Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Are you interested in that last post?

Escape from the Media is just the beginning of Captain Frost's adventures, but do you want to read about them? In May, you'll be able to do that, in an exciting new development in my efforts at being a proper writer.
Some point in late May the full story of Captain Frost's adventures, named the Monster Hunters, will be available for purchase on Amazon Kindle, as part of the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing service.  But what is the Monster Hunters about?
Read the blurb below to find out:

The Media, the United Nations attempt at a policing force for magic, has been prosecuting magicians and occult species since Queen Victoria's reign, and nothing has ever been done about them. Until one day, an ex special operations Captain, by the name of Benjamin Frost, is captured by them in 1999. 13 years later, he has devised a plan of how to escape and how to take revenge on them.
With the help of a lycanthrope, a necromancer, an alchemist and his apprentice the Captain wages war with the Media. But then a vampire turns up. He's unlike anything they've seen before, but a terrible truth about his creation could put them all in danger.
Sometimes the monsters you must hunt are within you.

Escape from the Media...

The man woke up to the sound of death. It was a daily sound. Everyday, someone would be executed, and everyday they would broadcast the sound across the prison. Or, as they called it, ‘research facility.’
He climbed from the concrete floor that he’d been sleeping on since 1999, and smiled. Today was the day. October the 31st, 2012, the day he would escape. The Centaur in the next cell had managed to sneak some Gangurf Mind Imagers from the mans motor bike, before they’d sent it to the scrap yard, so he’d used them to burn an image onto the wall. As he took his coat from the ground and pulled it around his shoulders, he looked at the picture of a woman on the wall. She was beautiful, as she had been for the past twenty years. Brushing his birds nest hair away, he placed his hand on the bars and knocked them three times. 
A metallic ring echoed through the base of the Media, the UNs attempt at a policing force for magic, and the ferret in the air conditioning heard it’s call. The ferret snuck into the mans cell and up to the mans leg, with a vial tied to it’s back. The man took the vial and placed it in his pocket, hiding the ferret as a guard walked past. A few minutes later, a guard stopped. He was the guard general. The guard general turned to the man.
“Good morning Mr Frost.” The guard said.
“Captain.” Frost reminded him, bored of saying it every day.
“I couldn’t care less, Mr Frost. Now, are you going to show us a trick today?”
The Captain raised an eye brow, as if to ask how stupid the man was.
The guard general didn't seemed to notice, though, as he opened the Aridlium cell door and hauled the Captain out by the crimson tie. The Captain hit the floor, and that was a mistake. 
His knuckles collided with the guard generals stomach and then the Captain swung his arm into a left hook that broke the guards nose. The Captain pulled the extendable baton from the guard generals belt and used it to beat him unconscious. 
Having dropped the extendable baton, the Captain reached down and took the semi-automatic machine gun from the guards belt. The Captain pulled back the slide barrel on top of the gun and let the trigger loose as other guards closed in. Metal bullets sprayed through the halls of the Media’s base, taking down the incoming guards. The Captain started running at this point, moving quicker and quicker towards the stairwell. The Centaur in the next cell opened his mouth to scream at the Captain. 
“Free me, Frost!” The Centaur cried
The Captain turned, firing his gun and taking out several more guards. “I’ll come back for you.” He promised.
The Captain hit the blue door that led into the stairwell, having grabbed his sword and Desert Eagle gun from the safe in the wall, and he began running down the stairs. That promise had been a mistake. Because he never broke a promise. 
As he smashed the vial the ferret had brought him, he should have been thinking of the beautiful woman on the wall of his cell and finally seeing her face in the flesh for the first time in thirteen years. 
But instead he was thinking of how he would take down the Media, bit by bit.  

