Dome Press 16th August 2018
International troubleshooter Jake Foreman loses his job, house and wife all in one day. And when an impulsive move lands him in even deeper water – the kind that could lose him his life – he decides it’s time to make some smart decisions.
The trouble is, knowing the right moves and making them is a whole different game. And Jake, who has been happily rubbing along doing things he always suspected were just a shade away from being dodgy, finds it all too easy to go with the flow. Now he’s got to start learning new tricks. If he doesn’t, he could end up dead.
So…Smart Moves by Adrian Magson, liking the sound of it so far? To further whet your appetite I have an extract for you so keep reading to get a real taster this great standalone novel.
Smart Moves – Extract
My job might, at least in some parts of the civilized world, be regarded as slightly unethical. The use of money – slush funds as some people like to call it – to solve problems is never on the up-and-up. Sure, it’s been going on since time began and will continue. Bungs, bribes, emoluments, skims, unscheduled performance bonuses – call them whatever the hell you want – do serve a purpose. They oil the wheels.
In that sense, I’m a bag man.
The first time I thought my job was a little unusual was a year ago. Until then it had been pretty much the routine: get on a plane, talk to people, find out what the problems are and look for a solution. It meant asking questions of local representatives and negotiating our end of the argument to get things moving. If I couldn’t get agreement there and then, I’d make a POH – project-on-hold – report and head for home. The rest was up to Dunckley and his management team. The big guns.
But I’d never been asked to deliver a package before.
This was an envelope to go to Denver, Colorado. Actually, I never made Denver city itself, just the airport arrivals hall. I’d been met by a sweaty guy in a suit, clutching a shiny briefcase. He looked stressful. A lawyer, I figured, since most lawyers wear stress like a second skin and these were the people I seemed to meet a lot: men in suits and shiny cars, with that money smell mixed with a vague hint of effluent. He handed me a business card which matched the photocopy in my pocket and, in return, I gave him an envelope, before making my way up the stairs to the departures lounge for the return trip, as per instructions.
As I turned to look back down the stairs, I caught a flash view of Sweaty Suit being hustled away by two police officers, one on each arm. He didn’t look happy. For some reason I was relieved he didn’t look back and shout, ‘There he goes!’
When I got back to the office I relayed this incident to Dunckley. He listened, made a note or two on a lined pad, then gave me a sideways look before saying it was probably a private or local issue and to forget all about it. End of.
Strange stuff like that had happened on a few other occasions, and each time I’d come close without being picked up. It was like I was charmed. Eventually I came to the conclusion that, whereas delivering these documents seemed to be an OK job, collecting them was a whole other issue.
Then a guy doing a similar job in another division disappeared. Just like that. His name was John Baddeley and we’d met a few times like ships in transit, one of us leaving, one arriving. It took me a few days to realise I hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks, although that wasn’t surprising because he travelled as extensively as I did. When his desk was taken over by another suit I asked where Baddeley was, but the new guy shrugged and said he didn’t know and looked at me like I should go away. I asked around, but nobody knew a thing – not even the people he worked with. In fact, it was obvious that lips had been zipped and I should stop poking my nose in.
Two days later, I chanced on a news item about a body found floating in the river by Tower Bridge. A suicide, it was speculated, or a drunk who’d wandered too close to the embankment. It happens all the time along that stretch of London’s waterway; once in, with the cold and the currents, people don’t always come out alive.
It was John Baddeley.
So finally, what did I think I hear you asking.
With a job as an international troubleshooter, Jake doesn’t ask too many questions and gets the job done. Thrown into freefall following losing his job, wife and house in one day he uses his connections to secure ‘delivery’ work on an international scale and applies the same ‘no questions’ ethos. An entertaining read with a likeable hero in Jake, I particularly liked his easy going, ‘go with the flow’ attitude, which got him into scrapes a plenty – with women and with work, but also added a nice touch with his interactions with squatters (read the book to find out more!)
Written in the first person, I was struck how different Jake is to the lead in the last book by Adrian Magson I read – Inspector Rocco and I was impressed with how different this book is. Sharp and witty in parts this book amused, pacey with a tidy conclusion and a touch of romance – what more could you want!!
About the Author
Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian had written 21 crime and spy thriller books based around:
Gavin & Palmer (investigative reporter Riley Gavin and ex-military policeman Frank Palmer; Harry Tate, ex-soldier and MI5 officer; Inspector Lucas; Marc Portman (The Watchman); investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik.
Adrian also has hundreds of short stories and articles in national and international magazines to his name, plus a non-fiction work: Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book (Accent Press).
Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean and rumours that he is building a nuclear bunker are unfounded. It’s a bird’s table.
This is a blog tour so do check out what others are saying and support the tour!
Thank you to Emily at The Dome Press for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book.
And thank you to Adrian Magson for providing the extract included here, which hopefully has whet your appetite for this book!