Sunday, 26 February 2012

Poetic Justice Chapter 2 plus Chapter 3

CH 02
'Oh, you're awake Inspector Buchanan,' said the nurse.
'Whur am I?' asked Buchanan.
'You're in the Royal; you fell and hit your head.'
'How long have I been here?'
'Two days.'
'Geeze, two days, ma wife.'
'Not to worry, the hospital contacted her and told her it wasn't serious, you'd just bumped your head. I'll get doctor Aswan,' said the nurse.
She was back in four minutes with the diminutive Dr Aswan.
'How are we today Inspector Buchanan? '
'Ma heed feels like there's a bunch of Clydeside riveters on piecework bangin aroon in ther, what happened tae me?'
'That's what we hoped you'd tell us. You were found lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the men's toilets in Porters bar. Apparently you slipped and hit your head on the floor.'
'So it wasnae a dream then'' said Buchanan gingerly touching his bandaged scalp.
'We did a scan while you were unconscious,' said the doctor, 'don't worry, you have a thick skull, nothing wrong that a period of rest won't cure. We did have to staple your scalp back together though and that will be tender for several weeks.'
 'Whit aboot the pain in ma heed?'
'We'll give you something for that,' said the nurse as the doctor moved on to his next patient.
'A wee dram would go down nicely,' said Buchanan, pleading.
'This is the Royal Infirmary inspector, not your local'.
'Pity,' replied Buchanan closing his eyes.
 'Inspector Buchanan,' said the nurse waking him from his afternoon nap, 'there's someone here to see you,'
'Good afternoon Buchanan.'
Buchanan opened his eyes and focussed on the uniform that was Assistant Chief Constable Anderson.
'Good afternoon sir, sorry I can't stand to attention, layin doon is the best I can achieve.'
'What on earth happened man; my best DCI found laying on the toilet floor in a pool of blood, and drunk to boot—and two dead men in the street under a police car? Every five minutes the Chief Constable's on the phone wanting to know just what the hell is going on, the newspapers are having a field day, and I've got to give a news conference in front of the cameras this afternoon.'
Anderson walked over to the window, looked down to Warnock Street and smiled, a harried TV crew were arguing with a traffic warden.
'Do you realise,' he said to Buchanan while continuing to watch the street spectacle, 'I've got just four months to go to retirement and me with an unblemished record.'
'It wasny ma fault.'
'No—so whose front teeth were spattered on the toilet floor then?'
Buchanan said nothing for a moment, and then said, 'they were lookin at pictures on a mobile phone.'
'That's not a crime; my grandchildren are on theirs, texting, all hours. I'm sorry Buchanan, but I've got no choice, the press are baying for blood and I need a scapegoat.'
'And am it, do you know who those two shites were?' said Buchanan grasping for a straw.
'Who, the men under the police car—no—forensics are still working on it.'
'One was Davie Shelton, can't remember the name of the other one.' said Buchanan.
'Shelton, that name rings a bell, wasn't he the child molester, got off the charge if I remember rightly, had a good solicitor?'
'Randal, that's who the other bastard was, he was Shelton's lawyer,' said Buchanan, sitting up in bed, momentarily forgetting the pain in his head.
'Well,' said Anderson rubbing his hands together, 'this puts a different light on the matter. All the same we can't have you wandering around being ambushed by the press.'
Anderson looked at his watch; 'right, I've got to go back to headquarters. First thing, must get forensics to confirm the identities and then, oh and then, I think a discrete leak to the press before the press conference and finally, to find somewhere to hide you till this all blows over. Oh, by the way, how is Mrs Buchanan?'
'She's fine.'
'Does she know about your injury?'
'Apparently the hospital has called her and said there was no need to rush home.'
'Where is she?'
'In France, she's visiting her mother; as soon as my head clears I'll give her a call.'
'Great, I'll be off, and Buchanan, good work.'
Anderson walked of muttering to himself, 'two paedophiles off the street, that's one for the good guys.'
CH 03
Suitably anesthetised, Buchanan sat up in his hospital bed and watched the televised news conference. Anderson had stage managed the situation brilliantly. The identities and histories of the two men had been leaked to the press prior to the news conference, so instead of the police actions, Buchanan's in particular, being the focus of the press's attention, it was instead the activities of Felton and his lawyer that took the brunt of the questions.
Anderson, with a grave look on his face, announced that their mobile phones had been located and Anderson was able to confirm that there were indecent photographs of children contained in both of the phones memories, and as such would have been enough to get both men convicted and sent to jail for a long time.
Pressed for confirmation of the name of the injured policeman, Anderson said his name was being withheld till he had recovered from his injuries and all police enquiries were complete.
Three hours later Anderson was seated at Buchanan's bedside.
'You watched the news conference?' asked Anderson.
'Yes,' said Buchanan smiling, 'it went off quite well I thought.'
'I thought so too. The press are after you though; you won't have any peace when you get out of here.'
'How did they find out my name?'
'Guesswork and a pub full of Rangers supporters?' said Anderson.
'Ah, I forgot about that; who won by the way?'
'Haven't a clue, golf's my game, ever play it?'
'Me, chase a wee ball round the green, never.'
'That's a pity, it's a great way to network and meet the right kind of people.'
'Am not rolling up my trouser leg for anyone,' said Buchanan indignantly.
Anderson shook his head and said, 'you don't understand, how are you ever going to get promoted if you don't mix with the right people?'
'Listen, am a policeman first, the only people I mix with are honest criminals, it's those people that think they are above the law that I stay away from.'
'I'm sorry you take it that way, but if you ever change your mind, all you have to do is ask.'
That'll be a snowy day in hell, thought Buchanan.
'Right, down to business,' said Anderson. 'We've had a talk at headquarters; you said your wife's mother lives in France?'
'Yes, just outside Dieppe, why, you're not sending me on sick leave, are you?'
'No, of course not, we've got something better in mind,' chuckled Anderson, 'we've arranged for you to be seconded to East Sussex.'
'East Sussex?' said a worried Buchanan.
 'Yes, East Sussex division has a problem, a woman's body was fished out of Eastbourne Harbour last month and their senior DCI was found in his car just last week.'
'Asleep, or was he drunk?'
'None of those, he was in his car when it was pulled from the same harbour.'
'Are they related, the deaths that is?'
'That's what their Internal Affairs wants you, if you accept the secondment, to find out.'
'What choice do I have?'
'Disciplinary hearing, your record being leaked to the press, career finished.'
'I'll go home and pack my bags.'
'I thought you'd see sense.'
'Don't they have someone in house that could take care of it though?'
'They were going to get someone from the Met but he came down with measles.
The ACC and I go back many years, last week she told me she was looking for an outsider to take over the investigation, felt an outsider would get better results.'
'And that's how I come to get volunteered?'
'That and the fact that Shelton had friends in high places, I thought it would be good for your health to get some sea air—do you understand where I'm coming from?'
'Let me stay here, I'll sort it out.'
'No, we have a team already working on the case, almost ready to make arrests, in fact your presence could jeopardise the whole investigation, that's why we need you out of the limelight.'
'Two birds with one stone, eh?'
 'Knowing how you work Buchanan; I really think you're the man for the job, except for one thing.'
'And what's that?'
'You're use of English, or should I say Glaswegian. If you want to get ahead down south, you'll have to moderate how you speak, they don't provide interpreters for staff.'
Buchanan smiled, nodded his head and thought to himself; the same old bullshit.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Poetic Justice Synopsis

