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“I’ve always liked reading thrillers. As a teenager I avidly read all of Ian Fleming books (what teenage boy wouldn’t?), and the C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series (from Midshipman Hornblower to Lord Hornblower). More recently, I’m also a fan of Tom Clancy (with his great character Jack Ryan), Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne of course), Eric Van Lustbader (carried on the Jason Bourne adventures after Ludlum’s death), Lee Child (with the man of the moment, Jack Reacher), and of course the wonderful Daniel Silva (with probably my favourite character, Gabriel Allon, the Mossad agent).


So I’ve always had an inkling to write a thriller with a strong main character around my professional geotechnical work, but how to make it interesting, and exciting and credible? Mining is pretty boring right? (that’s a really bad pun).


Anyway it seemed to me that a great story could be told about a wartime child being sent away to Australia to escape the Nazi bombing raids, and then as he grows up, introduce mining, diamonds, corrupt international banking, South African murderers, an ex-Stasi Colonel, throw in a tragedy or two as well as multiple love interests along the way.


So to make the story realistic and credible, the main character, Charlie Robertson, isn’t a secret agent, or a member of the SAS, or a larger than life figure, but instead just uses his street-smart skills he basically learns as a Cockney boy growing up in London, to overcome his enemies. Charlie Robertson also has all the emotional self-doubts that all of us have from time to time, so hopefully, readers can relate to him.


Also, all the mining and engineering detail is real, along with all the locations (as much as possible) to add credibility. I’ve also tried to make all the women in Charlie’s life strong characters. 


Finally,  I did a lot of research for Rough Cut and I thought some of it might be of interest to you. So I had a bit of fun and put it together as 'CHURCHILL'S TOP SECRET DOSSIER' which is all based on fact, but obviously with plenty of artistic license.   


I hope you enjoy reading Charlie’s journey as much as I enjoyed writing it.”


Peter Gray


Rough Cut is the first book in the Charlie Robertson series.

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