I wrote The Solitary Man while I was living in Bangkok. I'd wanted to do a prison escape story for some time and thought it would be interesting to set it in a Thai prison.
I visited Klong Prem, Bangkok's main prison, several times and spoke to prisoners there to get a feel for the place. It was a fun book to write, but it has never been one of my big sellers, perhaps because of the South East Asian settings. But it remains one of my favourite Stephen Leather novels.
Some years after The Solitary Man was published I received a letter from a guy called David McMillan, the only Westerner to have ever escaped from Klong Prem prison. We met in London and I was able to advise him on the writing of his own book about the escape. It's a great read and I always wish I'd met him before writing my book as his escape was way better than the one I used in The Solitary Man!