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A hard-boiled detective with special operations skills. An evil aristocrat. An international army of thugs just waiting to be punched in the face. All of this is wrapped up in a race against time with a potential nuclear explosion on the line -- and it was all written by actor Michael Caine.
At age 90, Caine, star of "Zulu," "A Bridge Too Far" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," is about to live the life of a character from one of his films. No, not "Harry Brown": His newest role is that of a fiction author, just like his character in "Best Sellers."
Caine's upcoming novel, "Deadly Game," is about a Special Air Service veteran turned detective working in London's Metropolitan Police force. Detective Chief Inspector Harry Taylor is called upon to find out how a bundle of uranium ended up discarded in an East London trash dump.
Before the police can secure the radioactive element, the dump is violently attacked and the uranium is stolen. Intelligence agencies around the world are put on alert, and DCI Taylor has to find it (and whomever took it) before they can escape or use it for some nefarious purpose..
Caine is a veteran himself, though not of the SAS. He was in the British Army and fought in the Korean War. The actor has told many of his war stories to the public and even wrote about them in his previous books, which are nonfiction and mostly memoirs.
Caine told the Guardian that he wrote "Deadly Game" during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and edited it in the years that followed. It was originally called "If You Don't Want to Die," but it was always going to be a thriller, written by a fan of thrillers.
"I only read thrillers," he told the Guardian’s Xan Brooks. "I'm an adventure man, I'm not a literature person, so I'm not trying to replace Shakespeare here. But it's based on something I once read about two dustmen, two rubbish collectors in the East End. And they find uranium in the rubbish."
The actor-turned-author based the plot on a news story that actually happened. The real-world incident occurred at Heathrow Airport, one of the world's busiest airports and the crossroads of 180 destinations in 90 countries. The uranium wasn't lost, however, and the person moving the package was apprehended, although his motives remain a mystery to this day.
Caine's protagonist, Harry Taylor, brings his particular set of skills to the search for the radioactive package. His leads include a wealthy yet shady art dealer, Russian oligarchs, Colombian narcos and neo-Nazis. No one, including Harry, knows how much time he has to track it down, or why the uranium was in the dump in the first place.
"Deadly Game" is available for preorder now on the Amazon Kindle e-reader, Audible audiobook and hardcover. The Kindle and Audible versions will be released Nov. 23, 2023, while the hardcovers ship on Dec. 5.
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