An Ungentlemanly Act

stagstag In the thick of it!
edited August 2016 in General Discussion Posts: 1,053
Hello all. The Mods have kindly agreed to my posting this thread to announce the launch of my new book. The book itself will be made available to all here for free (but more of that later).

'An Ungentlemanly Act' is the first of a series of WW2 espionage novels starring Harry Flynn. Here's the blurb:



War is the statesman's game, the priests delight, the lawyers jest & the assassins trade...

1942. The second world war was at it's height & still going the way of the Axis powers. In neutral Spain that same war was being carried forward in a secret & deadly game of cat & mouse. British intelligence were helping downed allied airmen & escaped prisoners of war from across occupied Europe to evade the Nazis then return to Britain where they could rejoin their units & carry on the fight.

Determined to stop this, the Germans dispatched a special action unit of the Abwehr - the Nazis own intelligence service - to northern Spain with orders to destroy the escape pipeline & those operating it.

The British soon found themselves under attack, their escape lines disrupted & personnel killed. It was vital that something be done to reverse the disaster which had overtaken the Spanish operation. It was soon realised that there was only one way out of this situation - to call on the services of Department Seven..........

Department Seven had been raised the previous year after the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, ordered the establishment of an ultra secret branch of the existing intelligence apparatus to take the fight to the enemy with such ferocity it would shake them to their very core.
Department Sevens brief was simple - to assemble a team of men who were capable of carrying out extreme acts of violence under the most challenging of circumstances. In Churchill's own words "Dangerous operations are best undertaken by dangerous men so I want cut-throats & brigands of the most bloodthirsty kind who will strike at the black heart of the beast, butchering the Nazis & their allies wherever they rear their ugly heads with no thought for compassion or quarter."
Operating far beyond the normal remit of secret operations, Department Seven soon established its reputation as an instrument of death - with assassination & sabotage as its watchwords - to be called upon when only the most extreme of measures were required.

This unique type of ungentlemanly warfare was just what was required in Spain & when the scale of the problem was presented to them, D7 soon realised that they would have to dispatch their best man..............

Harry Flynn is an ex Foreign Legionnaire, British Army Commando, safe cracker, cat burglar, renowned knife & fist fighter, one time French organised crime syndicate member, adventurer, serial womaniser & all round scoundrel. Ruthless & determined in equal measure this most unlikely of recruits to the clandestine war against the Nazis soon proved himself to be the most lethal weapon in the armoury of the wartime British secret services.

Flynn's hard won reputation means that he is always given the toughest assignments but little did Department Seven know that this latest mission would prove to be Harry Flynn's most dangerous to date..............


AN UNGENTLEMANLY ACT introduces the reader to the explosive world of Harry Flynn. Hang onto your hat - you're in for a bumpy ride!


https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01L3XJLWA
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  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Yes I know I am posting twice in succession but do so to enable me to provide some extracts from the book. The post is rather long yet I hope you will read it.......................




    Here are some extracts from 'An Ungentlemanly Act'. the first three principally deal with Flynn's attitude to women (remember it's 1942!) & hopefully they will give a taste of my writing style.


    Chapter two "A Red File For Flynn" is the point in the book where Harry Flynn makes his first appearance:


    Harry Flynn regarded himself in the mirror as he considered that last evenings events then smiled knowingly from beneath the thick white beard. With a few decisive strokes of the razor the shaving foam was gone. Rinsing his face before patting it dry with the hand towel, he turned & padded barefoot from the bathroom.
    She was still in bed, face down & naked, sleeping the sleep of the dead. Flynn gently pulled back the covers to reveal what lay beneath then bent to kiss the base of her spine. Working his way slowly up he brushed aside the long black hair & set to work on her neck. She was awake now & groaned softly as he nuzzled her ear. She turned to lay onto her back & Flynn felt her arms about his bare shoulders.
    "Darling." She sighed as their lips met. Tentative at first, the kisses became more intense as she ran her hands along his back. Flynn pulled away the bath towel to reveal his own nakedness & slid sideways into bed...................


    Further on in chapter two here's what transpires shortly after Flynn's arrival at Department Sevens Trafalgar Square HQ. The rub being that Department Seven is staffed entirely with people from the legal fraternity (the Director is the circuit judge Sir Claude Robertson QC & the newly recruited Chief of Staff an ex police Superintendent) they employ the career criminal Harry Flynn. I feel it is an interesting dynamic & all is fully explained in the opening chapter of the book:


    The door which was his destination had the same 'Knock Before Entering' sign as the others. Failing to comply Flynn had his hand on the brass knob & pushed it open.

