Historical Mystery Thriller

Bob Couttie


In the bloodiest conflict of a forgotten war, a man branded a coward seeks redemption by uncovering the truth about his best friend's death. His mission unmasks a conspiracy of betrayal and corruption that will cost the lives of thousands and shake America to the core.


About The Book
From an author with impeccable credentials as a writer with an authoritative background
Hemp is a mystery thriller set in a unique time and place. It is 1901, America has become a superpower and is embroiled in its first southeast Asian conflict.


An Irish-American Infantry Major, Jack Barratt, a veteran of Cuba, the Philippine-American War and the Boxer Revolt, carries a burden of shame for an apparent act of cowardice in China. When his best friend, Rolly Leversham, is killed in a battle in the town of Matigan on the war-torn island of Samar, he is blackmailed by Leversham's powerful mother to investigate. She has information that will remove the stain from Barratt's reputation - if he can find the truth about her son's death.


Barratt recruits an odd team to help him in his mission: Genady Prickel, a Pinkerton's detective who wants to make a name for himself, London-born Corporal Ernie McInrey, a drayman escaping the union-busting activities of brewery owners in San Francisco, and George Brown, an Afro-American author of successful penny-dreadfuls written behind a 'white' psuedonym.


In Samar, a British trader, Jerome Hoggitt, holds the key that Barratt needs. Believed to be in league with the Filipino independence forces on the island, he has the secret of a towering conspiracy, one that is worth killing for, and may be worth dying for to conceal. His antagonist is Captain Glendoort, a Military Information Department officer who will stop at nothing, even torture, to get what he wants and to hide evidence of the conspiracy.


As the truth unfolds amid the bloody conflict on Samar both Barratt and Hoggitt find their lives in the hands of Patria Duran, a Samarena who has already killed two American soldiers, and the formidable and committed General Vicente Lukban who is continuing the fight for independence against all odds.


At stake in this close-played game are the lived of thousands of islanders...
And the Presidency of the United States.


About The Author


Sites Of Interest


Sample Chapters


For Print Publishers Only








Try Out These Sample Chapters!
(Right click and download. PDF format only)


Samar Dawn
"Private George Voigt of Company E, 9th United States Infantry had been on Samar for just two weeks so he was only scared at 3am on the morning of August 23, 1901. Another few weeks and he'd know well enough to be very scared…"


A Price For Redemption
"As the buggy raced from the valley of the chapel through the tangle of woodland, Barratt felt no need to question Prickel about his client. A man who pays a thousand dollars has a right to lead the recipient a merry dance and Barratt felt no qualms at all about dancing for that kind of money if that's what Judge Leversham wanted."


Stilton Rock
The man with the large red hole between his eyes and the better part of his brain painting the rich, varnished and ornately carved molave panels of Jerome Hoggitt's bedroom was not a local man. He was no longer in a condition to explain either his origins or his presence in the British trader's house. With irritating punctilio, Doctor Felipe Ordoņez put a hand to the man's neck, felt his jugular, then tested for a non-existent pulse. Finally, just to make sure, he struck a match and held it close to the man's open, dead, surprised eyes, stood up and pronounced:
"He is dead."






Bob Couttie
A former foreign correspondent, Bob Couttie is an experienced British screenwriter, radio playwrite, and historian. He brings to Hemp an authoritative background in one of America's last-known conflicts and fourteen years experience covering southeast Asia to give him a unique grasp of his characters and conflicts.

Writing credits include

Forbidden Knowledge, Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 1986 ("Should be on the
shelf of every school and public library" - New Scientist)

Hang The Dogs, New Day, Quezon City (Pub. August 2004) ("Incredibly well
researched with an absorbing character-driven narrative")

The Philippine-American War - entry for The Dictionary of American History,
Scribner & Sons, 2003

South East Asian States - Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (Pub.

On The Cards (BBC)
Forbidden Knowledge (Six-part series, BBC)
Rising Above The Storm (Pacific Hollywood)
Children Of The Sun(Pacific Hollywood)
The Shoot (O'Gara Hess & Eisenhart)
The French Ship (Oceantique)

Short Stories
First Kill - (Science Fiction Monthly)
Two In Time (Science Fiction Monthly)
The Burmese Doctor

Screenplay/Producer Credits
Doomsdayer (ABS-CBN)
Goodbye America (Quantum Entertainment/ABS-CBN)
Legacy (ABS/CBN)
Control (Quantum Entertainment)
Games And Players (Under option)






Learn more about Hang The Dogs HERE


For the Balangiga Research Group Website click HERE


For Bob Couttie's Screenwriter's Site Click HERE





For Print Publishers Only

Is HEMP right for YOUR catalogue?
To help you decide, an information pack is available on request. It contains what you need to know: Synopsis, sample chapters and author's information as well as suggestions that may help your readers assess the viability of
HEMP for your market and research they may wish to do to help their assessment. It is available by email in PDF format and by snailmail.


You may, if you wish, ask only for a synopsis and author's information to help you decide whether you wish to read sample chapters.**


Simply email balangiga@bobcouttie.com with 'HEMP' in the subject line. In the body your name, the name of your publishing house, address, telephone and fax numbers and whether you would like to receive the information by email or postal mail (snail mail). ** If you only wish to receive the synopsis and author's brief information this will be sent to you in the body of the email. Sample chapters will be sent, by email, as attached PDF files.
Your email address will remain confidential.