NEW BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE
My first novel Role of Dishonour has just been released. It’s set in Ireland in the early Nineties, at a time when terrorist violence looks set to continue indefinitely.
For generations Northern Ireland has withstood a vicious campaign of terrorist violence that has left thousands dead and countless more horribly injured. The British and Irish Governments seem powerless and to have settled for what one leading politician calls an acceptable level of violence.
There appears to be no solution to the conflict. But, when a Provisional IRA bomb kills two grandparents and a four-month-old baby on a lonely border road, four men from widely different backgrounds – a politician, a policeman, a soldier and a journalist – decide enough is enough. They embark on a daring plan to exact vengeance – and to end the Ulster Troubles once and for all.
Role of Dishonour is about violence and vengeance, treachery and treason, retribution and reward. Men die – women and children too. It’s a world where one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. For generations the troubles in Ireland have pitted Protestant against Catholic, Unionist against Nationalist and Loyalist against Republican. There seems no end to the mindless spiral of death and destruction.
Yet the book is also a poignant love story, set against the background of one of the most beautiful pieces of earth God ever made. It’s the story of a man and a woman from different backgrounds and different worlds who find one another and tentatively begin to forge a relationship amid the chaos and despair. Are they to be star-crossed lovers or will true love triumph in the end?
John Grant, the craggy Scottish editor, recognizing the boy is a natural, provides encouragement and gives him his head. As he settles into his new job and begins to make a name for himself the chance discovery of an old diary provides a clue that his father’s death may not have been an accident.
Immediately the young reporter is at the heart of an investigation into scandal, corruption and murder in high places within the community – an investigation which puts his own life in danger – and pinpoints him the next murder target.
SOME STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INKY BLACK
You are about to be introduced to an entirely unique kind of private detective. Inky Black made his opening bow on Amazon Kindle on both sides of the Atlantic last month.
He’s an Irish private eye with an abiding love of all things American – especially Hollywood black and white gangster movies of the thirties and forties. To bolster this image he affects a large black fedora and a Dick Tracy-style raincoat with the collar permanently turned up.
But times are hard. Inky has no cases, no money and no prospects. What he does have is a rising pile of unpaid bills that might as well be as high as the National Debt for all the chance he has of paying them off.
With the outlook as bleak as a January weather forecast he’s on the verge of calling it a day, shutting down his dingy office in Belfast’s East Side and going back to his old job as a newspaperman. He doesn’t want to but, in the words of the old adage – needs must when the Devil drives.
Inky, perched in his chair with his feet on his empty desk, has just decided to pack it in at the end of the week and dodge his creditors for as long as he decently can, when the door opens and Maggie, his formidable ex-Girl Friday, one-time assistant and general factotum, bustles in.
Maggie – nobody ever called her by her last name – had run the office for Inky for the first six months. He’d reluctantly had to let her go when business finally trickled to a halt and he could no longer afford her wages. With little else to occupy her time, she still popped in to see him most days to share a coffee and a gossip and to keep abreast of the bag of knitting she habitually carried.
She switched on the electric kettle and prepared the coffee mugs as Inky told her of the decision he’d just reached. From Saturday Black’s Investigative Agency would be no more.
“Aw, I’m real sorry to hear that Inky,” she sympathised. “People seem to have got so law-abiding since the Troubles wound up and it seems ordinary decent criminals haven’t got back into the swing of things yet. Don’t know what the place is coming to, I really don’t.”
Inky shrugged resignedly and accepted the steaming mug she thrust into his hand.
Maggie coughed to clear her throat and leant forward, a conspiratorial glint in her eye. “Seeing you are going to have some time on your hands before you shut up shop, there’s a wee favour you could do for a friend of mine. It’s Gladys Perkins, a widow-woman who lives in the next street to me. She’s lost her pet cat Tabatha and is near demented with worry. I told her you were the very man to find it for her.”
Inky grimaced. “So now I’m reduced to being a cat-catcher am I? I suppose the case comes with a retainer and full expenses?”
“Don’t be daft,” Maggie snorted, ignoring the sarcasm. “Gladys is a pensioner and hasn’t two pence to rub together. She can’t afford to pay for your services. You can put it down as a last favour to me before you hang up that old fedora of yours. There’s a good lad. It shouldn’t take you long and I’ll have a nice mug of coffee waiting when you get back.”
Inky headed out the door shaking his head, little realising that his search for Mrs Perkins’ missing moggy would lead him into a complex case of blackmail, drug-running and murder. It would also lead to a future of bigger and better things for Black’s Investigative Agency.
Inky Black and the Case of the Missing Moggy is the first in a series of stories featuring this unique private eye. Success breeds success and more cases – and more adventures follow. If you enjoy this first story keep an eye peeled for news of Inky’s future exploits