WARNING: This page contains major plot spoilers.
If you haven’t read Hunted yet, you should not view this page. It is intended as an extra to supplement the book and contains material that may spoil the plot.
The following are elements that I used for my research when writing the book. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Smith & Wesson M&P .45 ACP
A daisho with lacquered scabbards. The katana is the longer blade, with the shorter wakizashi below. The principal reason I chose this particular weapon for Lucas is because of Miyamoto Musashi, the author of ‘The Book of Five Rings’ and the founder of the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu, the ‘Two Heavens as One’ or ‘Two Swords as One’ style of swordsmanship. Musashi was a ronin who lived during the Japanese Edo period and was reputed to have been the best samurai in the world, undefeated in battle. The other major influence for choosing Japanese blades comes from my fascination with action mangas and animes, particularly Bleach.
It was Streetlight Graphics, my book cover and website designers, who suggested adding Lucas’s alpha-omega birthmark on the katana. In the book, I have Miyamoto Musashi give Lucas this particular daisho as a parting gift at the end of his training, with Musashi himself requesting that Lucas’s birthmark be carved into the blade of the katana.
This is the single-edged Chinese broadsword that Abel Haus uses to fight with Lucas at the beginning of the book. It’s bigger than it looks, but still, was no match for the daisho and Lucas’s sword skills.
Miyamoto Musashi’s grave marker, Kumamoto Prefecture on Kyushu Island, Japan. Musashi had a fascinating life which makes for great reading. There have been several films, animes, mangas, books, and video games featuring mostly fictional depictions of the man. In 2012, the graphic novel version of ‘The Book of Five Rings’ was released by Scottish writer and graphic novelist Sean Michael Wilson. It is based on extensive research and translation by William Scott Wilson, an internationally recognized translator and scholar of Japanese Edo texts.
The word Hayabusa translates to Peregrine Falcon in Japanese. This Suzuki sports bike has been hailed the fastest production motorcycle of the 20th century, with a recorded top speed of 194 mph; this is close to the velocity achieved in a stoop or vertical hunting dive by the bird of prey it was named after. Lucas’s Hayabusa is midnight black. I don’t think I’d forgive him if he ever got bullet holes in this one…
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Reid got this car from the Boston PD when he resigned as a Homicide Detective. It has a police radio scanner that comes in handy during their stake outs. Seriously though, he should negotiate a raise with Lucas.
Reid’s Glock 19. A more compact version of Lucas’s Glock 17, the Glock 19 is compatible with the 10, 17, 19 and 33-round magazines used for the larger gun. However, the Glock 17 cannot accept magazines from the Glock 19. Hence, in the Hauptbahnhof fight scene, I have Reid run out of ammunition and ask Lucas for spares. Considering the number of bullets that fly around in the book, I chose these particular Glocks because of their ability to take high capacity magazines. I didn’t want Lucas and Reid to be running out of ammo every five minutes. They’d look a bit silly. And I swear Reid sleeps with his damn gun under his pillow…
Dodge Viper SRT10
Lucas’s Dodge Viper is blue. People who know me well are aware of my fascination with nice cars. Don’t bother asking me about their specs or what’s under the hood, I’m all about the curves, the angles, the sleekness, the general Va-va-voom of these manmade beasts. Very much like his creator, Lucas likes his cars fast. Which comes as a rather nasty surprise for Reid. It’ll take a long time for the poor guy to recover from that trip to New York…
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Another one of Lucas’s cars.
This is the car that Lucas virtually destroys in France. No wonder he never takes his own cars out. When I took the story across to Europe, I immediately visualized Lucas and Reid driving around Paris in a vintage vehicle. Although I originally intended to put them in a classic Citroën 2CV, I felt it would not do justice to their characters, and chose the Jag instead. Also, I wanted a faster and sexier ride for the chase scene in Gif-sur-Yvette. The Citroën still made it into the story though.
Having never been to Zurich, it took me days of research to be able to visualize the interior of the Hauptbahnhof station, as well as the layout of the roads around it. These were crucial factors in writing that epic fight and chase scene, especially when I moved the action to the Bahnhofstrasse. I hope the descriptions made for vivid reading.
I made the original Stiegl beer Lucas’s favourite drink because it would have been around at the time the Ottoman Empire tried to capture Vienna again in 1683. It’s a miracle he managed to fight the Ottoman Army at all…
This is the kind of sword Felix Thorne uses to fight Lucas. A 16th century German rapier, this sword is made for thrusting rather than cutting or slashing, as eminently demonstrated by Thorne when he stabs Lucas. That is one scary, crazy man I would not want to meet in an alley somewhere.
This is the military Boeing aircraft Victor Dvorsky uses to get Lucas out of Germany. I had wanted to give them a Boeing C-17 Globemaster or the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy with its nose and aft doors, but a larger military aircraft would have limited the number of private or abandoned airfields they could use, and would have seriously stood out.
Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
The location of the Bastian compound in Virginia. It was Victor Dvorsky who suggested this site to his father for one of their hideouts. I felt the area was large enough to accommodate a secret immortal base.
I had so much fun researching the high altitude low opening jump. For one thing, I also learned about the HAHO (high altitude high opening) jump. I picked the HALO because it has the cooler name of the two. Seriously, who’s gonna pick the HAHO? It sounds like some kind of garden maze or something to do with suspicious dwarves. Also, the HALO has the longer free fall, with that super sweet terminal velocity of 170 mph. I knew I wanted this for the final battle scene, although having Lucas and Reid learn the finer points of HALO jumping in one day is, realistically speaking, impossible.
Now, imagine doing this in the dark, with night vision goggles. I have the perfect song for it on the September 18 2012 blog post.