Turn off the TV, cancel the newspapers, don’t open the mail, and unplug the PC. The world is on a self-destruct trajectory to catastrophe. Food will run out, natural disasters will destroy whole continents and their populations, and those that’ll survive will kill themselves in bloody wars. So say the peddlers of gloom and despair. When you watch the news or read a newspaper, you might think they have a point. So what do you do? Barricade yourself into your house, throw away the key, and wait for adversity to strike–at least you’ll survive a little longer.
You could do that, but it’d be a pretty miserable existence. Human civilisation has advanced in the last 2000 years beyond all possible imagination, and it’s still progressing, and will do so at an ever-increasing rate. Last month, a non-manned space rocket rendezvoused in space, 4.6 billion miles away, with a moving comet travelling at 83,000 mph and landed a crate-sized capsule on it. It was the Rosetta mission, and it’s mind-bogglingly amazing and almost incomprehensible. It’s a Wow! No doubt about it.
Medical advances continue to astound. New treatment and cures for many life-threatening diseases are announced almost daily. No longer is cancer whispered about, paralysis permanent, deafness and blindness a life sentence of silence and sightlessness, heart disease terminal, and many other once incurable conditions the blight they once were. Numerous people still suffer from chronic conditions, some will die, but medical science, the medical profession–and all those associated with it–dedicate their lives to finding remedies for all of our ills. There’s hope, there’s success, and much to be optimistic about.
We’re much more tolerant and understanding, despite the few amongst us who want to go back to the dark ages and pull up the drawbridges. Slavery was abolished in most countries by the end of nineteenth century, racial intolerance is rare throughout the world, capital punishment–which was carried out in most of the world up to 1950–is now only practised in twenty-five per cent of the world’s nations, and decreasing each year, and bigotry and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans gender people is on the decline in the West, but sadly, still rejected in predominantly Muslim nations and in Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and in Russia.
Many still starve, 780 million of the world’s population still lack access to clean water, much needs to be done, war and strife continue, and progress on intolerance, social cohesion, and understanding is sometimes painstakingly slow, and even takes a step backwards at times, but just look at what the human civilisation has achieved. There’s plenty there to be optimistic about. Man’s instinct is to progress and make the world a better place for all. If you’re not convinced, look at prehistoric times when Man lived in a cave, had little to eat and no shelter and protection from the natural elements, the child mortality rate was likely to be higher then 30 per cent, and life expectancy between twenty and thirty-five. Compare those times to now and the Rosetta mission.
I'll smile and drink a toast this Christmas for the progress Man has made. Long may it continue.
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.