By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Dan Wooding’s career must rate as one of the most unusual in journalism. For he has gone from being a London correspondent for the National Enquirer and a staffer on the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror, two of Britain’s raciest tabloids, to an undercover reporter and campaigner for persecuted Christians in the restricted countries of the world.
And now international journalist, Dan Wooding, 71, founder of the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), has put his many years of exciting and often dangerous travel to good use in Red Dagger, his 44th book — and his first novel.
The fast-moving book, much of which is based on his many years of traveling to some of the world’s hot-spots, features a Palestinian terrorist who belongs to the Red Dagger terror group from Gaza, a place that Wooding has visited several times, an Irish double agent, and a drunken American journalist who moves to London and spends too much time in a pub called “The White Hart” which had been nicknamed “The Stab in the Back” because that is where tabloid journalist gathered to verbally stab each other in the back.
Wooding knows all about this journalists’ pub as it was there that he recommitted his life to Christ back in the late 1970s and went to Uganda to write “Uganda Holocaust” with Irish-Canadian, Ray Barnett, who later founded the African Children’s Choir.
Each one of the characters finally finds redemption in their twisted lives, but not before much mayhem has been committed and the world had stood on the edge of complete disaster.
“Red Dagger is the result of more than 20 years of loving work,” Wooding told me. “It began when a colleague told me that I should put together a novel that incorporated all the years of personal experiences I have had since I first entered journalism with The Christian in London back in 1968.”
This, said Wooding, has included the time he was arrested and locked up in a cell in Lagos, Nigeria. Also when he and a colleague were in a hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador, when a car bomb exploded in the parking lot and badly damaged the hotel and, finally when he and his wife Norma were held up by terrorists in Bethlehem and were going to be shot by them. That was until a quick-thinking Arab taxi driver saved their lives by explaining they were visitors from the USA.
“Although none of these experiences are used in the book as they occurred, they helped me to imagine many of the scenes included in the book,” said Wooding. “Also, my travels to Gaza were great background to writing up the many scenes there.”
Red Dagger has already received interest from movie producers and praise from various celebrities who have read it.
They include veteran American entertainer, Pat Boone, who said, “Dan Wooding’s latest book, Red Dagger, is a gripping novel about terror, betrayal and redemption. Much of it is set in Gaza, but also features a Northern Ireland terrorist and an American journalist who, after moving to London, finds himself spending too much time in a bar called ‘The Stab in the Back’ with other drunken hacks. The conclusion of the book has a most dramatic twist that held my attention right to the very end. I enthusiastically endorse Red Dagger, which is written by one of the world’s most traveled journalists.”
Rock keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, about whom Wooding penned his biography called “Rick Wakeman – the Caped Crusader” – foreword by Elton John – wrote, “Terrorism is a dangerous subject both in reality and in fiction. To bring Christianity in as a major part of the plot is potentially even more dangerous, but Dan Wooding portrays all his characters as both very real and very believable in this novel that literally sets off at a tremendous pace from the very first page. I found myself thinking very visually whilst reading it and that’s the secret of any good novel.”
So if you want to enter the dark and dangerous world of international terrorism and be inspired with its conclusion, this is the book for you, or even for a friend who loves good novels.
To purchase a copy of “Red Dagger” (Tanswell Books), go to: http://www.lulu.com/shop/dan-wooding/red-dagger/paperback/product-11050174.html;jsessionid=89997AD165003FF2695A468AB262C07D
It is also available as an e-Book file download.
You can also get it at http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dagger-Dan-Wooding/dp/0578056534
If you live in the USA and would like an autographed copy of the book, just send a check for $20 (which includes postage) made out to Dan Wooding, and mail it to Dan Wooding, PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609. For overseas orders, please add a further $3 USD. Also, please put in the memo section of the check, “For Red Dagger.”