News Local

Wright releases third book of Radley trilogy

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

Local author Eric E. Wright has just published Rust Bucket, the third in his Josh Radley trilogy, and it tackles a timely subject.
SUBMITTED PHOTO

Local author Eric E. Wright has just published Rust Bucket, the third in his Josh Radley trilogy, and it tackles a timely subject. SUBMITTED PHOTO

PORT HOPE - 

The very real issue of human slavery is told through the fictional adventures of protagonist Josh Radley in Eric E. Wright’s new novel Rust Bucket.

Interviewed recently from his Port Hope home, Wright pointed out this is the third story in a Josh Radley trilogy, following The Lightning File and Captives of Minara.

In The Lightning File, Radley is a reporter for a Toronto paper.

“In the course of it, he gets fired, so he goes on to work freelance,” Wright said — and this freedom gives him ample scope to get involved more deeply in the adventures he encounters.

In Rust Bucket, he puts off urgent cancer treatment in order to pursue the story of a beached freighter that contains not only an alarming cache of explosives and drugs but also a human cargo bound for enslavement in factories, farms and brothels.

The press release for Wrights’s book said that an estimated 24-million people worldwide are exploited by unethical businesses of all kinds.

The human cargo in the freighter Josh Radley investigates includes a tribal girl from Pakistan whom Josh and his wife happen to know.

As it happens, Wright and his wife lived in Pakistan for 16 years, while he worked as a missionary teacher.

“Although we normally think of Pakistan as a Muslim country, there’s a minority of Christians who need ministry,” he said.

“I started an extension training program and, in the course of that, I learned more about their culture.”

The slave-labour problem seems to be much more widespread than one would like to think, Wright said.

“Probably not as much in Canada, although criminal elements are realizing — you sell cocaine, you sell it once. With human beings, you can use them again and again and again, and it’s very profitable for business owners and brothels.

“There was a lot of it in Pakistan, landlords taking advantage of poor people who were sort of enslaved.”

His dedication is “to all those who struggle to end human trafficking as well as the victims of this horrific crime.”

His acknowledgments include the Colborne Writers’ Group, who helped him shape his story.

“Every chapter I would take and give it to them. They would go over it and make suggestions. I found it extremely helpful,” he said.

He also acknowledges the Spirit of the Hills writers’ group, of which he is a member, “whose encouragement is always a source of inspiration.”

Wright didn’t set out to be a writer — he got his degree in forestry from the University of Toronto.

“Then, I thought, ‘People are as important as trees,’ so I went on and got my training in ministry.”

Pakistan is the only country where he did mission work, but 16 years was long enough for the Wrights’ children to grow up in that country. They later went into the business world, but his youngest does business in Pakistan, Hong Kong and other foreign lands.

Wright returned to Canada to be pastor of a church in Toronto for a few years, but he began to yearn for the country life.

“I had studied forestry, and I always wanted to be in a place in the country,” he said.

The Wrights located a log house in Garden Hill where they were happy for a dozen years, the place that inspired his nonfiction book Through A Country Window. They later relocated to a place in the Colborne area. Now, wanting to be in a level place with no stairs, they have a condo in Port Hope.

Rust Bucket is a self-published book through the Create Space service offered by Amazon. Wright is placing it for sale around the area, and so far you can pick up a copy at Furby House Books in Port Hope, Searchlight Books in Cobourg, and Lighthouse Books in Brighton (or visit www.countrywindow.ca).

You can also get a print or e-book copy by visiting the Amazon site.

cnasmith@postmedia.com