*Apologises for alternate date for #BlogTour post, this is due to a recent hospital admission*
The Second Son by Andy Blackman
As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.
One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the first time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.
But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.
Why you choose Belize as a location?
The reason I chose Belize as the place where Tom and Grenville meet, is because whilst serving in the British Army I was lucky enough to have served there for six months in 1983.
In 1983 Belize is not the same country as it is today, in 1982 Belize was granted independence on 21 September 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation because of its longstanding territorial dispute with the British colony, claiming that Belize belonged to Guatemala. About 1,500 British troops remained in Belize to deter any possible incursions.
Belize was always for the Army on a state of battle ready, but did not stop us from having a good time whilst there. The country was split in two parts by the Army, Belize North run from AirPort Camp from the Capital, Belize City, and Belize South run from Punta Gorda , where I was stationed. Punta Gorda was not as built as it is today the camp was situated some 5 miles from it in the jungle, but we used to take trips to Punta Gorda at weekends to visit the local bars.
The border between Belize and Guatemala.
The Border between Mexico and Belize.
So as I spent some time in Belize and knew the county quite well I decided to include it in my book, as it was a place I knew about and could confidential write about. I love my time spent in Belize and as I mentioned in my book the first thing that hits you is the heat, it is soul sucking and takes ages to get used to it, but eventually you do. The only way from the North to the South was by boat and my first few days in the country was on a small landing craft going down to Punta Gorda wishing like many others it would all end soon. That is why I could have Tom in my book sail his boat, as I had done it myself so I knew it was possible.