinating, dark and disturbing characters during his long hours with Cade. Some of their stories remain confidential.
Roberts considers every day a challenge and one in which to embrace the world and have fun is a blessing. No fun: No Team - and tea, copious amounts of it, with the added value of his selected biscuit of choice, but never the Ginger Nut, are all that he needs to get through the working week. That, and a hardworking team, passion, and luck. Lots of it.
JOHN "JD" DANIEL
A career police officer who would retire as a Chief Inspector. Handsome, in a tanned filmstar-esque way. He was the consumate ladies man, in fact Daniel had made it into an art form, charming females around the globe since 'before Jesus was a lad'.
The irony that he had been blissfully and happily married to the same woman for forty years was lost on no-one.
His healthy looks and relaxed style belied the fact that he was nearly sixty. Daniel, or "JD" was the first to recognise Cade's instinct as a street cop and nurtured it, pushing him into harms way but was never more than one step behind him.
They first met in 2004 and remained firm friends - their careers would remain connected during the decade that followed as they learned the art of policing across mainland Europe.
Frustrated by political correctness he would eventually sucumb to retirement - all skillfully planned, like a well-oiled operation. He and wife would head to the antipodes and using their sizeable pension build a new life, running a simple restaurant on the Pacific east coast, serving equally memorable food and great local wine.
He would never look back, nor would he ever quite let the apron strings be cut. He was only ever a phone call away from Cade who would forever consider him a friend and a masterful tutor.
Dashing, good-looking and with an eye for detail Johhnie Hewett was known to everyone and yet a complete enigma. With an unbridled passion for the work of master craftsmen he adored skilled engineering and favoured all things Teutonic; fast cars, fast 'bikes and appliances to name but a few. His suits though were always British and never off the peg.
The by-product of well-heeled parents and servants of the British government he found himself living in many colonial outposts. During a time of somewhat hedonistic travels he learned early how to admire the finer things in life.
Taught by a number of older, attractive, predatory and very bored ambassador's wives he knew what made him happy. But it wasn't always the fairer sex. A carefully crafted malt, a perfectly engineered Swiss watch was enough to suppress his appetite for quality rather than quantity. However, with a lifestyle the envy of many he always wanted more.
An upwardly-mobile figurehead for the British government Hewett was always one of those men destined for greatness - he was just so bloody good at everything. Living life in the fast lane, with an apparently ceaseless energy he was never married but his sexuality was never in doubt. Despite a keen, sapphire-blue eye for the ladies he simply couldn't afford the time to invest in a future with any of them.
With figurative fingers in pies across Europe it was only a matter of time before Hewett came to fame.
Sitting in a traditional leather-bound chair and watching the ice melt into his 16 year old Lagavulin, Hewett would make a decision that would impact upon both his past and his future.
Bulgarian, simply beautiful and a mind sharper than a razor.
Slender like her mother, with flaming red hair, vivid green eyes and the appearance of a gypsy dancer.
Brought up in a strict home with strong values, ironically by a super-criminal. Classically educated and spoiled for choice, the apple of her father's eye. Cosseted but bizarrely left to fend for herself from an early age.
Quick, talented, evasive, capable, disarming, alluring and downright sexy. Elena has a past and for one so young it's fractured, deep and surrounded by fear.
Another green-eyed Bulgarian female of exquisite appearance, bright, academic, dangerous, multi-lingual, analytical and seductive.
Nikolina spent her formative years in Romania, learning the language and maintaining her own Mother tongue, she learned Russian too, and English and Serbian. She was a bright girl who soon created a reputation as a bold and rather extrovert young lady.
Braver than many men and willing to sacrifice her life for the right cause. Ruthlessly trained she is able to play out her next move as if it were on a chess board.
Leaving one life for a new, unchartered one she made the decision to head down a path of uncertainty but one fuelled ultimately by the desire for revenge. She quickly became trapped in a relationship, surrounded by a level of opulence that she could not or would not escape from.