As he stepped through the flaring portal, he wasn't thinking of Mimnadale and Alcanvein, where she lived, but instead, he was thinking of Mortlock. And most of all, he was thinking of revenge.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Killing Floor, Die Trying, Trip Wire and the Hard Way by Lee Child

Killing Floor first, and what an amazing book it is! The plot doesn't need to be explained, as it has you hooked within seconds. Jack Reacher got off a bus and waked fourteen miles to a small town in Georgia on the day the city has it's first homicide in thirty years. Simple, but exceptionally effective. The homicide in question, the death of a private investigator, who was shot through the head, kicked to a pulp then hidden beneath a slab of cardboard. But who committed this murder, and will they strike again?
The story itself tells the investigation into this murder by Jack Reacher, who has been wrongly accused of the crime, his love interest, finger print analyst Roscoe, and chief of detectives, Finlay. Together, they attempt to discover who the murderer was, and what their next move will be. Throughout the story, Reacher has to survive being arrested, the death of a loved one, imprisonment, several assassination attempt, explosions and several double crosses, all of which are familiar to Childs' exceptional writing.
As with all thriller novels, the twist at the end is, to put it plainly, brilliant, and definitely not what I saw coming. It's absolutely genius, and doesn’t really have anything bad about it. Perhaps the worst criticism I can given is about Childs unique style of writing. If you are a long time reader of his work, you get used to the short sentences and dry wit, but for a first time reader it can be a little disorientating. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a fan of Conan Doyle and Christie style crime, because, whilst appearing near each other on an alphabetically ordered book case, they are quite the opposite, the Reacher thrillers conforming to the Hardboiled genre.
Die Trying next. As I sat down with this I was worried it would be pretty much the same as Killing Floor, but it’s an extremely diverse read. Reacher is kidnapped with an FBI agent and then finds himself in a valley led by conspiracy crazed new worlders led to their insanity by a mad man blinded by grief. The story tells of three sides of the story, Reacher and the FBI agent, the mad man in charge and a team of federal agents attempting to rescue Reacher and stop the mad man before he can take his ultimatum to the world.
The book is the definition of page turner. One moment, Reacher will be imprisoned, the next running for his life. Child’s gift is he can make anything totally and completely thrilling, whether it’s a shooting match or being stuck in a tunnel. To demonstrate his pure brilliance at make anything tense and addictive, Child went so far as to make even Reacher waking up a tense moment.
However, there are some negatives to the story. Because of the way it follows different characters, sometimes the action is split up, which can leave some parts slow. Also the twist isn’t as brilliant as that in Killing Floor, or any of the future books that I’ve read. But that might just be because of the high level of the other books.
Now Tripwire. Tripwire is the strangest of the four Reacher books mentioned here. It starts slow, carefully building up not only the readers curiosity but Reachers too. When he finally decides to investigate, the action is quick and interesting, as he visits different important places and finally finds the illusive ‘Mrs Jacobs’ 
What follows is quite slow, with Reacher working out the clues individually and only occasionally confronting the villains.  The rest f the story is very slow and, unless you are really curious, or have nothing better to read, I imagine you could quite easily give up and read something else. But for the sake of all that’s good in the world, don’t!
The twist at the end of Tripwire is the best twist of all, and you just don’t see it coming. Not at all. My grandfather, who could read six Lee Child books a day if you let him, loved it and didn’t see it coming. Generally, it is worth the slow beginning and middle just for the brilliant end. 
And the final book, the Hard Way, tops all the others. It is the best thing Lee Child has ever written, if you ask me, and there isn’t a slow moment in the book. Like Killing Floor, the book follows Reacher as he is instrumental in solving the kidnap of Kate Lane. Employed by Edward Lane, Kate’s husband and a mercenary, Reacher traces Kate Lane’s kidnapper all the way to England. But could he have made a terrible mistake and are the terrible events of the past repeating themselves?
This book is truly brilliant. Not only does it demonstrate Child’s expertise at writing the hardboiled crime genre, but also it teaches you exactly why I love the Jack Reacher books. One second, Reacher is sitting down, waiting for a kidnapper to call, the next second he’s planning how to stop the villains once and for all. It’s that mixture of red herrings, carefully planned out plot and, the best of all, a surprisingly in-depth knowledge of the Military Police and their weapons. 

