Suspense author visits Belvoir Exchange
January 26, 2012
Interested readers on post flocked to the Fort Belvoir Post Exchange Friday, Saturday and Sunday to pick up a copy of The Right Guard.
The Right Guard, a political fiction novel by Alexandra Hamlet is a suspense-filled journey through the world of intelligence and defense in the 1970's. Though set in 1978, The Right Guard resembles the present political and economic climate of the United States.
The opportunity to get an inside look at the intelligence world attracted people to buy the book.
"I buy lots of books particularly if they have anything to do with war and Soldiers," said Retired Air Force (Col.) Jim Nanjo. "It doesn't matter if it's a novel, historical fiction or non-fiction. I just want to know how people in intelligence see the role of Soldiers and the people who defend the nation."
Hamlet is a Harvard-educated cultural anthropologist, an international lecturer and a defense anthropologist. She was an auxiliary nurse in London, England; international lecturer and consultant specializing in the Far East and Pacific Rim; Special Student and Visiting Fellow, Harvard University; an executive search specialist for world-wide C-suite positions; and is a consultant on irregular warfare.
The book starts at the end of World War II in a German retention camp after the allies had won the war. There are senior German officers living in the camp with their Families and the U.S. Government is deciding whether or not to send them to the Russians, bring them to the United States or put them in prison.
"First, the book is based on events and also my own personal experience," said Hamlet. "I was 14 years in defense and left a couple of years ago. I lived some of this, although this is a novel."
The Right Guard is the first of a trilogy that Hamlet is producing.
The book was published Jan. 1, but there were preorders in November on Amazon.com and with Barnes & Noble. The Right Guard has been ranked in the top 100 political fiction books since late November.
"I really wrote it for the defense and government folks," said Hamlet. "I thought it would be a book they would like to read, but come to find out it is gaining a wide readership in civilian markets as well."
Her experience working with the military and government gave Hamlet a better appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice. She said she wants the rest of the nation to have that same knowledge and appreciation.
"I don't think America knows the military very well," said Hamlet. "I don't think they know how educated they are and how hard these men and women work and how dedicated they are. I don't think anybody does until they've been in the arena."
The remaining books in the trilogy should follow the same context as the first edition in showing what the military and intelligence community goes through.
"Civilians don't think in terms of they go to work and may or may not come home. I don't think servicemembers, police and fire fighters think about it in that term either, but that is, in fact, what they are doing," said Hamlet. "These are people who do it because they love what they do and they don't have to do it. They do it because it's what they want to do. I sometimes think that America doesn't know that very well. It really is the ultimate in service."
Hamlet has already stopped at Andrews and Bolling Air Force Bases on her book signing tour, and relishes the opportunity to meet servicemembers face-to-face.
"I get a thrill out of meeting these people," said Hamlet. "Talking to them and finding out what they like to read and how I can accommodate my next novel."