are kind of a hard act to follow. Especially when my ‘subject’ is about as forthcoming as a Trappist monk at a debate. Not that Jack Ballentyne’s a monk. Quite the contrary, if his past reputation for shagging half of London, is anything to go by.
Major Jack Ballentyne (British Intelligence Service. Former leader of ‘The Assassins’ a plausibly deniable unit) declines the offer to take a seat, preferring instead, to take up a surveillance position by the window. Be warned, he’s not exactly chatty. In fact, I’ll be grateful to get more than a bad-tempered grunt out of him…
JACK: The following are out of bounds: my title, my work, my family.
ME: This’ll be a short interview then.
JACK’S RESPONSE: A shrug, then a long lazy grin.
ME: Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
JACK: Still being alive.
JACK: To receive a telegram from the Queen on my 100th Birthday.
ME: Would you call yourself a forgiving man?
JACK: You’re kidding, right?
ME: Yet you forgave yourself.
JACK: Move on.
(Man’s sexy when he scowls)
ME: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
JACK: Handcuff my future wife.
ME: Bravest thing you’ve ever done?
JACK: Ask Lowry to marry me?
JACK: The end justifies the means.
ME: Favourite way to keep fit?
ME: Favourite place?
JACK: Bed…with Lowry.
ME: Favourite food?
ME: Favourite game?
JACK: Kiss chase…with Lowry.
ME: Heaviest guilt?
JACK: Lowry… And my brother, Richard.
ME: Favourite colour?
ME: Least favourite animal?
JACK: Serial killer
ME: Favourite mode of transport? And if you say Lowry, I’m telling her.
JACK: My Triumph bike…with Lowry.
Jack abruptly lets the curtain he’s held aside with his forefinger fall back into place. “Right, that’s it, time’s up.”
Too late, he’s gone. Lowry was right. Jack Ballentyne is impossible. As you’ll find out when ‘Hard to Forget’ releases in early October 2014.
For context, Jack is best friends with Nick Marshall, hero (kind of) in Hard to Hard.