Interpol Green Notice: 700266/G 2004:
"Valentin Niculcea a.k.a. ‘Copil de umbra’. Sought-after criminal. Former Romanian intelligence Officer, now freelance following fall-out with senior government officials many years ago. Possible home in Lowland Europe. Never apprehended. Involved in ‘collection activities’ for crime syndicates. Significant industrial espionage offender and high-value burglar. Trained in surveillance, counter-surveillance, intelligence collection and electronic collection.
Niculcea is also the subject of a Interpol Purple Notice 798922/M 2004: Relates to intelligence required in relation to ATM attacks in central and northern Europe.
Alexandru Stefanescu was the architypal career criminal. Starting with low-hanging fruit he burgled his neighbours, stole old cars and progressed to more sophisticated burglaries.
It was at this time he crossed the border into Bulgaria and really began to shine as a criminal. He was always one step ahead of the enemy, until one day they would be waiting for him.
Having learned his tradecraft whilst in Sofia, Bobov Dol and Stara Zagora Prisons, he soon gained a reputation as a formidable fighter with a ruthless streak that preceded him.
He repaid his mentors in kind and after three years had risen through the ranks of organised criminality, creating fear, notoriety and a growing band of brothers from his homeland who melded with occasional converts from other Soviet states, all eager to experience the trappings of wealth that they had been sheltered from for so long. He had become an underground rock star, feeding off his own reputation, stronger by the day, stronger still by night.
The emergent group needed a name to which to fasten their loyalty. Alexandru christened them Primul Val – The First Wave.
His trademark laughter was often likened to a bird call and he was soon known as The Jackdaw.
By the late Eighties he was responsible for the movement of stolen goods out of Romania and Bulgaria and into Western Europe in exchange for high value vehicles, prostitutes and drugs. He was soon mixing with people previously considered completely out of his league. Ambassadors, Consuls, Foreign Office staff and their wives and he even managed to control the weaker ones - those, ironically that now needed his help. His skill was operating behind a cloak of relative anonymity and fear.
Life was incredible. And then he met her.
“You are indeed the King. Stefan is the Bishop, just the Bishop. Moving around the board in diagonal lines only. He is valuable at times, but limited.”
The younger brother of Alex he lives in the shadow of his older sibling. Wealthy, physically powerful but lacking the drive of his brother.
Cruel yet sophisticated and able to blend into a theatre of operations in any country in Europe. Multi-lingual and acquiring a daily desire for the finer things in life he bases himself in or as near to London, or other European capitals as he can.
Defiantly linked to Romania and his Romany heritage he vows never to return until he is at least as capable, and feared as his brother.
Born in Romania to a young and single mother who could barely look after herself let alone a new-born son, she had been threatened with imprisonment for twice trying to drown him during her repeated heroin-fuelled escapes from reality, unable to cope with his torrid home life he ran away from his village and home at the age of thirteen.
Constantin somehow rose above his childhood challenges and despite the ceasless nightmares had studied and secured a job as a civil demolition technician in the late eighties; he eventually returned home - young, poorly paid and poorly trained he was far wiser and had taught himself most of what he knew.
Continually struggling to find a way to feed himself, let alone his extended family he began to hone his skills and as the months dragged on towards December 1989 he realised an ambition to strike back at hated leader Nicoli Ceaucescu, and what he stood for; he despised him for what he had done to his people, living a life of obscene luxury whilst his subordinates lived in fear, misery and abject poverty.
Nicolescu felt he could help support the anti-government uprising in his homeland but was held in custody after being arrested at a protest, long before his skills were ever able to be used. He was frustrated beyond belief. The fact that over a thousand people died as a result of the revolution angered him even more so. He became bitter and spent hour after hour fighting with internal dialogues that haunted him and urged him to seek revenge.
Whilst he was in prison he trained his thoughts away from retribution towards financial rewards – if he couldn’t earn a wage legitimately then why not use his skills to his benefit?
It was in Cologne, Germany that he first met his nemesis..
Thank you for learning about the characters! There are new, equally enthralling characters in the new Jack Cade novels!