    He expected Mrs Hamilton to be occupying her usual position behind her desk to the right hand side of the room but instead she was at the opposite wall, flicking through the contents of one of the bank of grey metal filing cabinets which lined it. Flynn stopped briefly on the threshold & regarded her.
    Mrs Hamilton was in her mid forties but, as Flynn would often remark of ladies of similar vintage, was ‘remarkably well preserved’. She was tall, perhaps five feet eight, with a well curved figure & ample breasts. Her blonde hair was etched with strands of silver, swept back from her face & contained by a snood so it lay in the nape of her neck.
    Looking every inch the efficient secretary she was wearing a nicely tailored biscuit brown twill suit, with a skirt that ended just below the knee. The two inch heels of the brown suede shoes shaped her bare ankles nicely, giving Flynn pause for thought as his eyes wondered from shoe to hemline & back again.
    “Hello Mrs Hamilton.” Flynn said. She looked away from her work to look at him.
    “Hello Captain Flynn.” She replied, the vermilion lipstick accentuating the beginnings of a smile which Flynn interpreted as an invitation to further conversation.
    Their eyes remained fixed on one another as each attempted to read the others thoughts. Flynn was under no illusion that she knew he coveted her &, despite – or perhaps even because – of the fact she was married, he remained determined to achieve his objective. She was delicious & he wanted her & was sure, despite her hard to get act, that the feeling was mutual.
    “I have something for you.” Flynn broke the silence &, after hanging his coat & hat on the stand by the door, reached into his jacket pocket. He slowly pulled out the thin white paper bag then took the few strides to place it in her hand. It had been folded at the edges & Mrs Hamilton carefully unwrapped the package then, with the tips of the thumb & forefinger, removed its contents. He watched her expression of surprise as the tan silk stockings partially unfolded themselves.
    “I thought you might like them.” He smiled. “Besides which I could think of no better place to show them off than your legs. You do have the most wonderful legs Mrs Hamilton.”
    “Where on earth did you get these?” She said in genuine surprise, seemingly ignoring his remark while running the stockings though her fingers.
    “Ah, that would be telling.” Replied Flynn, tapping his nose. “There are three pairs, I shall get more whenever you need them, gratis of course. You only have to ask.”
    Mrs Hamilton carefully folded the stockings then slid them back into the bag. Such items were simply unattainable due to clothing restrictions & that Flynn had managed to source no less than three pairs was little short of miraculous.
    “Thank you.” She smiled as she crossed to her desk, Flynn watched her all the way & all the while was thinking deep carnal thoughts. She seated herself then returned his gaze.
    “Perhaps you would wear them should you allow me to take you to dinner?” Flynn said.
    “Perhaps.” Mrs Hamilton replied with a soft purr. She let the word hang in the air as if to tease Flynn before leaning toward the intercom. Flicking the switch she said.
    “Sir Claude, Captain Flynn is here.”
    Flynn heard the slightly distorted.
    “Send him in.” And at the prompt he headed for the far door.
    “Wish me luck.” He said quietly.


    “I believe you already know our new Chief of Staff?” Sir Claude said as Flynn entered the room.
    “Well, well, well” Said an unruffled Flynn as his his eyes fell upon Parker. “Superintendent Parker. What an unexpected surprise.”
    Sir Claude motioned Flynn to take a seat. Parker's look of distaste did not go unnoticed by the other two men.
    "Let me make one thing clear Flynn." Sir Claude began, his voice tinged with iron. "I am aware that you & the Superintendent have met before in a, ahem, professional capacity. Whatever your history, you are to remember that as our new Chief of Staff Superintendent Parker is now your superior officer & as such you will accord him due respect & both address & obey him as you would me. Do I make myself understood?”
    “Perfectly sir.” Replied Flynn smiling neutrally.
    “Good.” Sir Claude said slowly as he reached for his cigarette case. “I expect not to have occasion to remind you again. I've asked the Chief of Staff to sit in so as to get a feel for proceedings. He has only just taken up his appointment & this is his first taste of an operational briefing. However as you will both soon realise I have not much to say in this particular instance. You may smoke gentlemen.”
    Sir Claude flipped the lid of the large silver plated cigarette box, extracted a Dunhill & put it to his mouth before taking time to ignite it with the desk lighter. He sunk back into his chair as he drew deeply on the cigarette, observing each man in turn.
    In response to the invitation Flynn produced the gold Cartier cigarette case & matching monogrammed lighter from his inside jacket pocket. Pressing the button with his thumb to open the case he offered it to Parker. Parker shook his head but took note of its contents. Gauloises - French cigarettes - where on earth did Flynn acquire those? Flynn withdrew a Gauloises & put it to his lips, closing the lid of the lighter after he had lit the cigarette he returned it & the case to his pocket.
    Casting his eye across Sir Claude's desk top Flynn noticed the red card foolscap file sitting diagonally over at the corner where Parker was seated.

    Within D7s orbit there were three types of mission folder, known unofficially as 'traffic lights' among those who had access to them. A green folder meant that the operation was classed as non urgent, a yellow folder signified attention as soon as possible whilst the red - the only ones Flynn had been assigned thus far - indicated that it's contents required immediate action. It was Flynn's experience that a red folder signified that someone was about to die & - if skill wasn't exercised - that same someone could very well be the D7 agent himself.

    The realisation that he was about to deployed again on another red file job caused Flynn's heart to quicken in anticipation. His last mission had proved quite hairy, indeed he had been lucky to escape with his life & it seemed no sooner had he jumped from one frying pan that he was about to land in another.

    ***


    This extract is from chapter three "The Scent of A Woman". Flynn has arrived in theatre & is staying the night at MI9s forward HQ before deploying into the field. He has sneaked out from his quarters & is looking forward to a one night stand with one of the MI9 staff but little does he know that Ava Golightly will soon turn his world on its head: Before going into the main extract I'll add the point at which Flynn & Golightly meet:


    Tatum Warter pressed the small button which was set the close to where his right hand was now resting. Flynn heard the door open behind him & saw the Colonel look up toward it.
    “Miss Golightly, you have the file? Good, then show this gentleman to his quarters.”
    Returning his gaze to Flynn Tatum Warter continued.
    “You will remain here tonight & deploy tomorrow. Study the file, it contains all the relevant intelligence on whom we believe to be responsible as well as the contact you will meet once in the field. By the way a meeting with him has already been arranged & he will be available thereafter to assist should you require it.
    This fellow is called Raul, he's the leader of an outfit called La Mano Roja who themselves are remnants of a republican unit who fought against Franco's nationalist forces during the civil war. Although I've never met him by all accounts he's a reliable chap. We employ his group on occasion, indeed they were quite heavily involved in work surrounding our escape operations.
    Among other things he will provide you with the location of the enemy operating base. My secretary has the relevant details with regard to your meeting with Raul. He will be notified that the meeting will go ahead as planned & be given a description to enable him to identify you. I think that's all for now. Best that you study the file. If you have further questions after reading it I shall endeavour to answer them.”
    “Thank you sir.” Replied Flynn as he got to his feet. As he turned to leave he got his first glimpse of Miss Golightly.
    He didn't know what to expect from the Colonels secretary but he certainly didn't expect this. She was tall, with flowing blonde hair set in the latest fashion. Her hair framed her impeccably made up face before cascading in soft curls about her shoulders. The prim black crepe twin set was decorated by an expensive looking gold necklace & matching brooch while the cut of the cloth barely hid the subtlety of her curves.
    Flynn enthusiastically followed on behind as she turned to lead him along the hallway towards the foot of the staircase.
    “Miss Golightly” Flynn opened. “has anyone ever told you that you look like Veronica Lake?”


