The Skorpion Directive is the fourth book in a series by David Stone, an alias to protect the author’s identity used becaus his personal background involved work as an intelligence officer and a state law enforcement investigator.
His background has helped him write a very interesting book with a powerful and fast paced plot. The novel unfolds as the main character, Micah Dalton, a CIA operative, travels around the world to find the killer of his friend, Mossad agent Issadore Galan. Within the story Stone explores what would happen if someone in the intelligence world wants to create a rift between allies America and Israel. The reader can find many references to current political issues. NewsRealBlog interviewed Stone about his book.
NewsRealBlog: Can you briefly explain your background?
David Stone: I was an intelligence officer for the army and a law enforcement official for a state agency.
NRB: Why did you decide to write fiction?
Stone: Because of the information I had knowledge about, I could never really tell the full story. I admire cops, soldiers, and intelligence officers. In this modern world we live in that deals with counter-terrorism and intell ops you cannot be without bias because the environment is very toxic. My point is implicit in the story line.
NRB: What point did you want to make in the book?
Stone: As is currently true today, in the intelligence community, especially the CIA, people realize the work is worthy of the risk. They are at risk not just from those contacts in the field but from outsiders as well. It is an outrageous situation that I don’t understand.
NRB: Your character does some questionable moves to gain actionable intelligence. Did you want to relate it to the current political environment?
Stone: Take for example this guy who knows something that you need to find out. If he does not believe you’re capable of doing something, and will only play by the Geneva Convention Rules, how will you ever get any actionable intelligence?
NRB: In your book you had the ACLU type take pictures of operatives similar to what went on earlier this year. Of course your book was written before this actual event. What feeling did you try to express?
Stone: These people are self-righteous at the cost of real world damage.
NRB: Want to elaborate?
Stone: I have seen the most liberal people in the world demand that I do something massive to the guy who has done something bad to their daughter. They want me to do whatever is necessary to get information about what happened to their daughter. To bring justice down on this guy’s head.
NRB: You describe in detail Galan’s killing and torture so realistically that the reader suffers along with him. Can you comment?
Stone: I wanted my readers to know how the Islamic extremists torture. For example they pinned their prisoners wrists to their hips. In the Iraq war some of our soldiers were subjected to these means and they prolonged their death. It is inconceivable to imagine what their last hours were like-stuff I wish I had never seen. I wanted to get that point across through my character.
NRB: What is very interesting is that you made a comment in the book that Israel has no friend in the White House. In essence the political environment was predicted over a year and half ago when the book was finished and before Obama became President. Can you comment?
Stone: I wanted Galan to be the symbol for Israel. Galan suffered horribly; yet, he maintains his humanity. He is a compassionate individual that was betrayed by the West. I wanted to point out that Israel is a courageous country.
NRB: Why did you have the women characters, Mandy Pownall and Veronika Miklas, play an important role in this book?
Stone: I was one of those that originally resisted women getting into the intelligence world. Then I saw what women can do. Women in intelligence ops are better putting together patterns, they remember better what was said in interviews, and they can analyze better. I put them in my book because I, through my characters, do not feel challenged by women.
NRB: There was a great quote in your book: “Judgment was easy. War was not.” Please explain.
Stone: It’s easy to sit back and make a judgment. What is required is a leap of your imagination. Put yourself in that second or in that environment at that time.
NRB: Any final thoughts?
Stone: I want people to understand that you can get into a pretty good examination of morale combat within the pages of a fiction novel. You can draw a right and wrong far more clearly than if they ever occurred in real life.