There isn’t really anything bad about the Hard Way, just like with Killing Floor. As someone once said of Ian Fleming, the author departs with us such detail, but in a way that if you miss it the first time, you won’t see it again. The same can be said of Lee Child. Unless you pay full attention to the story, there are some parts that you’ll miss which can be crucial to the story. Apart from that, it is a brilliant book and, by far, the most thrilling read I’ve ever known.

In conclusion, even if some parts are slightly slow, and some crucial details can be easily missed, the four Jack Reacher books mentioned here are some of the best books I’ve ever read, even the worst of them having redeeming features. 
I give Killing Floor 9/10
I give Die Trying 8/10
I give Tripwire 7/10

I give the Hard Way 10/10 

The Corpse Quartet (part 4)

It was strange. Usually at this point in a crime, I'd have all my potential suspects go into a room and then me and Robin, with a mixture of witty banter and genius observations, would reveal who had committed the crime. But now all four of my suspects were dead, hundred per cent, definitely dead.
"How can that be Mr Lee?" Faron demanded.
"Have them both taken to the mortuary and meet me and Robin in the main reception in an hour. I think I may have solved it." I replied.
Me and Robin retreated to the safe confines of my sofa. Robin pulled out a notebook and her pen. "How did Lee's body get to her room?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Mr Lee was shot yesterday with a twenty eight calibre gun and then taken away to the mortuary. This morning he was discovered in Miss Ro's room." Robin replied.
"But they weren't the injuries from yesterday." I replied.
I explained everything as I saw it and she agreed. 
"One thing though." I added. "Why was there a blood splatter near the corpse of Guo?"
Robin thought for a moment. "I think I know. Is blood different depending where it comes from in the body?"
"I don't think so." I replied. 
"Well I can't prove it then." She replied. "But I've got a wee theory."