    Later on in the same chapter:


    Flynn remained perfectly still until he lost sight of the dog team as they passed behind Miss Golightly's bungalow annex. He waited a couple more minutes before sprinting low & fast the fifteen yards to the target building.
    His casual questioning earlier had also allowed him to identify Miss Golightly's apartment & hugging the building for cover, he trod quietly along the cinder path to the farthest door.
    The windows were shuttered but the light & sound of a wireless peculated from within. Drawing breath Flynn rapped softly on the door.
    “Yes?” The chocolate smooth voice that was unmistakably Golightly's spoke out from behind.
    “It's me,” Flynn said sticking to his cover name “Sean.” He heard the click of the latch & the door opened just enough to allow her face to appear.
    “What on earth?” She said.
    “Please let me in” Flynn continued “before I get eaten by that damned dog.”
    She stood aside & swung the door ajar, Flynn needed no further invitation & he was inside, closing the door behind him.
    “Ava” Flynn said, knowing her Christian name after hearing it during dinner. “I just had to come.”
    She had changed into a white silk dressing gown which was low cut at the cleavage & tight in all the right places. She seemed unperturbed enough by Flynn's presence not to care about her immodesty.
    “Don't you know that had the guards seen you, you would likely have been shot?” She said testily.
    “I didn't realise they were under orders to kill anyone who tried to come knocking at your door after dark.” He replied, gently ribbing.
    “You know full well what I mean. They would have taken you for an enemy.” She snapped.
    “Oh.” Flynn smiled “I'm anything but. I can assure you my intentions are friendly”
    “Though not honourable.” Ava retorted.
    “That, my dear, is a matter for speculation.” Flynn said. “I'm going away tomorrow, you know a little of what I am about to face so is it a crime to want to spend a little time enjoying the company of a beautiful lady.”
    “It all depends upon your definition of 'spending time'.” Golightly crossed to the corner & opened a small drinks cabinet. Flynn watched her all the way. She produced a bottle of Glendronach & two glasses.
    “A drink?” She purred.
    “Yes please.” Flynn replied. “I must say you have impeccable taste in whisky.”
    He watched her pour two generous measures.
    “I don't have any ice I'm afraid, would you like soda?”
    “No. Thank you.”
    She picked up both glasses & held one out to Flynn, forcing him towards her. Flynn obliged, taking the glass & a long pull from it.
    Golightly regarded him as she sipped her own drink.
    “Are you afraid?” she said softly, momentarily shedding some of her defenses.
    “No” Flynn replied, his expression deadpan. “I have been alone with a woman before.”
    “Damn you!” She said. “You know very well what I mean. Afraid about your mission.”
    “Apprehensive perhaps. No use being afraid because once you let fear get hold of you you're finished.”
    “I've seen the file.” Golightly continued, her voice etched with concern. “I know who you are going up against & they sound incredibly dangerous. We've lost two of our men to them already.”
    Gently she put her hand over Flynn's.
    “Please promise me you'll be careful.”
    “That's the one thing I can't do.” Flynn said truthfully.
    He laid his empty glass onto the cabinet & gently relieved Golightly of her own, setting it down beside his. He gently stroked her face, tracing a line from her cheekbone to her chin. She closed her eyes & tilted her head back, exposing her neck in invitation. Flynn bent forwards & kissed her. She responded, reaching up to put her arms around him. Flynn's hands were in her hair before falling to her waist. Then, In one move, he scooped her up into his arms & carried her into the bedroom......................

    ***


    Another extract. this time from chapter four 'All Or Nothing'. Flynn has arrived in Huesca, northern Spain, for a meeting with a contact who will assist him with his mission.


    A couple of turns & a few hundred yards later he found himself upon another, entirely smaller square. This, like the rest of the town, was of ancient construction, flanked on all sides by four story high buildings which allowed just enough direct sunlight to attract the few market stalls which occupied the very centre of the scene.
    This place was every inch as busy as as the main plaza, with locals jostling to browse the stalls. The occasional shouts of the traders reeling in the crowd echoed about the square to blend with the general hustle & bustle. The clip clop of horse shoes & rattle of metal wheel rims from passing carts accompanied by the occasional gentle rev of car engines as the latter slowly negotiated the throng adding an extra layer of noise. This symphony of sound & movement lent itself perfectly to anonymity & Flynn knew could use this to his advantage to make himself less obvious when his time to move presented itself.

