The seventh Stephen Leather thriller is a stand-alone novel titled The Birthday Girl. I wrote it while I was living in Baltimore so much of the story takes place in Maryland, though the book opens in the former Yugoslavia.
In the latest paperback edition of the novel, the word "THE" has gone missing. I'm really not sure how that happened! A few years after the book was published a movie of the same name appeared, starring Nicole Kidman, but the movie storyline had nothing in common with my book!
The story is about a young girl who is involved in the kidnap of an American arms-manufacturer in Sarajevo. He is rescued and the girl's relatives are killed - at which point the American decides to adopt her and give her a new life in the United States. Years later, when gangsters threaten the man's business, the girl tries to help him with devastating results.
Truth be told, it was a difficult book to write plot-wise, and I'm still not one hundred per cent happy with it. It's a stand-alone book but I would quite like to revisit the main characters again. We'll see!