We arrived in the main reception and discovered the policemen waiting, with all the weapons displayed. I smiled, greeting Faron. He shook my hand and said, "Lodsbury tells me you're quite theatrical. I'd be grateful if you could just get to the point."
I nodded and told him we'd have to be theatrical, as we'd written a script. 
Robin began. "Hello! I'm Robin Greenhouse and this is Gabriel Rathbone and, if you don't already know, we're reporters for the 'Rathbone Investigates' column of Pavilion Post. We, using our deductive capabilities, think we've deduced the identity of the murderer."
"Or should I say murderers." I continued. "You see, this case is a story of two businessmen. Or should I say, business people, as one of them is a woman. In a quite a contradiction of our usual style, we'll start with the unveiling. Our two murderers are:"
"Miss Ro and Mr Lee." Robin announced.
Bemused whispers echoed around the room.
"But how, you may ask?" I continued.
"Mr Sol was quite obvious to work out. Mr Lee, who we'll get to in a second, took a shot gun, the same as he used to kill Mr Guo, and shot him, blasting out a large chunk of his chest, as a shot gun would. But how did Lee shoot Guo?" Robin asked.
"And more importantly, where did he shoot him?" I added.
"Well that's quite obvious as well, when you think about it." Robin began. "You see, the crime scene you found wasn't for the crime that was Lee's death. It was for the crime of Guo's. Mr Guo went into the room and was shot with a shot gun. It blew out a large chunk of his chest and decorated the back wall with his blood, and more importantly, the shot gun pellets. Mr Guo fell backwards and his head cracked open on the edge of the floor boards, in the architectural gap between the floor and the wall. The shot gun pellets and a lot of his blood went down there, but some remained on the edge of the floor boards. Lee then took two spent 28 calibre shells and dropped them on the floor, to make it look as if a 28 calibre gun had been used."
"Then some paid off staff members came in and took Guos body away. The rest cleaned away the blood on the edge of the floor board, as Lee was much shorter than Guo and wouldn't have smashed his head where Guo did. They were going to clean the blood splatter up when they heard other staff members coming, having heard the gun shots, so they discarded their cleaning stuff and set about pretending to worry that Lee was dying. They sent him away on a fake ambulance and had a fake pathologist, who was actually Chinese and was putting on an accent, call us up later to collaborate the 'evidence' that had been found. Meanwhile, the paid off staff members were installing a fake suicide scene upstairs."
"The blood splatter is from the open wound left by the shot gun. But we need proof." I said. "Which is exactly what we've got. Inspector Faron, please can you call the pathologist and put her on speaker phone."
Faron did so. "Hello." Said the pathologist who had called up about the finger prints on the shot gun.
"Hi." Robin replied. "I called up earlier about some last minute research."
"Of course." The pathologist replied. "How can I help?"
"When I called you earlier, I asked you to do a DNA test on the blood splatter from the first Mr Lee crime scene. Who did the blood belong to?"
"Mr Guo."
There were a few gasps.
"The fingerprints on the trigger of the gun in the Mr Guo crime scene belong to?"
"Mr Lee."
Another few gasps.
"The blood splatter in the Mr Guo crime scene is different to the other blood splatters how?"
"It wasn't fresh."
"Thank you." I said, cutting off the call. "But in the most shocking turn of all, a second murderer steps up."
"It's logical to presume," Robin explained, "that Mr Lee took the two spent 28 calibre bullets from an actual twenty eight calibre gun, and it's logical to presume that he left it lying around somewhere. What if Miss Ro found this gun and, knowing her time on this earth was limited, took it to defend herself from Lee, when he finally came from her."
"As Lee entered, she shot him twice, hence the two bullet wounds in him. Then there was a long pause as Ro considered what to do in the end. And sadly, she shot herself in the abdomen, bleeding to death as she threw away the gun. But what was the motive?"
"Well that's slightly more complicated." Robin began. "You see, Ro and Sol admitted that they were planning on becoming an alliance. But Sol worked in the same market as Lee, and sold much more reliable products. But together, Ro and Sol were going to buy the rights of an impressive new product that would blow companies like Lee's out of the water. But do you know who owned the rights?"
"Guo. He dealt in rights and stocks and shares and was willing to sell the rights to Ro and Sol. Lee had to stop him, as he was planning on buying the product itself, so he killed him. But the truth was, Lee's business was going bankrupt, he owed so much money that it made more sense to give up the business and go into hiding. But what's the easier way to go into hiding?"
"To fake your own death! So that's what he did. Faked his death and killed Guo to stop another company over taking them. But then Ro and Sol decided to go on with it. So he risked being caught and killed his main opponent. But Ro was going to continue without Sol, so he decided to kill her as well. But in the end, she killed him, and then herself, out of feelings of guilt."
Me and Robin stuck around to answer a few more questions and then went home to write the case up. A week later, as we were finishing off the article I suggested a title to Robin.
"The Corpse Quartet!" She exclaimed. "That's rubbish. Tetraphobia would be much better."
"What even is tetraphobia?" I replied.
"The fear of the number four in China and that area."
"Why would someone be scared of the number four?" I asked.
"Because in Mandarin number four is SÍ, in Japanese it's Shi and in Korean it's Sa. There's a word in Mandarin that's similar. It's SÎ. The Japanese equivalent is Shi and the Korean is Sa. And do you know what that word is?"
"What?" I asked, picking up my cup of tea.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Corpse Quartet (part 3)