    Flynn had already seen the place name on the small blue ceramic sign affixed to one of the buildings & instantly recognised it as his destination. Glancing casually about as if watching for the traffic, Flynn crossed to the gaggle of stalls, losing himself among the melee of shoppers. While feigning a perusal of the goods on offer Flynn was now in a position to give the area a more thorough appreciation. He could see that the place where he was scheduled to meet his contact was a somewhat dilapidated building which appeared to have been converted into an apartment block, it's green painted door & shuttered windows had long seen better days.
    Given the fact that the square remained busy, Flynn noted that not many people were passing along the pavement in front of the target building, thus leaving it difficult to advance upon without being spotted.
    Taking in the approaches to the square to look for anything out of the ordinary, Flynn's eyes soon fell upon a lone figure leaning with his back against the wall by one of the corners. Flynn's antennae immediately began to twitch. This man, innocently reading his newspaper, was blending in well with his surroundings & could have been anyone yet Flynn's nose for trouble told him a different story. From his position Flynn could see that the man had a commanding view of the square, the roads leading into it & most importantly the entrance to the apartment block itself.
    Although he couldn't be sure, principally because of the distance & the fact that the man was wearing his fedora tilted forwards slightly to shade his eyes, he thought that he looked of a pale & decidedly un-Spanish complexion.
    Flynn took his time now, casually yet carefully scanning the remainder of the square where he thought other people may be positioned until he satisfied himself that the man, whoever he was, was alone.
    Flynn chewed over his options. He could now abort, withdraw & contact MI9 HQ to report his suspicions & have them reschedule the meeting or go ahead in the hope that he was mistaken or that no action other than watching would be taken. As soon as he detached himself from the main body of people to approach the apartment block he knew he would be registered by the observer who in turn would make a detailed mental note of him & this description could cause issues further down the line. He - Flynn - wasn't wearing a hat, a mistake given the circumstances & this meant he had nothing to help disguise his face.
    Protocol dictated that he should remove himself from the area as quickly as possible & certainly before he was spotted, however Flynn made another detailed visual sweep of the square, on the lookout for any other members of an observation team he may have missed.
    Pressing a few notes into the palm of an appreciative flower seller he was given a large bunch of vivid red blooms in return. He broke cover & casually made for the main entrance to the apartment block. Knowing full well he was now being watched, casually Flynn pressed the buzzer for flat nine then took a step back to await an answer. Presently the door opened just enough for him to see a short, portly, rather scruffy looking middle aged man whose deeply lined unshaven face regarded him suspiciously.
    "Si?" The man said.
    "I am told I can get a bed for the night however I don't want to stay.” Flynn replied in English, making sure he was smiling widely for the benefit of the watcher on the corner. The man grinned nervously, showing a row of crooked yellow teeth as he digested the code words before stepping aside & opening the door wide enough for Flynn to enter. Without further invitation Flynn was over the threshold. He was gambling that the flowers & his jaunty manner would serve to convince the observer that here was someone visiting a girlfriend for an afternoon of illicit passion in one of the apartments & as such had no connection with his target.
    Inside the hall & the stairway were dark, the flaking mustard coloured walls inadequately lit by a few feeble electric bulbs. The lingering aroma of fried onions pervaded. He could hear a poorly tuned wireless set playing music from somewhere inside & a raised voice from behind one of the doors, a womans voice, most probably chastising her husband for some unknown infraction.
    Following the mans pointed finger as he closed & bolted the door Flynn took to the stone stairs & made his way quickly to the top floor. As he reached the final flight he saw a man blocking his way onto the landing. The man was tall & slender, with a hint of muscularity & quite handsome in a robust sort of way. His jet black hair had been subjected to a severe dousing of brilliantine yet somehow this served to enhance his appearance. He was wearing black loose fitting trousers pulled in at the waist by a wide brown leather belt, the white shirt was worn with sleeves rolled, over which he sported a tan brown leather waistcoat. About his neck he had a red neckerchief worn with the knot wedged tightly under his Adams apple. He looked every inch the pirate Flynn had been told to expect & all he needed to complete the look, Flynn silently opined, was a dagger between his teeth. Flynn noticed that, although his arm was down by his side, he was holding a small semi automatic pistol loosely at the ready.
    “Señor Kelly?” He said with a thick accent as he watched Flynn ascend.
    “Yes, that's right. I take it you are Jorge?”
    “Si, yes.” Both men knew the others name would be false but, here under these circumstances, there was no need to reveal actual identities.
    “The flowers señor?” Jorge said, an eyebrow raised.
    “I'll explain when we get inside.”
    Jorge waved Flynn in through a half open door & followed him inside. The attic room was small & square & smelled of cigarettes, stale coffee & yesterdays dinner. It was furnished frugally while the white painted walls were devoid of decoration. The noise from the square was filtering through the unwashed window to provide background accompaniment to the scene.
    There, in the centre of the room at the big wooden table, sat another man. Like Jorge, he was in his early thirties & of swarthy complexion, however he was of much heavier build, wearing a crumpled blue suit & a collarless white shirt open at the neck. Tough & capable looking, he had stared at Flynn all the way in................

    ***

    This extract is from chapter five "An Appointment With Fear". Flynn has been captured by the Nazi Special Action Group (They have Flynn's cover name because Flynn was carrying his false documents):


