Khaleel Datay's Blog

August 25, 2016

Set in British-ruled South Africa, Allan Quartermain, a hunter and fortune seeker, is approached by an English gentleman to help him look for his brother, reportedly last seen in deep dark Africa. The Englishman also produces a 300-year old map drawn in the blood of the last man known to have gotten close to Solomon's Mines. Quartermain refuses at first, but is drawn by adventure and the possibility of untold riches if they discover the long lost mines. Joined by a Zulu warrior, and another Englishman, they cross game-filled plains, an unforgiving desert, huge mountains covered in snow, and almost die of thirst, hunger, and frost-bite. They endure, and eventually cross over into a country ruled by a wealthy and organised African race similar to the Zulus, ruled by a brutal king. Their own Zulu companion becomes a key person in the drama that ensues with the knowledge that he may be the missing heir to the throne. Blood, gore, witches, and war. Diamonds bigger than a man's fist, are all part of a rollicking tale. Classic stuff.King Solomon's Mines
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Published on August 25, 2016 11:37 • 18 views • Tags: h-rider-haggard, solomon-s-mines

August 11, 2016

To Kill A Spy


Mumbai, India

Jasminder Singh was by all accounts a battered woman.
Looking at her though, one could hardly tell. Tall, sun-bronzed, with a sensuous body perfected by professional tennis, she appeared the epitome of health. Her eyes were what gave her away. Always the eyes. Normally bright and shining with intelligence, they were dull and almost devoid of life.
Nick Winter admired her in the afternoon sun on Juhu Beach. He heard she’d started playing again, leaning on the physicality of the game as a therapeutic crutch. Despite everything she’d endured, she was still a beauty to look at.
In town for a few days at Pune University, he’d called to see how she was doing. The picnic at the beach was her idea. His old friend, Ray Desai, had kept an eye on her these last few months. Since the trauma of her capture at the hands of Chandrasekhar’s thugs she’d stayed with Ray’s sister. The reports were encouraging. She’d been seeing a counsellor to work through the hell they put her through. The fact that she started training again spoke volumes of her mental strength.
Her chestnut brown hair glowed red in the sun where they sat on the sand, the sea gently lapping at their feet. Children frolicked in the water, watched by anxious parents. Jazz picked out a mango from the basket and offered it to Winter.
“Thanks, you don’t get these in London. Mmm…” he said and started peeling it.
They sat on either side of the basket. The distance between them felt like a mile away. He cut the mango into portions and offered her some. He watched the tremble in her hand as she picked up a wedge of the sweet fruit.
“I heard you were back in practice,” he said, facing the sea.
“Yes I have. Why don’t you tell me about London?”
Her terse answer spoke volumes of her emotional state.
“Oh, you know London never changes. Always busy, always dark and rainy. Sometimes seems like it sucks the life out of you. Our obsession with the weather still endures, but then again, a lack of sunshine would drive most people insane.”
She ate quietly, enjoying the sweet mango. He reached into the basket for a bottle of water. She reached for a serviette. Their hands brushed. She drew hers away quickly, wincing at his touch. He so badly wanted to take her face in his hands, to kiss her, to reassure her she’d be fine. To tell her that he loves her…considering what happened to her, he dared not.
Not yet.
“How’s your shoulder?” she asked.
“It’s getting on alright. A bit of pain in the cold back in the UK, but over here its feeling much better thanks.”
“I never had a chance to thank you for what you did. All of you. Ray, Rasheed, and his mother, you’ve all been wonderful. You saved my life Nick, thank you. Not bad for a university professor.”
They both laughed. Hers was strained, though.
“Chandrasekhar’s still out there Jazz. This is not over. I promise you I will get him, and make him pay for what he did.”
Her hands flew to her face, contorted with pain, and filled with anxiety.
“…Nick, please. They will kill you. Please, listen to me. Let it go. Please, I can’t lose you too.”
Nick Winter was in no mood for backing down.
“Not if I kill him first.”
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Published on August 11, 2016 02:50 • 16 views • Tags: books, khaleel-datay, politics, south-africa, to-kill-a-spy
The writing of THE WINTER DECEPTION The Winter Deception by Khaleel Datay, and TO KILL A SPY, had been a wonderful experience for me in the espionage genre. Two months ago I published a book under a pseudonym in a different genre, more personal, and very fulfilling. 3 books in five years had exhausted me, but the itch to write again is working away at me. Blade Patel - One of the new characters in TO KILL A SPY To Kill A Spy by Khaleel Datay- was so much fun to develop, that I've decided to do my next book with Blade as the main protagonist. A former fraud, crook, and all round bad boy, Blade has that roguish good looks and charm that wins over the toughest critics. Having recently been inducted into South African local intelligence's DOMESTIC BRANCH ( something like an MI5), Blade's wife is killed by an international crime boss. He opts out of the game, painting on the mountain side to soothe his grief. But Blade's not the kind of man who gets to walk away. Abducted by a man he had 'killed' Blade's life turns a corner when he's contracted to take out his wife's killer. No problem right? But can Blade deal with the conditions, and consequences?...see where it goes.....
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Published on August 11, 2016 02:40 • 10 views • Tags: datay, espionage-game, south-african-politics, spy-stories, thrillers, writing