The other business man, who had turned out to be called Mr Guo, was definitely dead, when I and Robin got to him in the higher parts of the building. A gigantic part of his chest had been blown out by a shot gun, and splattered across the far wall. Faron told me I wasn't allowed to interfere with the crime scene until the forensics were finished, so there was a horrible three hour wait for them to finish. In that time, Robin demonstrated exactly why I don't usually play cards with her. 24 games of Blackjack won in a row. Completely unfair.
Once the forensic team had moved out, in a record time, I went in, dressed in my second plastic suit of the day. Similar forensic cones were planted all over the room, and the body had been removed. I didn't bother examining the blood spatter as I could see quite clearly what had shot him. A shotgun sat, a string tied to the trigger, on the top of a tripod smoking, it's barrel pointed exactly at where the blood splatter was, the wall peppered with shot gun marks. I stepped back out a lot quicker. "No cover ups this time." I announced. "He was shot with a shotgun, no doubt. Looks like a suicide, but there's something just slightly wrong. I couldn't say what though."
Robin nodded. "Open and shut then? Sol and Ro were together when Guo shot Lee. Then, knowing the end was near, Guo set up the tripod and shot himself."
"I'm not convinced." I replied.
We questioned Sol, and he collaborated with Ro. Faron got words from the police pathologist who was going to inspects Lee's body. She was going to call them at nine o clock once she'd finished her inspection. Wanting to hear the final verdict, I told Faron we'd stick around until the morning.
At nine, during a tea of soups, we got the call. After Faron had talked to her at length, I took the phone and spoke with her. "What's the verdict?" I asked.
The pathologist, a lady with an awful Scottish accent, I guessed she was from Scalloway, told me that Lee had definitively been shot with a 28 calibre bullet. No doubt about it. I thanked her and thought furiously. It didn't make any sense. What kind of mistake had I made?

I went to sleep on the problem, but was woken in the early morning with the sound of a shotgun going off. We raced out of the lounge where we'd been sleeping and up to the room where the shotgun had come from. It was the room where Sol was sleeping. Faron kicked open the door and his eyes widened. "He's dead."
It was pretty much the same crime scene as the last two. A large blood splatter on the wall peppered with shot gun bullets. Sol lying dead on the floor with a large chunk of his chest missing. I left the pathologists to study it whilst I waited around with Robin. There was only one suspect left.
But we had no evidence, how could we arrest her. I told Faron my suspicions, but he gave me a brilliant answer. A different pathologist had called about Guo's body. He had definitely been shot with a shot gun and the finger prints on the gun were being processed. We've have results by the morning.
With a Chinese guard on Ro's door, we all went back to bed.

Yet again I was woken by gun shots. One. Two. A long pause. Three. I raced out of the door. I knew where it was. Ro had obviously murdered herself, wishing to evade capture. I rushed past Faron and Robin, who had obviously worked it out for themselves.
I turned the corner and noticed the guard was nowhere to be seen then ran into the room. A 28 calibre gun lay on the floor. Ro lay on her bed, blood seeping out of a wound in the centre of her abdomen. I turned. The Chinese guard lay slumped on the floor, with blood seeping out of two wounds in his chest.
"Why did she kill the policeman?" Robin asked.
"He isn't one of mine." Faron replied. "I didn't post him there."
I made a bemused face. "Then who did?" But then it dawned on me. It was obvious once you worked it out. "That isn't a guard." I said.
"Then who is it?" Faron demanded.
"It's Mr Lee."

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Corpse Quartet (part 2)

