Saturday, March 19, 2011

SampleSunday - Mel Comley - Final Justice (A Lorne Simpkins thriller)

March 20, 2011 – Mel Comley – Final Justice (A Lorne Simpkins Thriller)
A Chateau in Normandy

September 2009.

Chapter One

A smug satisfied smile stretched across Baldwin’s handsome but menacing features as he surveyed his lavish surroundings, self-congratulation exuding from every pore. Tonight would be all about him, his ability to manipulate others, as months of meticulous planning came to fruition.

A couple of the scantily clad girls, all of Eastern-European extraction, giggled in the corner. He scowled at them, when he realised they’d been helping themselves to the potent punch, intended for his esteemed guests.

With its final tune-up complete the band drifted off to get changed. Meanwhile, the experienced agency waiting staff were tinkering, adding the finishing touches to the thirty-foot table laden with some of the world’s finest food, specially imported for tonight’s soiree.

His gaze drifted out over the large terrace and he took in the incredible view; the view that had sold the chateau to him. A view that took in thirty acres of manicured lawns, bordered by hedges shaped like animals; luxurious surroundings more suited to royalty than a lad brought up, or rather dragged up, in the boarded-up slums of Salford, Manchester. A lad with a rap sheet longer than the Seine.

Most of his men were already standing in position, their weapons safely concealed beneath their smart tuxedos, they would be joined by the others once the limos arrived.

Baldwin glanced at his watch for the tenth time in as many minutes, his irritation bubbling just below the surface. The guests should have arrived at seven, a full ten minutes ago; where the bloody hell were they? He marched over to the window and craned his neck to look up the long tree-lined drive. Nothing, not a limo in sight, nothing but the grey gravel, glistening in the evening sun. It didn’t bode well, not in his book, anyway. His blood began to pump harder, faster so much so that the vein in his temple jutted out, just as it always did when something didn’t go according to plan. His plans.

‘Well?’ he asked, when Julio, his second in command, joined him at the window.

‘Nothing as yet, boss. Everything’s ready though.’

‘That much I can see, you bloody moron. Now go and see what the fucking hold-up is. I want this evening to go smoothly. You understand, Julio, no cock-ups.’

‘Yes, boss. I’ll get onto it straight away.’

‘Never mind, I’ll see for myself, I know how those guys can twist you round their fingers.’

Baldwin stormed into the communications room located next door. The room was littered with pizza boxes and a bottle of scotch sat on the desk in front of his men. The three men, all built like bouncers, leapt to their feet. ‘Look at the bloody mess in here. Did I say you could drink on duty? This is supposed to be serious business tonight. I’m warning you, fuck this up and you’ll pay for it, with your lives. You got that? Now, what’s the bloody hold-up?’ his glare unnerved the men, and they nodded, like toy dogs in the back of a car.

Baldwin stepped forward, a menacing look in his eyes. He stopped in front of the youngest of the three men, their noses a few inches apart, ‘I said, have you got that, Benji?’

The man gulped, his eyes bulging with fear, he nodded again, ‘Yes, boss, I got it.’

‘This is your final warning, Benji. Screw this up and….’ Baldwin left the sentence unfinished on purpose.

The new recruit backed away and Baldwin let him go, for the time being; he’d had his eye on him for a while, and had come to the conclusion that the man’s attitude stank. It hadn’t escaped him that the man thought highly of himself and enjoyed strutting around as if he owned the place, ‘Now, let’s start again, shall we? Tell me, what the hell is going on?’ He sat on the corner of the desk, looking at the ten TV screens attached to the wall in front of him, each showing a different area of the chateau and its grounds.

‘The limos called in a few minutes ago. They got held up a couple of miles up the road. They should be here within ten minutes,’ Benji said.

‘Make sure they are. I’m getting anxious and I don’t need to tell you what that means, do I?’

The men nodded their understanding of the unspoken threat. His anxiety was notorious, and often resulted in bouts of violence. Despite his men having muscles ten times larger than their IQs, when Baldwin went on the rampage, they all turned into quivering wrecks.

With the threat still lingering in the air, Benji pointed to one of the screens, as a car pulled into the drive, ‘Here comes the first lamb now.’ For other ereaders.

Final Justice (A Lorne Simpkins thriller)
This is the sequel to Impeding Justice but is also a standalone thriller/adventure. After suffering a breakdown and quitting the force, former Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins is contacted by a friend at MI6 to help in a covert operation. Against her will, Lorne is convinced to help track down an . . .

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