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Chris Allen, Australian Author

By Author: Ned Shaffer
Total Articles: 338

“The two thirty-eights roared simultaneous.” This is my favourite opening line, says author Chris Allen. “It’s all an action writer hopes
to do, teasing the reader about what’s to come.”

The quote, from Ian Fleming, opens “Moonraker,” the third story in
the James Bond Books. The guns don’t roar in an exotic location;
Bond is not in a sudden shootout with a
ruthless villain. No, he’s on a shooting range, far below the streets of
London, requalifying, as a good public servant must, on basic skills.

Alex Morgan, the Allen hero, is civil servant, as is Bond. Morgan
works search and destroy missions for INTREPID: the Intelligence, Recovery,
Protection and Infiltration Division of Interpol. What Interpol can’t do openly,
Intrepid does covertly .

INTREPID is different from MI6. INTREPID has a global mandate ; MI6 protects mostly British interests. Although deeply
secretive , MI6 is a public agency. INTREPID
doesn’t exist.

Ian Fleming worked Naval Intelligence during World War II. The Fleming
Flair was to scheme, plot and supervise
dangerous missions, such as the escape from Dieppe;
he also came up with quirky ways to Fool the
enemy. Chris Allen shares the Fleming Flair, not only on the page.
Boyish grin and Gary Cooper, ah-shucks attitude aside, Allen is as much
Bond as he is Fleming. After Trinity College high school, he joined the
Australian Army. At 22, Allen was a lieutenant and, eventually, a Major. He
qualified as a paratrooper in Australia, England and France as well as
attaching to the New Zealand and British Armies. He deployed to South East
Asia, Africa and Central America.

Following 9/11, Allen joined the Australian Federal Police Protective Service
and led Counter Terrorist First Response measures at Sydney Airport. Bob
Carr, then premier of New South Wales, recruited Allen to oversee and
upgrade security at the most iconic landmark in Australia, the Sydney Opera
House, on which someone spray-painted, “No War, in March 2003. From
2008 to 2012, Allen was Sheriff of New South Wales, a storybook job, in
Australia.

The Morgan stories , “Defender” and “Hunter,” are
ostensibly fiction. The action is possible. There’s a “been there,
done that” feel to the confidence with which Chris Allen
writes.

Alex Morgan is part James Bond and part Mike Hammer. Bond and Morgan
are simple, direct and effective. Selected, readied and set for brutal efficiency,
Morgan, as needed, is as merciless a judge as is
Hammer.

More Bond than Hammer, Alex Morgan is a blunt servant of
global safety. Bond and Hammer often shrink to cartoons, not
Morgan. What someone said of Bond applies best to Morgan: he’s
the bad person smouldering inside every good person.
Morgan is a believable hero. He’s not alone, sharing a shortlist with Marlowe,
Spade, Archer and McGee. Each acts on a higher purpose, to purge evil and
remain honest.

In this conversation , Chris Allen talks openly , of how Alex Morgan came about, how he develops and writes the
stories as well as his hopes that Morgan translates to film, well.

Chris Allen

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