Trip to promote my thriller "Tranquility Denied" and research for the sequel
20.05.2009 - 24.05.2009
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (May 21, 2009) -- This entry is a work in progress, but here are some pictures for a start and at the bottom a special entry on scene development...
THE DEFECTION - Researching and creating a realistic espionage scene
The following is an example of the research taken to develop a scene for one of my upcoming books. The setting is downtown Stockholm, at around noon. An important military officer from [undisclosed] intends to defect by walking a few blocks from his hotel and at a key moment "lose" his security agent (an unarmed staff diplomat). In position are two operations teams from [undisclosed country] that have been positioned to observe and facilitate the defection and enable the safe-passage of the target to a safehouse near Arland Airport. The pictures show the location of the spotters and other agents, the coordination post at the Radisson SAS Strand hotel and the intended path of the defection target. Encrpyted communications are maintained amongst each of the spotters, the team in Normmalstorg square and the command post at the Strand.
Above: This image shows the target's intended path (red dotted line); the main observation vantage (green); the spotters and their field of view (blue); the tag or "catch" team's location and field of view (yellow) at the Normmalmstorg Square (top left). The pictures below are taken along the route.
Above: North view from the main ad hoc command post, established by the operatives in room 609 of the Strand Hotel. It offers excellent views of the Nybroviken Harbor, the harbor-front street and the south end of Berzelii Park. The image shows the first two spotters and their field of view, offering uninterupted observation of the target's path (red, dotted line).
Above: Eastward view of Spotter 2 (blue) in the cobble-stone portion of Berzelii Park. The image also show the planned path of the target.
Above: Northwest view of the target's intended path (red, dotted line) along the west end of Berzelii Park, toward Berns Restaurant.
Above: Spotter 3 (blue) is located in the northeast end of Berzelii Park with near-perfect visibility of the target northward path.
Above: Berns restaurant and night club on the east side of the target's path (red dots).
Above: The target's intended northward path from the Berns restaurant to the large square known as Normmalstorg (background).
Above: Looking back south at the Berns restaurant area.
Above: At the crossing of Hamngatan street, the team leader will have made a small chalk mark (red arrrow) to indicate to the target the status of the impending plan (a horizontal line means proceed as planned, a vertical line means action is suspended for non-security reasons, and no mark at all means that the operation is off because security has been compromised).
Above: The team leader moves to the other corner of the street after marking the concrete fence post so that he can have a better vantage of the tag team in the square, the van further west on the street, the path from the Berns restaurant, and also Spotter 3 in direct line of sight.
Above: Normmalstorg square offers sufficient movement and distractions for the target to lose his security (something to the effect, "I'll just go in that store over there... I'll be right back"), at which point the tag team would assist with the following:
- tag agent 1 carries an extra coat and cap
- tag agent 2 walks behind target to help impair guard's line of sight (team leader may also assist "brush" guard -- physical contact distraction -- if he's too close). If rain, then umbrellas are ideal additional obstacles.
- when line of sight is broken, tag agent provides clothing to target, both walk out of store's auxiliary entrance and proceed 20 feet to the waiting van.
So this scene, as researched above, will find its way into my manuscript very soon.
----- Travel Essentials Summary (and Ratings) -----
Hotels: Radisson SAS Strand Hotel***** (8.5)
Restaurants: Pontus (9); JT Restaurant (8.5);
Bars/Night Clubs: Club Opera (9);
All photos and text Copyright © 2009 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.