Published by Urbane Publications on November 8, 2018
Love, deception and murder dominate as thriller writer James Silvester delivers the first in the Lucie Musilova series. Britain is a hotbed of racial tension and economic uncertainty. Only Sir Geoffrey Hartnell, an ageing but hugely respected MP, can bring about a successful resolution to the talks, but a ghost from the past threatens to bring the UK to its knees. Lucie Musilova meanwhile, is a young woman running out of places to hide. Half British, half Czech and rejected by both countries in the aftermath of Brexit, she meets 'Mr. Lake', the eccentric Head of a branch of the intelligence services known as 'The Overlappers', and is press ganged into service on the Huxley case......
So I have the pleasure of closing the tour today! I get to share an excerpt from the book too! Enjoy
A ferocious and unwelcome sweat brought on by the August heat, erupted on the brow of the young Civil Servant as he raised the gun in an awkward and wholly unfamiliar movement, his aim distorted by the shaking in his arm and his nervous clenching of the revolver’s grip.
“I could stop you,” he intoned, straining against the daily agony he felt in his arm to keep the weapon levelled on his foe. “I should stop you.”
“Be my guest,” replied the second man, pushing his black trilby back above his brow and defiantly staring beyond the wavering gun barrel into the eyes of his
The second figure was as young as the
“Oh, I think I’ve finished the job well enough, don’t you? The whole Embassy knows by now, knows that you are a traitor, nothing more than a Communist Patsy.
“Language, Old Boy,” the first man smirked through his obvious pain, as
“Then put a bullet in my brain and get it over with, will you? Spare me your gloating.”
From across the courtyard, the gunman slowly lowered his arm, a twinge of sadness further diluting the loathing which he had yearned to surrender to.
“No,” he answered, simply, eliciting a frown of reluctant curiosity in response. “There’s only one place you can go, Old Boy. In seconds, the security will descend upon you and drag you back to Britain in chains. You’ll be paraded across the front page of every paper in the land, your face jeered at nightly on every television unless you run.”
“Run where?” “To your suitors, of course; to the Reds. The Dubček regime is doomed and the Hardliners are waiting in the wings. I’m sure they’d welcome you with open arms, after all, you’re the man who killed the Prague Spring.”
“You’re not serious…” the desperate man half-whispered, almost incredulous at what he was hearing. “You really can’t be serious.”
“What’s the matter? You always wanted to make your mark on history, and now you have. Whether you run or not, you’ll be remembered forever for this,” came the response. “You can either spend your life reeling from your castigation in a prison cell, or else you can embrace it here as a hero; a hero of sorts anyway.”
There was no choice that he could see, the other man’s logic was sound, and he had always considered himself a logical man; that was what had gotten him into this mess to start with. But a
“We were right about you,” he said after a moment. “All this time, we were right about you. This is a death sentence just the same as if you put a bullet between my eyes, you know that. But then, you never did have the courage to fire a gun, did you, Geoff? And that arm of yours doesn’t look strong enough to take the shot anyway, does it?
“No,” Geoff quietly conceded. “But it isn’t just my gun you need to be wary of, and you never did have the courage to take a bullet, to be the one to take the pain, did you Alex? That’s lifetime here run.”
The sun was getting hotter and Alex could hear the sound of boots getting closer. He turned his back to Geoff, to the Embassy and to his country, the country he had pledged to serve, and stepped closer to the gate, through which lay whatever he could turn into his destiny. As he stepped through, he turned back, just one more question on his lips.
“Why did you do this?” he asked solemnly. “Just so you can
“Screw Britain,” the slighter man replied with equal solemnity from across the courtyard. “You betrayed me.”
He nodded, his acceptance of the answer as reluctant as that of his situation and drew his first breath as a man on the run from his country.
“Goodbye, Geoffrey,” he shouted through the gate. “Don’t get too comfortable, don’t ever let your guard down. Hell is a lonely place and that’s where you’re sending me. Don’t be surprised when I come back looking for company.” He doffed his trilby in faux salute to the Embassy, then turned and set off at a jog into a life in the chaos and fear of a Russian invasion.
“Goodbye, Alexander,” Geoffrey whispered back, before the heat and his emotion overpowered him and he fell to the ground, his knees, and his gun, dropping uselessly to the cobbles.