Thursday, 20 October 2016

A purchasers review of The Fiddler by RJ Dodd

Format: Paperback
This book kept me hooked to the end. Its vivid prose creates imagery that took me to the cities and hills of Italy whilst on a train to Manchester, no mean feat! Strong characters and storyline provide an education in 18th century living and an altogether satisfying read. 
available on all amazon sites worldwide....

Sunday, 2 October 2016

chapter three "The Unknowns" by RJ Dodd

Chapter three. Mexico.

    The fruit freight depot  is in a mean, sparsely lit, back street just on the outskirts of the Mexican town of Tijuana, near the USA- Mexican border. The shabby collection of sheds and rickety corrugated iron roofed outbuildings glories in the name of Miguel’s Flying Fruit Freight, at least that is what the cracked and faded sign above the door once said, but that had been painted many years ago  when Miguel was a young man with dreams, dreams of quitting the hell hole of Tijuana and moving north to what he saw as paradise, the United States of America, like his dreams the sign is now faded, cracked and the paint chipped.

    Miguel’s vision of one day having a fleet of lorries transporting the cheap fruit from the flatlands around his part of Mexico never seemed to get off the ground, maybe it was the monthly payments to the local “protection and insurance” gang that ran his area, paying for the medical attention for his asthmatic wife, helping his aged mother with the rent for her cockroach infested shack or  maybe he was just a terrible business man.

    All of these concerns mattered not at all to him now as he and his two employees, a couple of middle aged men he had known from his childhood, lay on the blood soaked earth just inside the yard where he kept his one battered old truck. It would never matter to him because just beside his blood spattered body and the bodies of his two men lay three severed heads, theirs.
    The execution had been swift and brutal, four men had walked into the front office, all of them carrying guns. Miguel and his two old friends were engaged in their nightly game of cards. One of the intruders motioned for the three amigos to move out into the rear yard where one of the gunmen spoke only one word “Arridolarse”  the three Mexicans immediately obeyed him and knelt on the ground,  with amazing speed two of the gunmen unsheathed large cane cutting machetes and simply lopped off their heads, it took three seconds.

     Business discussion and conclusion…Execution…. Mexican Drug Cartel style.

     Hundreds of flying night bugs flitting around the lone suspended light over the yard paid no attention to the scene below them as the unlocked  wire mesh gate was pushed open and one of the gunmen climbed into the  rusty vehicle, casually driving it out into the lane where  another vehicle, a large Mercedes, is waiting..The headlights on the limousine flash once and it moves off, followed by the fruit lorry. They both move slowly along the dark alleyway towards the slightly better lit main road.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

chapter 2 "The Unknowns" by RJ Dodd.

Chapter two.

Present day.. 85 Albert Embankment.. MI6 Headquarters. Vauxhall. London.

    Completely ignoring the gusting rain that sweep along the nearby River Thames, a man walks rapidly through the imposing front doors of the Secret Service building and out through the security barriers on Albert Embankment..hardly believing his good fortune a taxi is dropping off some passengers just as he reaches the pavement, he jumps into the now  vacant cab and tells the driver  “Coopers Arms please, Flood Street,  Chelsea.”

    Despite the  almost continuous downpour, the Friday night crowd of  City workers, bankers and traders begin to arrive in droves for their  weekly “Fizzy Glug” at The Coopers Arms pub. It takes only a few minutes for the ‘local’ area pub to go from  being occupied by a gaggle of old regulars nursing their tepid pints of beer to being  standing room only as the young and wealthy crowd begin to slake their thirst, downing copious amounts of alcoholic beverages.
    The Friday night extra  bar staff are busy supplying the demand, the popping of corks and the  ringing of the till is almost continuous.

    This popular pub, just off the busy Kings Road in fashionable Chelsea has recently seen an upturn in its fortunes, going from a sleepy backwater boozer it suddenly became the drinking hole of choice for the many young, well educated and seemingly wealthy clientele who have moved in from the slightly less salubrious area of Fulham and Battersea as the City of London started to boom and salaries plus bonuses began to rise accordingly.
     At the big square bar the crowd is now approaching several customers deep, all trying to attract the attention of the busy bar staff, no one wants to sit down at the many battered old tables in the spacious sitting area… except for the man who occupies one that is crammed into a corner as far from the bar as possible.

    One more occupant shares this secluded corner of the pub, it  is a full size stuffed brown bear, its once thick shaggy fur is now well worn with bald patches. Standing on its rear legs like some guardian of the quiet places. The man sits almost side on to the  bar and removes some sheets of paper from his brief case. He has a quick glance to make sure no one at the bar can see the papers as he begins to leaf through them. The first document is in letter form and is headed ..

Instructions Regarding Immediate and indefinite Leave of Absence…Terms and Conditions.

The one sheet memo is quickly scanned, folded in half and placed back in the brief case. Two more sheets, stapled together at the top left corner are also given a quick glance. Several of the lines at the top have been blacked out, obscuring the names of the subjects, below the redacted names is the heading..

DNA samples and comparisons for subjects named above. Strictly confidential.

The man takes his time with these sheets and looks carefully at the detailed DNA samples which are in graph form. After a minute or so of close scrutiny these sheets are also folded in half and placed in the case.
Taking the last item from the table the man  has a little smile, the envelope is sealed with a hand written message scrawled across the front.

For the sole attention of CIO Patrick Quinn.

Underneath that message and in the same scrawled writing it says..

Delivered sealed  and by hand via the USA Embassy London.

Putting a finger into the flap of the envelope the man rips it open and takes out a small card which is once again in the same handwriting  ..

Bendigo.. Oregon..Confirmed. Call me when in situ..B..x

    Putting down his half full glass of beer, Patrick Quinn picks up one sheet of paper, studies it closely and then does the same with the other one.
     Patrick is in his late thirties, over six feet tall and handsome in a certain Irish way with a finely shaped nose, broad forehead topped off with a thick curly head of slightly unruly hair and  bright blue eyes that even in this dimly lit part of the pub seem to have a sparkle to them.

    Leaning back in his rickety old chair, which matches the table, both bought from a junk shop sale by a long since departed publican, he slides  the envelope into the brief case which he carefully fastens. Slowly turning to look at the boisterous crowd, which he seems to be noticing for the first time, he smiles, picks up the glass of Youngs Beer and drains it. Standing up, he puts on his rather old fashioned raincoat, pulls out  an Irish tweed woollen hat  from the coat pocket which he jams on his head and picking up his briefcase he carefully skirts the drinkers and pushes his way out of the crowded  pub where he takes a right turn to head along the rain swept St Leonards Terrace.