Milngavie author’s book has homegrown terrorism in its sights

Picture Martin Shields'Bert Mitchell as RJ Mitchell
Picture Martin Shields'Bert Mitchell as RJ Mitchell

A GRIPPING book about terrorism in Glasgow by a Milngavie author is being launched today (Thursday) in Waterstones.

Bert Mitchell (45) released his debut novel ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy’ under the name of RJ Mitchell last year.

The riveting, action-packed thriller was also set on the gritty streets of Glasgow.

He got the idea for his new novel ‘The Hurting: The Glasgow Terror’ after the London bombings – a time when it was felt all cities in Britain were vulnerable to terror attacks.

The new story takes many elements from Parallel Lines and puts them in a bigger arena.

Anyone who is familiar with 
Glasgow will recognise many of the locations, which includes a network of underground tunnels in the West End – the unused remains of the old Victorian railway under the Botanic Gardens.

Bert said: “Everyone knows where they were when 9/11 happened and terror atrocities have been well documented since then so it’s always fascinated me.

“The question of why the attacks happened in London and Glasgow Airport got stuck in my head and I realised a similar thing could happen in Glasgow again.

“I thought I could write a really good thriller based on that idea.

“The book is set in 2005 only two months after the London bombings – at a time when Britain was very vulnerable to attack.

“Any city could have been a target then.”

Bert said he discovered chilling information while he researching the book which suggested that the FBI had warned of an attack in London after apprehending an Al Queda operative in New York.

It is alleged that UK security services then learned a family in London had large quantities of cyanide and their house was raided.

Bert said: “That was a perfect place for me to start for writing a thriller.

“I imagined that it was possible that two policemen could stumble upon something that was happening in a city like Glasgow that MI5 hadn’t heard of.

“It was also interesting to put myself in the mind of a suicide bomber and I wondered if they feel a dilemma between carrying out their task and a loyalty and affection with the community they have been living in.

“My imagination was running wild. I was thinking, where could an attack happen? Who or what would they attack?

“Before I knew it I had a book waiting to be written and I was surprised that no-one else had thought of it before me.”

Bert will be signing copies in Milngavie Bookshop on Saturday, July 21, from 11am to 3pm.