    Flynn felt the tight grip of the hand about his jaw as it made to lift his head. Slowly, painfully, the black mist began to clear. He realised he was in considerable pain at several points. His chest hurt from its collision with the steering wheel & there was a piercing throb at his right temple, most likely sustained as a result of the second crash.
    “Can you hear me?” The voice was low yet unconcerned & speaking in English but with an accent as thick as tar.
    “Can you hear me?” It repeated.
    Flynn opened his eyes, trying to focus on the figure standing in front of him. As his senses returned he realised his jacket was missing as were his shoes & was suddenly aware of two hands, holding his elbows in a vice like grip & effectively pinning him down into a straight backed wooden chair which was as hard & uncompromising as the voice.
    “Can you hear me?” The voice repeated before saying something which Flynn couldn’t quite hear.
    Looking up Flynn found himself staring into a face. The face was lean & hard & cruel, with hawk like blue eyes. The mouth was thin & mirthless, overhung by a slender Roman nose. The blond hair clung close cropped to the sides of the head but was quite long at the top, a kiss of fringe hanging lankly above the left eye. The hand - which was still squeezing Flynn's jaw & compressing his lips - belonged to this face, as did the voice. The voice seemed somehow out of kilter with what he was seeing. It was bordering on shrill, effeminate even. The face seemed to guess that Flynn had registered its oddly immature tones. It snarled, the eyes twinkling sadistically as the hand let go of Flynn's jaw before swiping hard across his cheek. Flynn could do nothing but accept the blow.
    “Who are you?” The man said straightening himself & turning to walk to a small wooden table which was set by the back wall.
    Flynn regained his composure & he watched carefully as the man sat on the edge of the table.
    He was slightly taller than Flynn, perhaps six feet four, though of slim build. He looked athletic but with a physique which told of dedication to sports such as skiing or fencing. He was wearing a pair of black leather boots that terminated just below the knee into which were inserted the bottoms of a pair of smartly pressed black riding breeches, held about the slim waist by a wide black leather brass buckled belt. The belt, like the boots, had been polished to within an inch of its life. The long sleeved black pullover was woven from thin material & had a low turtle neck collar. Flynn noticed the fingers, slender, like the legs of a spider & he was at once reminded of the film 'Nosferatu'.
    So, Flynn realised. this was Oberstleutnant Kurt Wolff. The MI9 description had proved accurate indeed. Although Flynn continued to stare vacantly at Wolff, he was using his forward & peripheral vision to observe his immediate surroundings.
    On the table, to the left of where Wolff was sitting, was a riding crop, an angle poise lamp, a lidless shoe box & a green canvas tool roll, of the type as used by a travelling dentist.
    The room itself - what Flynn could see of it - seemed small, long but narrow with rough stone walls which were covered in peeling whitewash. It was light harshly by at least two bulkhead lights set on the low arched ceiling & smelled of damp & cigarettes.
    Flynn sensed that besides Wolff & the owner of unseen hands who were still fiercely gripping his elbows, there were others in the room behind him, out of sight, menacing, listening.
    “WHO ARE YOU!” Wolff barked, his voice echoing dully about the room.....................


    A little later in chapter five & Flynn faces another torture/interrogation session:


    Exactly thirty minutes after he had last spoken with Wolff, Flynn was dragged from his bed & roughly manhandled down a long dark corridor. He hadn't seen the two men who were escorting him before. They were both as big as he & had him tight by each arm as they frogmarched him swiftly along. It was hurting even when Flynn breathed so this treatment was pure agony. His feet, horribly bruised & swollen, could not support his weight & his only alternative was to leave them dragging across the stone floor.
    Soon the men sharply right turned him through an open doorway & into another room. This was a different one to where he had last been interrogated but like the others, was cold & damp & lit harshly. There were four men standing off to one side who snarled silently as they saw him.
    Towards the back wall was a desk behind which was sitting Wolff. He was smoking a cheroot & watched without emotion as Flynn was dumped into the chair opposite.
    Efficiently & without speaking the men handcuffed Flynn's arms to the cross members on the underside of the seat, then bound his shins to the legs with thick leather straps before withdrawing.
    Wolff regarded Flynn for what seemed like an age.
    “You will please forgive the shackles Herr Kelly” He began. “but you have proved yourself a very dangerous man. Even in the condition in which you now find yourself I feel it is best not to allow you any further opportunity for violence.”
    Another long pause followed as Wolff drew deeply on the cheroot. He continued to fix his stare on Flynn & Flynn sullenly reciprocated. The silent stand off ended when Wolff Stubbed out the cheroot into a small nickel plated ashtray which sat on the right hand corner of the desk.
    “Well Herr Kelly, I do hope as a result of our last conversation that we understand each other better. As you are now aware I do know almost everything about you. I know you are a British agent, I know you have been in conference with the La Mano Roja &, crucially, I know you are in part responsible for the death of one of our own men. As you see I have the big picture, all I need from you is to fill in the detail.”
    Flynn's stomach knotted tightly in fear of what was soon to come. He girded himself before spitting an obscenity at Wolff. There was no reaction from the German, it was if Flynn had screamed but no sound had left his mouth.
