If you couldn’t make the Facebook launch for The Punished (it was at 9pm BST 13/09/17), never fear, here are the highlights. #ThePunished @crookedcatbooks
A very warm welcome to the online launch of The Punished with me, Crooked Cat’s Cy Forrest, live from my studio in a rural village just south of Bath in the UK. This online event is for those who want to get to know more about my first novel in 12 years, The Punished, launched today by Crooked Cat Books. It’s about the real-life ghost village of Tyneham in Dorset.
England, 1943. The British Army occupies Tyneham and captures Jack after his one-man stand fails. Commanding officer Hulford-Prandy forces the eighteen-year-old to handle BLISS, a deadly chemical weapon.
Jack falls for radar operator Gin, but so does Hulford-Prandy who inveigles Gin into the Special Operations Executive, sending her to destroy a munitions factory in France and making sure she’s captured.
Forty years later.
City high-flyer Alexis is cornered by three veiled women at her mother’s funeral. They want to discover what happened to her mother, Gin, during the war. Alexis doesn’t know. She has no idea why Gin gave her up for adoption, nor why the name of her biological father is a secret. When she’s scattering Gin’s ashes in the ghost village of Tyneham, as requested by her mother, she meets a loner, Aidan, who knows everything and claims BLISS is still in the soil.
His dire warning sends her fleeing back to London where her boss tells her not to wear tights, slashes her bonus and praises the willingness of a young intern. Summoning her mother’s wartime spirit, Alexis confronts the bully.
She uncovers the truth about Gin and returns to Tyneham where Aidan’s made a huge discovery about BLISS. She follows him into occupied territory demanding the truth, and the American bullets start flying.
The Punished is a journey in four parts. Jack’s conversion from rebellious eighteen-year-old to peace campaigner; his son Aidan’s search for the truth; Gin’s journey from naive but plucky eighteen-year-old to secret war hero, risking her life many times over with a grenade in her pocket; and her daughter Alexis’s transformation from downtrodden to triumphant and courageous woman.
I shot the following sequence (in several takes) on September 10th on a wet and windy Sunday on the south coast. It shows us entering the firing range through the gate and heading along the narrow lane passing the countryside towards Tyneham and the sea.
There are army checkpoints and numerous warning notices visible en route. You’re strictly limited to the lane until you reach the ruined ghost village when you’re restricted to paths marked with yellow markers. There were two sniffer dogs checking for ordnance on that very wet Sunday. It amazed me to see sheep grazing in an area that’s out-of-bounds to humans.