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Four Degrees North

A hobbyist pilot was hoping for a relaxed lifestyle when he emigrated to Costa Rica and opened his private adventure touring business. But then he meets an intriguing British woman who instantly has him under her spell. When her cousin is suddenly abducted by Colombian guerilla fighters who demand a ransom, they set off for an enthralling rescue mission. Just who will need to be saved in the end?

Author: Jeff McClung
Illustration: shutterstock.com/Ammit Jack+LongQuattro +TonLammerts
ca. 212 Pages

Starting at 26.95 GBP
incl. VAT plus delivery costs
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Characters :

The Pilot

The Pilot

Ethan O’Connor, a mechanical engineer who grew up and lived in South Dakota. Three months previously he emigrated to Costa Rica and settled down in Quepos, where he befriended Burt. Ethan is down-to-earth, extremely resourceful, and can build just about anything; he is very passionate about flying, loves his own Cessna 182 Skylane, and made his hobby into a profession by setting up a private adventure touring service. He meets Emma and is instantly smitten. When Emma’s cousin Analiese is taken hostage by the ENP, he does not hesitate to accompany her and look out for her safety. He eventually figures out that Analiese’s kidnapping had only been a ruse to take Emma hostage and bribe her father for money. Together, they manage a spectacular jailbreak in Ethan’s makeshift plane he built from garage clutter. They arrive just in time to prevent an assassination planned by the ENP. After this turbulent adventure, he asks Emma if she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. She says yes.

The Spanish Teacher

Emma Baker, daughter of the CEO of British Fruit International, does not enjoy a very warm relationship with her parents. She decided to rely on herself and become a Spanish teacher after studying Social Sciences. Emma is extremely loyal and soft-hearted. Mostly she is easygoing and acts composed and confident, except when someone she loves is in danger. She has a clear outlook on life and knows what she wants. When the ENP contacts her about her cousin Analiese, she does not hesitate to leave immediately for Colombia and deliver the 25,000 pounds ransom. She has a hard time accepting that Analiese used her to bribe money from her father, but when Analiese is in serious danger, she looks out for her and gets her to the hospital. After their adventurous trip, Ethan asks her to spend the rest of his life with her. She answers with a kiss.

The Experienced Friend

Burt Finley, emigrated from Chicago to Quepos fifteen years ago and enjoys a laidback lifestyle on his houseboat. He is a big fan of the Cubs and gets along with Ethan very well, although they are not fans of the same sports team. What no one guesses is that he used to be an MI6 agent who later became the head of security for Sir Alex Baker’s company. When he retired, Sir Alex entrusted him with keeping an eye on his daughter. Burt helps Ethan and Emma escape from the ENP.

The Dangerous Cousin

Analiese Huber, Emma’s cousin who spent lots of summer vacations with her when they were children. Later, they lost contact. She studied Environmental Geosciences emphasizing Environmental Social Issues, where she developed hatred for foreign industries taking advantage of and exploiting developing countries. In her view, Sir Alex Baker’s British Fruits International does exactly this. When she is introduced to Juan Diego and the ENP, she senses the opportunity to actively do something against this injustice. She has a wild romance with the ENP leader Juan Diego. So she helps lure Emma into the claws of the ENP to blackmail money from Baker. Later on, she fails to be as ruthless as expected from a terrorist and also realizes that Emma is very different from her father. This gets her in serious danger; she is hurt very badly by her fellow ENP members, but she survives.

The Radical Hacker

Gerda Muller, studied Computational Sciences, but her main purpose is making quick money from hacking into government computers to help terrorists build their war chests. She introduces Analiese to Juan Diego, using her to lure Emma into a trap. She is very dangerous, calculating, and cold in executing her plans. She even attempts to murder Analiese.

The Ruthless ENP Leader

Juan Diego de Marquez, head of the Colombian ENP, an anarchistic guerrilla leader who has political ambitions. He has a romance with Analiese, but as soon as she is hesitant to act out his plans, he wants to get rid of her.

The Company Boss

Sir Alex Baker, the past CEO of British Fruits International and chairman of the board of directors of BBI. He invested in South America, also working together with the government to thwart terrorism, was knighted for his philanthropic efforts, but is also very ruthless in business. He has been a rather neglectful parent to Emma. He even refuses to pay the ransom to free her, but sends Burt for help.

The Helpful Restaurant Owner

Enrique Rojas, owner of the Dos Locos restaurant Ethan frequents in downtown Quepos, is one of the locals Ethan has befriended. Enrique helps him by driving him to Manuel Antonio Airport. Small role.

The Escape Aid

Armando Santos, a mercenary in Tumaco and an old friend of Burt Finley, helps Ethan and Emma escape to Ecuador. Small role.

The Airport Controller

Sam, an airport controller who Ethan befriended since moving to Quepos. Very small role.

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Abstract

An enthralling adventure that leads our two protagonists into a tangled web of deception and dubious schemes of the South American ENP. Soon enough they will find themselves in serious danger but they will never lose their humor and at the end, love will bloom.

Time

Present, Summer

Settings

Mainly Costa Rica and Colombia

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Extract

“We had better get going, Emma,” Ethan said as he pulled himself to his feet and started packing some food for their trip. Emma nodded in silent agreement and rose as well, though she was unsure what needed to be done. She tucked in her blouse and straightened her red hair, trying to start the day as she would any other.