    “There is no doubt that you are a brave man Herr Kelly” Wolff said softly. “but sadly it would seem you are also a stupid one. I thought that your identification by our informant would have loosened your tongue. You know I will make you talk so simply speak now & you will be spared much pain.”
    Flynn remained silent as he anticipated Wolff's next move. From behind he could hear the shuffle of boots. Slowly & seemingly unconcerned Wolff drew another cheroot from the silver case on the desk top & lit it with the lighter Flynn now recognised as his own. The chair scraped loudly against the stone floor as Wolff stood up & walked around the desk to sit on its corner to Flynn's left side. Flynn saw him look up & nod to the owner of the boots. Suddenly a pair of strong hands clamped his head tightly & pulled it back, offering it to Wolff. Flynn tried to struggle but was unable to resist. He was panting hard as he saw Wolff take a final pull on the cheroot before leaning forward.
    Flynn screamed a primeval scream & struggled desperately yet in vain as the red hot tip of the cheroot made contact with his left eyelid. Wolff held the cheroot in place for a couple of agonising seconds before lifting & pressing it down at another point of the lid. Sitting back Wolff calmly drew on the cheroot as he studied the results of his action.
    Flynn slumped in the chair but the hands held his head so it continued to face his tormentor. Flynn's good eye, his right eye, opened just enough to see the expression of the man who had just visited this indescribable pain upon him. Wolff looked relaxed, his eyes hard, the thin smile playing about his lips telling Flynn that he was pleased with himself.
    “Your eye is in bad shape Herr Kelly.” Wolff said quietly. “It is very swollen. I think you are in danger of losing your sight. Please, listen very carefully & answer my questions then I promise I will get you medical attention.”
    There followed another long pause to allow Flynn to digest his words before Wolff began.
    “Tell me about your mission. Why were you sent here? What were you doing with the terrorists?”
    Flynn groaned in reply.
    “Tell me Herr Kelly.”
    The red hot poker tip of the cheroot was stabbed back onto his eyelid before Flynn knew it was coming. He screamed. Wolff held it longer than before, pressing harder then jabbing it at other points in a protracted assault that lasted some minutes.
    “You are a fool!” Wolff snapped as he returned to his position on the desk. He barked something in German to an unseen accomplice but by now Flynn was hovering too far over the precipice of unconsciousness to understand. It may have been seconds or it may have been moments later, Flynn couldn't tell, but he watched as a mirror was handed to Wolff.
    “Take a look at yourself Herr Kelly.” He said with mock concern as he held the mirror up to Flynn's face. “See how badly you have been injured.”
    Flynn's good eye slowly focused on the mirror. One thing was for sure Wolff wasn't exaggerating, for all intent & purpose Flynn looked like he had completed sixteen rounds against the world heavyweight boxing champion. There was a deep open gash on his left temple, perhaps as a result of being caught by a ring during his fight with Wolff's men. Although that wound had stemmed itself the flow of blood from it, now baked dry, cascaded down the side of his face & onto his neck to stain his shirt a deep crimson.
    His left eye looked as bad as it felt. Heavily swollen, it & the surrounding tissue was a kaleidoscope of purple & blue. On the lid he could clearly see the fresh vivid red welts where the cheroot had been applied. His nose had been bleeding at some point though the flow was now caked dry. It was then he realised he couldn't breath through it, most likely a result of the dried blood he thought. His right cheek was swollen & painful as was his bottom lip. He indeed looked in a very sorry state of repair but he stubbornly concluded that much of the damage was little more than cosmetic. Even his eye, whilst appearing severely damaged, was not in danger of irreversible harm.
    The question now was, how much more punishment did he feel it necessary to take before he broke into his second cover story?
    “Tell me what I want to know Herr Kelly.” Wolff said.
    Flynn cursed. Suddenly there was the crack of shattered glass as the mirror was brought down hard across the top of his head. At the same instant he found the chair being toppled backwards, sending it & him crashing to the floor. From nowhere a gaggle of men appeared about him, all armed with short lengths of rubber hose. As one they began to rain blows down about his legs, striking hard at his shins & thighs. Flynn screamed in agony, turning his head just far enough to see Wolff standing aside, his eyes alight & obviously savouring the beating.
    When he had seen enough Wolff shouted another order. The barrage of blows stopped & the men broke, unshackling Flynn from his bonds. In one move he was pulled up & across the desk. A man on each arm, pinning him hard face down onto the desk top while others bound his ankles with rope. This was a well practised routine & in no time they had Flynn completely at Wolff's mercy.
    “Why were you sent here & what were you doing with the La Mano Roja?!” Wolff barked, his voice hoarse & high pitched.
    Flynn knew, that whatever punishment he was now to face, he could not give up yet.
    THWACK! The rubber hose struck him hard across the buttocks. Flynn cried out in agony. Again, again & thrice more the hose landed.
    “TELL ME!” Wolff screamed, he had stepped aside far enough to come into Flynn's eye line & he could now see that it was Wolff himself who was administering the beating. The hose struck once more, after which Flynn lost count, he was being hit as hard as Wolff was able & he was working his way systematically up & down the back of Flynn's legs..................................

