An intense looking man, carrying a drill in his right hand and a small box of accessories and a few other tools in his left hand stood on the doorstep. ‘Where’s the problem, guv?’ he said with a snarl as he followed me to the half-built kitchen where the two kitchen fitters sat, drinking tea and waiting, on unopened boxes containing some of the new kitchen units.
‘Well, it started here,’ I replied, pointing to the blackened, disintegrated electrical socket that flashed, emitted a frightening terminal-sounding loud bang, exploded, and plunged the house into darkness when one of the fitters connected his circular saw to it.
‘Mmm,’ the electrician muttered with a sour expression on his face.
‘Rewiring and a new fuse box,’ he declared when he reappeared after spending five minutes checking around the house. I looked at him. He stood in the middle of the kitchen. His gaze switching between the two kitchen fitters and me–as though he was a despot or ruler passing judgment on some unfortunate offender. He was a short guy, mid thirties, with thick, curly black hair, a swarthy complexion, dark eyes, and wearing a short-sleeved black top that showed his tattooed forearms and black jeans. He was trim and muscular. He’d narrowed his eyes to talk to us. He seemed to be hiding something. Maybe his pleasure, I thought, in passing judgement on the decayed electrics and watching my expression contort as I wrestled with the thought of shelling out another bucket load of money.
‘How much?’ I asked, looking at the guy and digging one hand into my pocket while rubbing my other hand across my chin. It seemed I was the centre of attention. The two kitchen fitters, who’d downed tools and stopped work because of the sudden, unexpected termination of the electrical supply, looked on expectantly, not knowing when they’d be able to resume their work.
The electrician pursued his lips. He turned away, glanced out of the window, and scratched his face. He looked back at me, dipped his head to one side and screwed up the left side of his mouth in a contorted expression. ‘About £5k, guv, if you want it done quickly’ he answered with a stony expression. I felt sure he hid a smile.
Similar disasters have beset us since we moved, in May, into this truly delightful house in Chichester, see image. Most of the inherited kitchen appliances will not see out the end of the summer. Some simply don’t work. The washing-machine and fridge are definitely ill and dying slow, efficiency-waning deaths, the freezer freezes food so cold that you have to take a butcher’s knife and hammer to it to start the defrosting process, even in this exceptional blistering hot summer, and the microwave flashed, sparked and sent out a great plume of black smoke to signal its demise early in our occupancy. These occurrences plus electrical garden gates that gripped one of the cars in a vice-like grip until an engineer could release it, a flood from a leaky 1st floor bathroom, a heating system that couldn’t be turned off, a garden full of waist-high weeds, and many more smaller incidents have demanded our full attention while emptying our wallets.
I know the house will be outstanding, and an end to this early, settling-in-and-fixing-phase is in sight. But I haven’t written and done any social media for three months, and it’s affected my book sales: downwards!
I don’t do active book promotion, but I do try to keep up a continual online presence: Facebook, twitter, blogs, Google +, and other platforms. This works for me. I also write, be it shorts or full-length novels, every day. I haven’t written a word since April. It’s all going to change.
Maxim: Never quit the writing job.
The Harry Fingle Collection–a trilogy that makes Watergate look like a kids’ tea party.
Harry Fingle is an investigative journalist who takes no prisoners, does no favours, and digs until he exposes the truth. He’s honest, popular, but a danger to some people. When his brother and sister-in-law are murdered and he’s fired for no reason, it’s time to bring those who want him dead to account.
Working on and off with his ex-lover, he realises he’s unearthed a conspiracy so shocking it implicates governments. Harry does what he does best. He charges on, regardless of whom he might upset. But then a ruthless Russian assassin is hired…
The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer
How it all began, an interview with Harry, the guys in his life, and some excerpts from the three books.
The first story.
Giant international corporations hire hitmen. The CIA and MI6 sanction immoral and illegal skulduggery. People die. Harry Fingle–an investigative journalist, searching for his brother’s killer–is appalled, and tries to publish his findings. He’s gagged, an assassin is briefed, and his ex-lover is stabbed.
Harry’s a pawn in a real-life game of chess played out by the security services.
The second story.
The wrong man is murdered in a café in Istanbul. A feared Russian assassin is mortified and vows to right his mistake. Harry Fingle’s lover becomes over-inquisitive, and his spy-friend tells him to watch out.
Tension mounts. The Russians hire a Serbian hitman as a back-up executioner and Harry begins to question his trusted spy-friend’s loyalties.
The final story
Murderers walk free from court, juries are nobbled, spooks leak secrets, police fix investigations, prisoners escape, and the media stay silent. Zero One is dominant. One man controls it.
A lingering love affair, Harry Fingle’s discovery of the name of Zero One’s chief, and the breakout from jail of Harry’s nemesis–the feared Russian assassin Grigoriy Nabutov–make for a tense and emotional conclusion to the trilogy.
Wattpad. Read for free:
Selected chapters from the three books in The Harry Fingle Collection–Playing Harry, Assassination Continuum, and Zero One–plus the The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer in full.
Plus three complete books in the Originals series. A further book will be added each week.
And two unedited chapters of work in progress.
Fire (working title)