“Let me do that,” Emma offered. “I’m sure you have some aeronautical problems to attend to.” She pulled out the things he had stuffed into a cooler and made more formal meals for the day. She was doing all she could to maintain a semblance of order in a day that would be anything but a normal one.

“Yeah, thanks,” Ethan said as he shifted his thoughts from food to navigation. “The Cessna is fueled and ready to go. I just checked it out completely two days ago. She’s the one thing we can definitely count on.” As soon as he said that, he wished he had left it unsaid. He wasn’t a superstitious man, but sometimes, he felt he had to cover all his bases. This was one of those times.

Ethan jumped across the dock to Burt’s boat and raised his hand to knock heavily when the door opened suddenly. Ethan had to brace himself to keep from knocking on Burt’s nose.

“Come on in. I’ve been expecting you,” Burt said nonchalantly as if it were just another day in paradise. He sat at his galley table, which was covered with navigation charts and notebooks filled with markings.

“Sit,” he said to Ethan. This was no time for formalities. Burt took a hangar he had unwound to use as a leg scratcher and poked it down his cast. “I think the itching is worse than the break. Let’s go over your plan.”

“Plan? What plan do you think I have?” Ethan said incredulously. “I have no idea what I’m getting into. I’m counting on nothing going wrong. We’ll fly to Ecuador and take a taxi to Colombia. Hop a bus to Cali. Find the thugs. Trade the money for Analiese then take a commercial flight to Tulcan followed by a celebratory flight back here. And then we’ll all live happily ever after.”

“Well, good. I’ll see you in a couple days,” Burt said as he stared at Ethan in mock satisfaction. “Maybe, however, you should plan on a few contingencies, not fairy tales.”

Burt pulled a revolver from under the table and dropped it on the table with a thud. The thud shook Ethan from the shock he felt when he first saw the gun.

“Jeez, Burt, what’s that for?”

“Just a little of what Lloyd’s of London can’t give you right now,” Burt said. “You never know.”

“I’ve never shot one of those things. I’d have a better chance of putting a slug in my foot than somewhere in an enemy’s body. Besides, how would I explain that to anyone who searched me?” Ethan was more than uncomfortable using a gun but picked it up and felt its weight. He handled it as if it were fine china.

“It’s easier to learn than high-precision stick throwing,” Burt suggested. “Just take it on the plane, then you decide if you want to take it with you once you get a little closer to actually invading Colombia.” Ethan pushed the gun to the side of the table in resignation and then turned his attention to the charts.

“So, where’s Tulcan?” Ethan said as he craned his neck to see where Burt was looking.

“It’s two degrees north latitude, seventy-four degrees west longitude,” Burt said as he put a thick finger on the little northern Ecuadorian outpost.

“I radioed a colleague in Quito, who’s intimate with the transportation scene, if you know what I mean. And he said there is little radar surveillance over northern Ecuador. There aren’t any routine flights that go over the area. It shouldn’t be any trouble for you to scoot into Tulcan unnoticed.”

“My boat’s call letters are X21DogFight if you need someone to chat with on a lonely evening,” Burt said as he wrote down the letters on a piece of paper containing everything he had told Ethan.

“Once you’re in Colombia, God save you,” Burt said. “I don’t have any contacts within the country, just a few business associates in a couple coastal cities.”

“Thanks, Burt,” Ethan said as he stood to leave.

“Forget something, Ethan?” Burt asked.

“I’m not kissing you good-bye, Burt,” Ethan snarled as he took the hint and shoved the revolver into his waistband.

After Ethan ducked out of the cabin, Burt opened a cabinet and flipped a switch on an electronic device. A digital readout displayed geographic coordinates. He watched the little red dot that was currently blinking over Quepos. Soon it would travel southward to the border. Burt had hidden a GPS chip in the butt of the gun he had given Ethan. He now hoped Ethan would have the courage to carry it into Colombia.

Frequency of appearance

We have summarised all personalisation options for this book here. We also listed the Frequency of appearance for the respective details. You do not need to fill in all options – you can also use the defaults.

The Pilot
The first name of the pilot is 952 x
The last name of the pilot is 2 x
The pilot's eye colour is 1 x
The pilot's hair colour is 2 x
The pilot likes the sports club: The ... 1 x
The Spanish Teacher
The teacher's first name is 608 x
The teacher's last name is 10 x
The teacher's eye colour is 1 x
The teacher's hair colour is 3 x
The teacher studied ... 1 x
The Experienced Friend
The first name of the friend is 241 x
The last name of the friend is 14 x
He is a big fan of the sports team: The ... 6 x
The Dangerous Cousin
The first name of the cousin is 370 x
The last name of the cousin is 2 x
The Radical Hacker
The first name of the hacker is 238 x
The last name of the hacker is 2 x
The Ruthless ENP Leader
The ENP leader's first name is 230 x
The ENP leader's last name is 4 x
The Company Boss
The first name of the company boss is 61 x
The last name of the company boss is 21 x
The Helpful Restaurant Owner
The first name of the restaurant owner is 13 x
The last name of the restaurant owner is 2 x
The Escape Aid
The aid's first name is 43 x
The aid's last name is 1 x
The Airport Controller
The controller's first name is 6 x

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