July 6, 2015

Khaleel DatayIn between work, writing and painting (doing seascapes now), my reading time has suffered. In one of my first posts I sang the praises of e-books, and I still do (my books only published as ebooks). Problem is my Kindle has been acting up lately. Keeps needing rebooting before I can actually read something. Then when you're just settling in for a good read the thing goes and seizes up again. After trying to find someone to fix the damn thing, I found Amazon not keen on fixing these things. At the tip of Africa, its a bit far to find someone to shout at. I did the next best thing. I went to my bookshelf and started re-reading some of my old books. I've been through Deighton's 9-book triple trilogy. Finally read his first book called THE IPCRESS FILE, maybe twenty years too late for me. Found it a drag for most part. Also one of Daniel Silva's latest I had put down earlier, and now reading The Tailor of Panama by Le Carre. The great thing about books is that they keep giving. Turning pages the old fashioned way still best. Love it!
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Published on July 06, 2015 01:01 • 25 views • Tags: e-books, good-read, paper-books, reading

May 28, 2015

Khaleel DatayThe last few months I worked on the publication of my second book. A stressful time of editing, rewrites and chasing deadlines, but now that its done and dusted I can breathe again. In between I've been painting landscapes and much like writing it never seems to quite end. A rewarding pastime nevetheless. For a while now I've been thinking of writing a book based on a personal experience a few years ago. A departure from the espionage/thriller genre, but something that had a quite profound effect on my life. Wanted to write this one before the second novel, but needed to resolve the first book's issues in the sequel. Guess my left brain took over. I've started penning some thoughts and already its been interesting to learn how small things that have happened can have such a big effect on your life. Apologies,I have to stay cryptic at this stage. Will share the journey as we go along
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Published on May 28, 2015 02:41 • 12 views • Tags: books, family, life-experiences, writing

April 28, 2015

Publication of my latest e-book, TO KILL A SPY, went live on 24 April 2015 on Amazon.
Its been an incredible journey. What started out in 2012 as a short story to resolve outstanding issues from THE WINTER DECEPTION, snowballed into a full length novel of over 100K words. The characters of Winter, Chandrasekhar and Vusi just didn't want to let up. Set almost entirely in South Africa, we follow Nick Winter's quest for revenge of the brutal assault on Jasminder Singh. Spies, political intrigue, gangsters and vengeance at the tip of Africa.Khaleel Datay
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Published on April 28, 2015 23:27 • 29 views • Tags: action, africa, datay, espionage, fiction, india, new-book, south-africa, spy-story, thriller

April 11, 2015

I started reading Len Deighton's triple trilogy again (Game Set Match, Hook Line Sinker + Faith Hope Charity). I'm now reading the sixth in the series, Spy Sinker. What an extraordinary feat by Deighton. Enjoyed the first couple but getting a bit jaded now. Punch drunk on the escapades of Bernie Samson, Dicky Cruyer and Werner Volkmann. Great characterization though and a nice,sometimes lighthearted look at the dark days of the Cold War. Little predictable at times, Deighton still manages to turn up the suspense with all the spies coming out from East Berlin and the machinations inside MI6. Enjoyed the look inside the old German life with all its insecurities and how it compares with that inside Great Britain.
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Published on April 11, 2015 10:35 • 23 views • Tags: deighton, espionage, reading, second-world-war

April 4, 2015

So I've been really quiet for a while. Been enjoying painting landscapes and just getting that creative groove back. Haven't written much lately but I have been hard at work on the publication of my second book. Finally settled on a title; TO KILL A SPY. Basically only days away now, so watch out for it first on
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Published on April 04, 2015 11:21 • 92 views • Tags: new-book-release

November 12, 2014

Brilliant spy novel in the tradition of Deighton and Le Carre. Dont expect James Bond and Jason Bourne style fireworks. This is good old fashioned tradecraft from a master in the genre. The author weaves a fantastic story of betrayal and deceit on the back of regime change in Egypt and Libya. The core of the story revolves around a CIA analyst who discovers a connection between five random abductions of Libyan nationals opposed to the regime. He sees it as the beginning of a plan to topple Muammar Gadhaffi, a plan he had written himself many years ago. The question was, who was behind the plan? The CIA? or Was it Egypt? The analyst, Jibril Aziz, goes to see an American diplomat formerly stationed in Egypt, for help. Soon after the diplomat is killed, setting off a chain of events that leads the reader from one discovery to the next. With an illicit love affair, double dealing spies, and a wonderful history in Egyptian, Libyan and Yugoslav politics, this is story telling at its best.The Cairo Affair
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Published on November 12, 2014 09:53 • 31 views • Tags: cairo-affair, espionage, olen-steinhauer, spy-thriller

October 10, 2014

Khaleel DatayJust completed first draft of my second book with a working title: BITTER VENGEANCE.

What a massive learning curve its been writing the second book in the Nick Winter series. What started out as doing something you think, okay lets give it a shot, has become so much a part of me. This time I've paid more attention to the art of writing thrillers, focussing strongly on characterisation and keeping my readers hooked. The one thing one has to do as a writer is to keep reading, keep learning and adapt the way you do things as you go along. Now for the editing and rewrites. I know some authors dont enjoy the rewrites part, but I do. I get a real kick out of the effect of inserting a few sentences which could add a real twist where there was none before. Using a healthy dose of creativity you could change something good to something great. Just love it. BITTER VENGEANCE, the name says it all, is based in South Africa for the best part against a backdrop of a changing political situation where political freedom has been outlived by the desire for economic freedom. This creates an explosive environment that could only end in increasing clashes with the government. Nick Winter is engaged to find a missing person only to learn he bought himself a whole lot more than an apparent stray husband. So there's vengeance, missing persons, murder and political intrigue all thrown in there. I had lots of fun writing it and hope readers will equally enjoy the final product. Now looking for some beta readers to assess the book.
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Published on October 10, 2014 01:37 • 24 views • Tags: reading, second-book, writing