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The Goa File

Author: James G. Skinner
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 9788182530799
Pub. Date: Fourth Edition: 2013
Price: $22

First Edition: 2007, Second Edition: 2009, Third Edition: 2012

James G. Skinner, as he is know to his friends in Vigo, Spain was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a retired telecommunications expert who has travelled the world over having worked for some of the greatest of today's conglomerates such as Cable & Wireless, US Sprint and British Telecom. Having lived in many different and disparate countries spread across several continents, his knowledge of and experience with people from different ethnic groups and social backgrounds is second to none. He is a regular writer - in Spanish - in the local papers of Galicia and is currently the Honorary British Consul in the region.


 ‘…excellent characterisation…’ Bill Bond, journalist, Madrid .

‘…high level of objectivity and transparency…’ María Cristina Azcona, author Buenos Aires.  

‘…one of the most interesting novels I have read in the last few years. Fluid prose with a direct style…’ Anxel Vence, journalist and author, Vigo, Spain .

‘…a Ken Follet in our service...’ Sir Stephen Wright, British Ambassador, retired.


'On December 18th, 1961, Goa, the last bastion of Portuguese colonial power in the Near East, was attacked and invaded by Indian troops supported by naval and air force power. Under constitutional amendment, Portuguese India was incorporated into the Indian Union in 1962. The international community ignored the aggression.'

Historical fact.

'The Falklands war was like two bald men fighting for a comb.'

Jorge Borges.

Argentina - 1945 - 1982

Commander Alfredo Di Martino, an intelligence officer in the Argentine Navy investigates the murder of a US oil company executive in Buenos Aires supposedly committed by terrorists. As Di Martino pursues the clues, a more sinister plot begins to unravel that implicates Colonel David Jones of Welsh origin, who is Director of Communications of the Presidency of the Argentine Republic. The storyline traces the early background and military careers of both characters and ends in an unexpected climax as both meet at the height of the planning of the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands' invasion by the Argentine military in 1982. 

The time period stretches from the Peron dictatorship era of 1945 through to the 'Dirty War' of the 70's and early 80's. The salient national and international historical events and real political characters involved are introduced as Alfredo and David's lives evolve and are affected by the tumultuous era of Latin America's struggle against communism that turned into brutal military persecution and murder of thousands of innocent human lives, indirectly backed by the CIA and the Pentagon. 

The Falklands War in 1982, supposedly triggered off by a scrap merchant's enterprise on the island of South Georgia was the turning point that ironically brought an end to the horrible bloodshed.'


  1. Born in Buenos Aires, father from Scotland and mother from Wales.

  1. Educated in St. Albans College (British school) in BA and then on to Cable & Wireless Engineering College in Porthcurno, nr. Penzance, Cornwall. Also hold a Masters in Business Administration from the USA. Retired member of Institute of Marketing, Linguists and Electrical and Electronic Engineers (USA).

  1. Worked as a telecommunications engineer moving on to marketing and management in the same business based (took up residence) in various parts of the world. These included Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Panama), Middle East (Iran), Europe (UK and Spain) and United States (Washington D.C., Kansas City and San Francisco). Work included travel to a further 15 or 20 countries such as Cuba, Kuwait, Ukraine and Latvia.

  1. Companies worked for were Cable & Wireless (over 30 years), TDX Inc. (2-1/2), US Sprint (4), British Telecom (2), and IDT Inc. (2-1/2).

  1. Took early retirement in 1992 but returned to active work, also in telecommunications between 1994 until 2000. 

  1. Hobbies are golf and free lance journalism. Attended a Post Graduate course in Falmouth College of Arts in Professional Writing in 2001.

  1. Married, wife is Galician. Two children and three grandchildren.

  1. Lives in Vigo permanently since 1996.

  1. Interesting part of life was National Service in the Argentine Army (1959/1960) and supervising the building of an 18-hole golf course in 1993.

  1. During career abroad had a great deal to do with Governments, Embassies and Consulates of various nations.

  1. British Honorary Consul in Galicia, Spain since July 2002.



COVER: 8/10 

The readers thought the cover was excellent and the comments on the back well-written, enticing them to read the book. They like the strong, central image and fun, easy-to-read fonts. However, a number felt the pics on the back looked a little ‘lost’ and could have been larger and incorporated better with the blurb. 

CONTENT 10/10 

This book was very much enjoyed by the readers. They loved all the dirty politics and the strong characterisation throughout the book. One reader put on his feedback, ‘This author knows his history, from the CIA to the FBI, from corrupt government to the Cuban missile crisis. But not only is it a fascinating look at the late 20th Century, it is also a bloody good read. Fast-paced and awash with interesting characters.’ 


The readers thought the book was well edited and discovered no glaring problems with grammar, punctuation or spelling. One reader wrote, ‘I did find the odd typo but they did not destroy the book for me.’ For example, p73, Di Martino smiled, ‘what the… should read.: Di Martino smiled. ‘What the… 

STYLE 9/10 

The readers thought your writing style was excellent. The story had pace, was well structured and your ability to work with dialogue was very well developed. One reader put, ‘This author can write. He’s not big on physical character and setting description but he understands the importance of pace and how speech can keep a story moving.’ 

TO SUM UP 39/40 

Hi, thanks for entering your book in the awards. Our readers seemed to really enjoy your book, particularly the excellent way you worked with ‘speech’ and the strong characters. 

I will now go and write a positive review on and Goodreads for you. 



Of the 36 readers: 

35 finished the book; 1 did not but only because he was sick with flu! 

18 felt the central characters were the best part of the book. 

7 thought the way you worked with dialogue was the best part of the book. 

3 felt the clever way you integrated fact and fiction was the best part of the book.. 

30 loved the cover and blurb; although 5 suggested re-designing the back cover to better incorporate the two pics. 

35 would like to read another book by this author. 


‘A fascinating insight into dirty politics and the run-up to the Falkland Island invasion. Highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Awards

Author BIO
James G. Skinner

James G. Skinner is a retired world wide telecommunications executive and ex-Honorary British Consul in Spain. For the past twenty years he has lived in Vigo and has observed through the press the constant flow of drugs from Latin America into Europe via the coast of Galicia. Living in Spain has also given him an insight into the fight on terrorism, especially the Basque Separatist movement ETA.

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