"Where's the body?" Robin asked, stifling a giggle at the forensic suit I was wearing.
"The hospital sent it to the local mortuary for studying." The policemen replied. He had finally introduced himself as Inspector George Faron, of Gourock Police Department. He'd driven down when the incident was reported.
"I meant Gabriel's." Robin replied, sarcastically.
I scowled at her and continued preparing myself. "Do you have any photo's of him in the room?" I asked, smoothing the plastic suit down.
"No." Faron replied. "The staff thought he might still have chances of living, so they sent him to the hospital. From there he was sent to the mortuary at our request."
I nodded, pushing open the door, and stepped in. There was a collection of forensic cones on the floor, marking different points of interest. There were three bullet shells on the floor and they seemed to be 28 calibre. I made some mental calculations and popped my head of the door. "Who marked up the crime scene?"
"Some of my men." Faron replied.
"Fire them."
"The bullet shells aren't from the gun. Too small." I moved across the room to the blood splatter on the wall. I whipped out a magnifying glass and studied the wall. The heart of the blood splatter was on a bit of wall slightly peppered with something. I dropped to the floor and studied the gap between the floor boards and the wall, observing the things in-between. I whipped out a pen light and stared down. Round iron balls, smaller than my little fingers. I pulled out a pen and dipped the end into the gap. When I pulled it out, I observed a tiny layer of blood at the very bottom. I looked at the edge of the floor boards and saw a clean bit of wood. Too clean. I sniffed it, smelling some sort of industrial cleaner. Somebody had been scrubbing the floor. I climbed up and smiled. As I've said, I'm not good at deductions, but I felt like I'd made quite a good one just now. I came out of the room and pulled off the plastic suit. "Somebody has pretended he was killed with a 28 calibre gun, when in fact he was killed with a shot gun."
"How can you be sure?" Faron asked.
Robin explained, having observed what I was doing. "A twenty eight calibre gun would have penetrated him, but it wouldn't have then come out of his back, spraying the blood on the wall. Thus they're plants. I don't get the rest."
I smiled at her. "Well done. The rest is quite simple though. There is a gap between the wall and the floor boards in which several round metal balls are lying and there is some blood. In the centre of the blood spatter are marks made by these metal balls, which are shots from a shotgun. The edge of the floor board was scrubbed clean. Presumably there was blood on it, as there is blood near the shots in the gap. Why that is, I have no idea."
Faron nodded. "What do you want to do now?"
"Can we talk to the two other business people?" Robin asked, pulling out her notebook.
Faron nodded and led us upstairs, where the other two business people were waiting. There was women in a dress with black hair, going by the name of Mrs Ro, which coincidentally turned out to be the name of  Chinese piggy bank I once owned. The other was an elderly man in a suit, going by the name of Mr Sol. They both seemed obliged to help us. We interviewed Mrs Ro first.
"Where were you at the time of Mr Lee's," the name of the dead man, "demise?" I asked.
"I was with Mr Sol, going over a possible alliance between our companies."
"Did you have any problems with Mr Lee?" Robin asked.
"We did argue a lot, but only as rival businesses. None of us would go so far as to murder."
I nodded. "Out of your group, who would you say was most opposed to Mr Lee?"
"Definitely Mr Sol. They deal in the same market, home electronics, so are always arguing."
"You say that you were planning on dealing with Mr Sol. If he worked in the same market as Mr Lee, why not work with him?" Robin asked.
Mrs Ro froze, unsure. That was a genius question. "Just preference, I guess. Mr Sol seemed more trustworthy."
I was about to question further when Faron burst in. "The other business man has been found."
"Take us to him. I want to question him." I replied.
"Can you talk to spirits?"
"He's dead." Faron replied.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Corpse Quartet

"I need your love!"
"That's awfully kind of you, Ellie, but you really aren't my type." I explained to the radio that Robin insisted we use.
Robin scowled at me, but I didn't pay attention- I was too busy following the Sat Nav. It was a slow news week, or a good week, as my editor calls it, as it meant there had been no murders or burglaries, and we were being sent out on a wild goose chase. That morning, I'd got a call from him saying to drive to Greenock. Because there were no murders or burglaries, we'd been asked to cover a business deal there. Some Chinese business men who were investing in the docks.
"Why do people read your 'Rathbone Investigates' columns?" Robin asked, bored from the drive.
"What do you mean?" I asked, pulling the rusty red series one land rover around the round about.
"Why do the lovely people of Glasgow want to read about people being murdered?"
"I don't know! Why do the lovely people of Scotland want to watch River City? It's as equally distressing."
"If not more." Robin muttered.