Below is the synopsis of Poetic Justice, the first in the Detective Jack Buchanan stories.

Eastbourne in east Sussex, firmly planted on the sunshine coast. Only fifteen miles to Battle Abbey, where in 1066 the battle of Hastings was fought and William defeated Harold.
The town sits on an open sloping beach where for centuries smugglers brought contraband in from France and where fishermen still land their nightly catches of white fish, lobster and crabs. Yet there are others that call it the dead end of the country, its pier, the launching ramp for departing souls and Beachy Head, the gaping mouth of hell.
All of this is 472 miles from Glasgow and Detective Chief Inspector Jack Buchanan, whose wife calls him an anachronism in the 21st century, a comment he whole heartily endorses.
            When he walked the beat in the Gorbals area of Glasgow as a young PC, his idea of street justice was to take the miscreant down a dark alley, thump seven bells of hell out of them and send them on their way with a warning never to do it again. Now 30 years later, he hadn’t changed his view on street justice one iota.
Buchanan was on secondment, his brief was to find out firstly, why the body of a hotel maid had been found dead, floating in the Sovereign Harbour, and secondly, why three weeks later a senior Sussex police detective’s body had been removed from the same marina, while still seated at the wheel of his car.
Now Buchanan was in Eastbourne, a fish out of water and having a fulltime partner thrust upon him was something Buchanan had always tried to avoid. But now, saddled with the fresh-faced female Detective Sergeant Jill Street, he rather fancied taking his chances of returning to Glasgow and the threatened investigation, besides he hadn’t found a beer to his taste yet
But returning to Glasgow wasn't an option, his wife returned from France, declared she liked the climate of the south coast and Eastbourne in particular. Besides, it was only a twenty minute drive to Newhaven, the ferry to Dieppe and her family; his plans for returning north were scuppered.
Buchanan set up home in Sovereign harbour and a portable incident room, citing the need to be close to the crime scene. Besides, he said, it was a forty-minute drive, each way, along the A27 to police HQ a total waste of his time.
It didn’t take Buchanan long to see that the investigation was severely flawed, evidence had been tampered with, files and reports either missing or incorrectly completed and vital witnesses not interviewed.
In spite of her youth and femininity, Buchanan found Street a worthy partner, almost the child he and Karen never had.
Follow Buchanan and Street as they track the killer from seedy Eastbourne seaside pubs through bustling nightlife of the Sovereign Harbour, across the channel to France and on to the lofty heights of academia at Sussex University.
Sail with them, through the night on the rolling, cold and damp decks of the coastal fishing boats. Almost being added to the grim list of Beachy Head casualties, working in disguise as deckhands on cross channel ferries, to the flying bridge of the latest 40 meter yacht from the yard of Greyspear yachts. 
Buchanan and Street, always appearing to be one step behind the killer, yet finally, justice is done, Buchanan style.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Poetic Justice.

