In response to Bluebookbelle’s Bookish Photo A Day Challenge – February 2015 #AWORphotoaday
Hero: Ben Hope from author Scott Mariani
Ben Hope – the man:
Born: Benedict Hope, 1971, England .
Physical Characteristics: 5’11’’, blond hair, blue eyes, athletic build.
Education: Oxford University, BTh Bachelor of Theology degree (did not complete studies, dropped out and later pursued military career).
Former Occupation: British Army, 22 SAS Regiment, deployed in various theatres of war and many black ops missions worldwide. Retired with rank of Major after 13 years’ service.
Present Occupation: Crisis Response Consultant / Director and Head Trainer at Le Val Tactical Training Centre near Valognes, Normandy.
Location: Various; after leaving the Army, resided on west coast of Ireland before moving to current base in northern France. Also maintains a ‘safehouse’ in Paris for certain contingencies.
Significant Relationships, Past and Present: Roberta Ryder; Leigh Llewellyn (deceased); Dr Brooke Marcel.
Family: Parents deceased. One sibling, Ruth, presently residing in Switzerland, plus one son (from a prior relationship), Jude Arundel, born 1992.
Likes: Solitude and privacy, peace and tranquillity (where he can find it.) Loves the sea, the countryside, and animals, especially dogs. Pets include Storm, favourite guard German shepherd at Le Val, and Scruffy, a terrier cross, formerly of Little Denton Vicarage, Oxfordshire. Appreciates the music of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. Also likes jazz, particularly if it is frenetic, discordant and hard to listen to.
Dislikes: Injustice, corruption, maltreatment of the weak and the innocent, and animal cruelty. Also deeply suspicious of all politicians and most serving police officers (notable exceptions include Commissioner Luc Simon of Interpol, Detective Markus Kinski of Vienna CID and Commander Darcey Kane of Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)). Additionally dislikes intrusions into his privacy, or being questioned about his past, the nature of his work or his personal life.
Religious Leanings: Variable. Has had an on / off relationship with the Church and a lifelong struggle to maintain his Christian faith since circumstances caused him to give up his Theology studies.
Political Affiliations: None.
Known Vices: Occasional overindulgence in single malt scotch whisky; frequently travels with a hip flask of his favourite brand, Laphroaig. Displays a particular weakness for French Gauloises cigarettes, which he always lights with his trusty Zippo petrol lighter. Is not above the occasional use of foul language: when in a tight spot (which happens from time to time) may be heard to utter the words ‘f***k it’.
Special Skills: Many and varied. Highly proficient in all forms of CQB (Close Quarter Battle) combat skills both armed and unarmed. Exceptional rifle shot out to 1000 metres and beyond. Skilled in defensive / high speed pursuit driving. Trained in use of explosives, both improvised and non-improvised. Expert in covert entry / infiltration and hostage extraction. Maintains an extremely high standard of physical fitness (despite lifestyle vices, e.g. drinking / smoking). Special aptitude for languages with particular fluency in French, Italian, Spanish and German, as well as a good understanding of many others. Shows an acute instinctive understanding of human psychology that has enabled him to perform well as a hostage rescue negotiator.
This pic from Scott Mariani’s website