    ***


    This last extract is from chapter five "A Dislocation of Expectation". Flynn is still being held prisoner but things are set to change...............


    Moving quickly Flynn's party were through an open door & into the sunshine leaving the oppression of the admin area behind. Flynn baulked at the brightness, he hadn't seen daylight for almost a week & it took his eyes time to adjust. He stumbled as he was turned left & ushered down the uneven steps leading down from the keep door. Flynn knew he had to now ready himself for the chance to break from his guards as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Having his hands bound behind his back would prove a major difficulty yet he determined to take whatever chance, however slim, to make an escape.
    Castello de los Salazar seemed smaller than he imagined, There was no bailey system to protect the main keep & in the earthen floored courtyard raked steeply down following the contours of the hill. The main outer wall looked over twenty feet high & he counted four round mural type towers set within it.
    The whole structure had been built out of some type of ochre coloured stone which the years had since deeply discoloured. Flynn could see no significant activity within the courtyard or indeed about the walls. There were four cars & a small truck parked hard against the main wall to his left.
    Flynn guessed he would be led to one of these vehicles. This could be his chance. His mind racing face paces ahead, Flynn determined that before being told to get in he would ask to have his hands cuffed to his front, this innocent request which - if granted - would allow him some freedom of movement which he then would to put to good effect once the vehicle had begun its journey.
    He guessed that he would be placed in the middle of the back seat with one of the burly guards to either side, hemming him in & restricting any lateral movement. Flynn knew he would comply, sitting passively until the car was out beyond the castle & travelling downhill. He would let it gather sufficient speed on the steep gradient then wait until it came to the first suitably sharp bend before lunging for the driver. His aim would be to get his wrists over the mans head, drawing back hard so the chain of the handcuffs crushed his victims Adams apple. If he timed it correctly - it was all about timing - the other two guards would be powerless to stop him & thereafter unable to free their friend. Flynn knew he would himself have to take some punishment in the process but in the confines of the car fists would be unable to be swung with any great force. It was highly unlikely that any of his guards would attempt to use their guns, simply because of the fact that they would endanger each other in the process.
    Flynn's aim was simple, to make the driver to lose control of the vehicle, thus causing it to crash. He would have to then fight his way through the two remaining guards & out of the rear seat before making good his escape. It wasn't much of a plan but it was all he had & as such he was determined to make it work.
    Having girded himself Flynn was surprised & a little disappointment that instead of turning towards the cars, his little party made quickly for the main gate which lay about forty yards from the keep.
    Flynn was still taking the trouble to note detail but was more than a little perturbed at the prospect of being led out beyond the precincts of the castle. Were they taking him into the scrub to kill him? The fear began to rise in the pit of his stomach. No, surely they wouldn't dress him for the occasion?
    Stay calm Flynn he told himself. Don't let the bastards see that you're getting rattled. Do whatever you can to exercise a little control over matters.
    He quickly reappraised the situation. As things now stood he had little prospect of breaking away as the men flanking him took a tight hold of his forearms as they approached the door.
    The castles main door was made of ancient oak planks, perhaps four inches thick, studded & strapped with rusting ironwork. One half of it was swung open partially outwards on its hinges just enough to allow foot passage beyond. It was here that Flynn noticed an armed guard, a man in casual civilian clothes who brandished an MP40 sub machine gun. This guard was alert & regarded Flynn closely as he & his gaolers passed. There was no moat or drawbridge, & once through the door Flynn found himself being turned immediately left & onto a wide & well trodden track which followed around the base of the wall.
    Flynn now had his first glimpse of the lay of the land. As to be expected the castle was sited on high ground, probably six or seven hundred feet above the valley floor which ran parallel to it for as far as Flynn could see, beyond which the low rolling hills stretched away to infinity in splodges of ochre & green.
    Up to about 100 yards from the wall, apart from grass & the odd bush, the area seemed devoid of vegetation, running into loose scrub land & brush thereafter. This scrub, seemingly quite thick in places, would provide good cover for an escape attempt however there remained the question of how one could get to it.
    Both his shadows still had tight hold of him & showed no sign of loosening their grip. With his hands still cuffed behind his back it would be difficult indeed for Flynn to tear himself free & make a run for it without being quickly interdicted by a rugby tackle or a bullet.
    They wouldn't dress him for the occasion of his execution? That same thought replayed itself. Why on earth would they be taking him out onto the hillside if it was not to put a bullet through his head?
    Perhaps they had allowed him a change of clothes to lull him into a false sense of security & make him compliant so he would walk to his death rather than have to be carried kicking & screaming?
    'Bastards!' Flynn thought, his heart suddenly racing. Yes, he was being led unwittingly to his own execution! His curses were violent yet unspoken, directed at both his executioners & himself for being so stupid as to fall for their trick!
    There were three of them & - with his arms bound behind his back - effectively only half of him. Flynn's nose for such things told him that the man to his left looked the most promising primary target & a plan of sorts was immediately formulated.
    As soon as he was able Flynn determined to initiate proceedings. Suddenly & violently he intended to shoulder barge the man to his left, knocking him into the castle wall & off balance for a split second. This would open a very brief window of opportunity for his next move. He would then immediately attack the man to his right, targeting his leg by scraping the sole of the thick work boot down his shin before smashing onto his foot. It would be playing by ear from then onward but Flynn was hoping that right man would stagger & double in both surprise & pain, thus allowing him the opportunity to follow up with another kick - this time to the face - to remove him from the proceedings. By this time left man would have regained his composure & no doubt be countering, however Flynn guessed that he himself could continue his own attack with perhaps a headbutt or better still a bite.
    Flynn knew from his street fighting days with the Milieu what devastating physiological effect biting had on an opponent & was certain that if he could deliver one it would provide him a distinct advantage which he could then use in his follow up.
    Biting a lump of flesh from the cheek or perhaps removing the nose or an ear would be enough to finish the second man. He'd seen it before - the pain & the blood associated with having a part of the body removed in such a fashion was almost always enough to remove an opponent from a fight. Could he go for the jugular? Kill the German by severing his vein? No, concentrate on the easiest target - the face - then follow up with a kick to the groin then head to put him down & out for good.
    Whatever he did he knew he had to stay on his feet, for to go down would mean the end of his attempt. He also was aware of the need to stay in close to the second man in order that the man out in front could not use his pistol. Front man would then no doubt enter the fight in defence of his colleagues though by the time he did Flynn was hoping he had already dealt them knockout blows.
    While the other two were obvious rough housers, this big bastard was going to be an altogether different prospect. Apart from his size & obvious strength, the element of surprise would have passed, leaving him ready for a fight. Once he saw his friends go down, would he have the presence of mind to draw his gun or would he steamroller into the fray as if he were in a bar brawl?
    Whatever he did, Flynn might only have a split second to go on the offensive. Again he had only his head & feet with which to deal with this biggest of his guards but was determined to headbutt, bite & kick his way to victory with all the desperation his situation demanded.
    With luck it would be all over inside twenty seconds. Out here, unseen by others, he could fight to the death before taking time out to perhaps even search for the key to the handcuffs before sprinting for the cover of the scrub.
    "Don't think you've bested me just yet you bastards!" Flynn screamed inside his head, psyching himself. "I'll kill you all!"
    Flynn thought about the man at the gate. He could raise the alarm & even join in so best to wait until they were out of his sight.
    Still following the line of the perimeter wall Flynn's party turned left, continuing for about twenty five yards before cutting off down slope. Flynn had seen the structure even as he had rounded the corner & suddenly all thoughts of immediate action evaporated..............................


    ***


    You'll have to read 'An Ungentlemanly Act' to find out what happens next but later on - for the climax of his mission - & true to Churchill's edict - Harry Flynn takes the fight to the enemy with such ferocity it shakes them to their very core...................


    Here's the link to the UK amazon page. It contains more reading in the 'look inside' feature.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01L3XJLWA
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,675
    Sounds exciting! I am already hooked!
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Thank you! Stay tuned for details of how you can get the book - my plan is to split my available five free days into one day each. I think the first will be next weekend but I will give plenty of notice so those who are interested can read it for free.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,782
    Great stuff - wishing you all the very best @stag!
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Just passing ( I'm not staying ) but had to comment on what a fabulous read those extracts
    were. Reads like a great thriller , as if you've been writing for years =D> so congratulations
    @stag I hope it's a big success for you, I know a little of how much work you've put in to it.
    All those checks, and rewrites have certainty paid off.
    I hope everyone will get behind it and give you plenty of five star reviews. You deserve it =D>
    Who knows, in a few years there may be a string of Harry Flynn books. ;)
  • ChriscoopChriscoop North Yorkshire
    Posts: 281
    Outstanding stag, I've been looking forward to this for ages now and you have surpassed expectations, absolutely top work old boy. =D>
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Thank you @Dragonpol, @Thunderpussy & @Chriscoop. I think you all will enjoy reading the book in its entirety. Harry Flynn really starts to mix things up shortly after the last extract & the thereafter - over the course of the remainder of the book - lives up to his reputation.

