May 23 2012 EXCLUSIVE By Joe McGuire
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THE second novel from a former health and safety officer may prove none too safe for the author if the security services pick up a copy.
Ernie Hasler’s new book, Conspiracy of Wolves, is a political thriller that paints a grim reality where a shady cabal secretly rule the world.
And the Bishopton man jokes that if MI5 decide to have a read, the fictional disclaimer at the book’s start may prove naught but a paper shield.
It’s the first “chase” novel from the 69-year old, who tells the tale of protagonist Douglas Hamilton struggling in a world of crimes, cover ups and dodgy characters as he’s dragged deeper into the dark underbelly of the modern day world.
But it wasn’t an easy journey to get the excitement readers want, as Ernie explains.
He said: “Readers who buy thrillers want excitement from the very beginning. I spent a year writing ‘Conspiracy of Wolves’ but initial feedback from the early drafts suggested I ‘find the chase and cut to it’, so I completely re-constructed the first 19 chapters to pack in more action.”
The book discusses the morality and legality of weapons of mass destruction, with visits to Faslane Naval Base and the peace camp there inspiring him to write.
Ernie said: ‘I’d think about these evil, black submarines in the water carrying warheads that could obliterate not just my village but everyone else’s as well. That’s what made me start writing.
“We went to war with Iraq because they were apparently building WMD, yet we’re stockpiling these terrible weapons ourselves-it’s a massive hypocrisy. It’s a case of the big boys in the playground wanting to be in charge.”
Ernie highlights the MPs expenses scandal as symbolic of the dual standards that exist between rich and poor in society today. He said: “If I was caught dipping my fingers into the till I’d be arrested and get my P45."
Sticking up for the oppressed and taking on the powerful are themes that run throughout Ernie’s work and his role as a trustee with the Emmaus Glasgow community has influenced this.
Ernie was a founder of the group back in 1997, which sees previously homeless people running their own business while recovering their own lives and helping others less fortunate than themselves.
He said: “My work with Emmaus has shown me how society misunderstands and judges certain groups of people. The poor and deprived are often assumed to be ‘bad’ but I’ve seen they’re often victims, controlled and dominated by others.
“I want to stand up for them through my writing.”
Conspiracy of Wolves is on sale now from Amazon priced £8 in paperback and £5 as a Kindle download.