Below is the first chapter of my new novel "Poetic Justice", the first of the Jack Buchanan detective stories.

CH 01

It was half time, an excited peace prevailed; Ibrox was rocking, the pub was heaving and Rangers were ahead of Celtic by two goals.
 Buchanan nodded to the bartender for another pint of McEwan's Export, his sixth. 'Just gaun for a pee Tam, gotta make room for the next yin,' he laughed while swaying between the crowded tables.
It took a few moments for his eyes to become accustomed to the dimly lit corridor. A single fly spattered bulb hung from the ceiling at the far end. Buchanan could have found the gents in the dark though, the smell of stale urine mixed with tobacco smoke got stronger the closer he got.
He leaned on the door, stuffed a cigarette in his mouth, lit it and almost fell through the door. Two men were standing outside one of the cubicles, engrossed in the display on a mobile phone. Buchanan, bleary eyed, stared at them, they looked familiar, but nature called and he made his way to the urinal, unzipping as he crossed the wet floor.
To relieve the boredom as the patrons went about their ablutions, the management of the establishment had installed plastic covered humorous cartoons above the urinals. Jack started to read the caption under one but was distracted by the reflection of one of the men; he remembered where he had seen him before.
Momentarily sobered by the revelation, he zipped up turned and stared.
'Ah ken you,' he said taking a step towards the man. The other one made to leave then stopped.
'You're Davie Shelton,' said Buchanan, 'you're a child molester; I read it in the Herald.'
Shelton made to deny the accusation but replied, 'then you'll remember I was found not guilty.'
'A technicality, none of the children would testify, they were to afeart of ye; you're guilty in ma book. If it was up tae me ahd'v ripped yer baws aff and stuffed them up yer erse.'
'You and who else,' said the silent partner.
'You threatnen me?' Buchanan took a step closer,  throwing his half smoked cigarette into the overfull paper towel basket, 'and what you lookin at on that phone, better not be what I think it is or al skelp the both of ye.'
The silent one threw a punch at Buchanan's face; the man's ring cutting Buchanan's cheek below the right eye. Buchanan grabbed him by the coat collar and swung him, face first, hard against the tiled wall, the silent one, no longer silent, slumped to the floor cursing Buchanan while holding his face, blood dribbling through his fingers.
Buchanan turned in time to see Shelton, cutthroat razor in hand, poised to slash at his face. Buchanan kicked him in the groin and drove a right uppercut into Shelton's face as he fell to the floor. Shelton lay on the floor writhing in pain holding his crotch, screaming obscenities at Buchanan.
'Take a razor to ma face wud you? al show you.' As he spoke he kicked Shelton in the face, blood and teeth flew across the floor.
'That'll teach you, you bastard,' said Buchanan getting ready to kick Shelton again.
Just then the toilet door opened and a fresh-faced youth stumbled in. Seeing smoke billowing from the wastepaper basket and the carnage of Shelton and his friend lying on the floor holding their blood soaked faces, he backed off, pulled a phone from his pocket and ran out of the toilet.
Full of self-indignant fury, Buchanan took aim with his size 12 to kick Shelton again. In doing so, he slipped on the wet floor and fell back hitting his head on the edge of a cubicle door. He landed hard, his head bounced on the concrete floor.
Buchanan lay where he fell, deathly still, blood pouring from his head wound.
Shelton's silent friend got to his feet and helped Shelton up, 'Come on Davie, we've got to get out of here, that lad's probably called the police.'
Shelton stood, looked down at Buchanan and kicked him hard in the ribs. He was about to do it again when the sound of a siren echoed through a broken ceiling vent.
'Come on Davie, we can't be found here.'
Staggering like a couple of Friday night drunks they pushed their way out through the back door of the pub, through the crowd of smokers, and into the side alley.
The sound of more police cars approaching spurned them on down the alley and out into the road, just in time to be run over by a police car.