    TP the next Harry Flynn adventure is already being written. Indeed I started it yesterday. I have been working on the plot for quite a while now so a knuckling down to it as & when I am able.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Your first opportunity to get AGA for free will be next Thursday (1st of September) I intend to split the 'free' days up so the first offer will run for that day only. I imagine it will be 0001 to 2359 (BST). I'll post once this has been confirmed.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,525
    Good job, @stag! Wow, you got me hooked against my best intentions (because I'm running short on time) and yet I kept reading more. :-)
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    edited August 2016 Posts: 1,053
    Thanks @DarthDimi. I'm a bit of a WW2 history buff so just for everyones information there really was an MI9 whose job it was to help shot down aircrew & escaped POWs as I describe in the book & indeed they ran several pipelines from occupied France across the Pyrenees into Neutral Spain. Also (although I haven't featured any examples in the excepts I posted above) When Harry Flynn is fighting - aside from using his existing skills learned while working as an enforcer for the French Milieu organised crime syndicate - his techniques are absolutely authentic & as taught to British SOE agents of the time, with the same going for other operating procedures.

    I've also advertised the book elsewhere - but they won't be getting it for free - & amazingly I've started to record my first sales! The first one just an hour or two after the book launched. I'm new to all this however I don't think that is a bad opening day for my first novel.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    For the information of those who are interested I have set the first promotion day for this coming Thursday (1st September) so if you wish you will be able to bag a copy of AGA for free.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,782
    Thanks for the update, @stag. I'll certainly get a copy of your debut novel then. :)
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    edited August 2016 Posts: 1,053
    Here's hoping you enjoy it @Dragonpol.

    Here's the D7 blog which illustrates the vehicles, weaponry & suchlike featured in the book. There is a link to this blog at the end of AGA but I guess it won't hurt to see the things I am speaking about beforehand:

    http://department7britishsecretservice.blogspot.com

    Please feel free to post comments.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Just a reminder that those interested can get 'An Ungentlemanly Act' for free today.

    Click the link if you wish to download it:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01L3XJLWA
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    edited September 2016 Posts: 1,053
    Well I've just checked the stats for this promotion & it has gone much better than I had anticipated. An Ungentlemanly Act has been downloaded in some numbers - add these figures to the encouraging sales I received over the past week & I am pleased with its progress.
    I have been advertising heavily elsewhere so am not sure of how many MI6 members have downloaded the book today but for those who have I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it.

    The next phase it to hopefully harvest some positive reviews.

    For your information the book is available for free until midnight tonight (1st). I will also be running other free promotion days which I will keep you informed of.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,782
    Thanks, stag. I've downloaded my copy and am looking forward to read it. :)
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,675
    Me too! Just out of curiosity, how old are you?
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    @Dragonpol. Given your background I hope you find the little legal twist in the way D7 is administered (under the auspices of common law) & its role as an assassination bureau interesting. I thought it an unusual approach.

    @PropertyOfALady Over fifty but under sixty!
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Well it's been an interesting launch week. I have yielded sales (the UK & US are neck & neck) & the book appears be being picked up & read on the KU circuit. For those who missed it, just to let you know that I'll be scheduling another free day so you can get your copy for no pennies.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Just to let you know there will be another opportunity to download & read 'An ungentlemanly Act' for free this coming Saturday 10th September.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,782
    stag wrote: »
    @Dragonpol. Given your background I hope you find the little legal twist in the way D7 is administered (under the auspices of common law) & its role as an assassination bureau interesting. I thought it an unusual approach.

    @PropertyOfALady Over fifty but under sixty!

    Yes, that sounds just up my street, @stag. Thank you.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    I am struggling a bit for a suitable name for the main villain in my next Harry Flynn book & wonder if anyone has any ideas what I should call him?
    He is an Irish American mob boss who runs the biggest Irish gang in the city. I've toyed with several names but can't settle on one I like.

    Any (serious) suggestions?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited September 2016 Posts: 17,782
    How about Ciaran McGurk?

    Seamus O'Concannon?

    Patrick MacQuaid?
  • MrcogginsMrcoggins Following in the footsteps of Quentin Quigley.
    Posts: 3,144
    Or how about Alan or Big Al Delaney ?.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    I had been thinking of a name with 'big' in it as a reference to the mans position or 'mad dog' for his demeanor. Search you tube for 'Big Al' & Delaney's donkey.
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    edited September 2016 Posts: 1,053
    Here's a list of real Irish mobsters from the thirties & forties.

    https://toppublicenemies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/top-70-famous-irish-american-gangsters.html#Died_between_1900_and_1950

    Could anyone come up with a good name in the same vein? My man is a very dangerous individual - he also dresses well so some reference to either or may be good. he's also middle aged (if that helps) & the time period is 1942.

    It's the first time I've had to ask for help with a name but I am really struggling to find something suitable.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    I'm certain you've already thought of these for fashionable.
    Dandy, peacock, pulchritudinous, dapper.
    I'm a slow reader, but by god it's a great story so far. =D>
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Dandy! I hadn't thought of that! There was a real gangster called 'Dapper' because of his love for expensive clothes. Dandy......... ..........?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,782
    Slasher John?
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 1,053
    Marrying a couple of names from the suggestions

    Big Al Concannon or Patrick Concannon (If the latter then he would have an AKA 'Mad Dog' Concannon or 'Lucky' Concannon or 'Razor' Concannon).
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