We pulled into the car park about ten minutes later, the tires screeching as I hit the breaks. Robin had a go at me for being awful at driving. We continued across the car park and entered the reception. It was empty, which was strange, apart from a man behind the desk who didn't look quite comfortable. I went over and was signing in when Robin cried, "Gabe! Come look at this!"
The guy behind the desk tried to stop me, but with four strides I was at the doors that Robin was peering through. "What have I told you about calling me Gabe?" I started, quickly stopping when I saw what was inside. It was a crime scene.
Forensic cones were dotted all over the room, blood splattered over the walls. I turned to the desk guy and found a taser pointed at me. I thought quickly and put my hands up. As he lowered the taser, I moved to the side and made an effort to punch him. I'm a very weak person though, so I ended up hurting myself more than him. Robin was much more successful, as she managed to fracture his leg and secured his arms behind his back. I confiscated his taser and prepared it for use when a pantheon of policemen came running through.
"What the hell is going on?" I cried.
"Put the taser down please, sir." One of the policemen asked.
I placed it on the floor, smiling my 'I'm just a law abiding citizen' smile.
"Can you please tell me who you are?" He demanded.
Robin answered before I could even open my mouth. "This is Gabriel Rathbone and I'm Robin Greenhouse. We're reporters for the Pavilion Post. We were invited to cover a Chinese business deal."
"I thought the Pavilion Post burnt down." The policeman replied.
"It did." I replied. "We work from home and use the Glasgow Gazettes printers."
The policeman weighed up our story in his mind, but before he could give us the verdict, another policeman came in. He seemed superior to the others.
"Can you call Inspector Lodsbury for me? He can vouch for us." I told the superior policeman. I smiled, remembering my friend had been given a promotion.
"Inspector Lodsbury is the man who recommended you for this." He said, offering his hand.
"I'm sorry," I replied, shaking his hand, "but I really don't understand."
He paused. "I'm not surprised." He gestured to the doorway beneath the sign that said 'cafeteria.' "Please follow me."
I nodded, cautiously, leading Robin across the room. I was tempted to ask her where she'd learnt to fight like that, but decided now wasn't the time for questions about her past. So I started making deductions.
Honestly, I'm not very good at deductions. When I first got this job, Amelia took me out to Glasgow Central Station to teach me how to make deductions. After about twenty minutes, I'd come to the logical conclusion that the man in the red was secretly a cat smuggler, but I think some of that was down to my imagination. Another ten minutes went by and I retreated to the safe confines of Waterstones. I never went back to attempting to deduce, as Amelia said that I was never going to get back. I think I replied with something along the lines of 'Ever the optimist, Amy.'
I sat down in the cafeteria on a seat that made me feel extremely claustrophobic. The policeman smiled at me. "I'm sorry for my men being so barbaric, but I've only just got them house trained."
I smiled at him. "That's fine, but I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me what's going on."
He grimaced. "As you know, a business conference has been taking place here."
"Yes." I replied, nodding.
"Well the conference is taking place amongst four businessmen, even if one is a woman. At four o clock in the morning, we got a call stating that a crime has taken place here. When we arrived, we found one of the four business men dead, in the room that you were looking at before my men interrupted you. Two of the business people have been found, and one is still missing. We fear he may be the killer."
"Why all the secrecy?" Robin asked, displaying the journalistic skills I'd taught her.
"Because the four business people are crucial to China's economy, owning some really quite grand companies. We don't want to report back to China until we've stopped the killer, and alone, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to. That's why I called Scotland's best detectives."
"I wouldn't go that far." I replied, before Robin cut me off and took the praise.
A few moments passed and then I said, "I'll take the case." I smiled, unsure as to whether I'd made a logical conclusion.
He nodded, gratefully. "Just one condition though."
"Sure." I replied, expecting it to be that I couldn't print the story.
"You can't leave until it's solved."