Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend whatever you got up to! Today, I’ve got an extract from Barry Faulkner’s Turkish Delight, the first in the Ben Nevis and The Gold Digger series.
Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on the blog tour and for the extract that I’m sharing today.
London private eye Ben Nevis, ex SAS/OCS/N14 gets a peculiar request from a new lady client, ‘kill my husband‘. A few days later the husband appears in Ben’s London office with the request ‘kill my wife‘. Ben has his partner the Gold Digger take a good look into the pair and some illegal international arms dealing is exposed with missiles going from the UK through Cyprus and Turkey to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and on to terrorist cells in the Middle East. After a surprise visit from Ben’s old boss at MI6 Ben finds himself enrolled in a mission to stop the trade with help of the British SBS based in Cyprus who are to get him into Turkey to blow up the arms and then get him out again. But things don’t go to plan. It is a full action novel set in the present day with twists and turns bringing it to the final explosive conclusion.
Christ! It seemed the whole Turkish army was coming for me. I waded out as fast as I could to meet the FB, which was making its way towards me bouncing through the waves.
‘You just about made it then,’ said Jones, pulling me aboard. ‘Another couple of minutes and we would have gone. What the hell’s going on up there at the road – are they after you?
I fell into the boat with a feeling of great relief as Taylor increased the revs a little, not enough to be heard on land, and we headed out to sea.
‘Yes, I blew up their ammo dump. I don’t think they liked that.’
The whistle of bullets through the air above us had Jones flinging himself down joining me on the boat floor with Williams. Williams looked at Jones.
‘Return fire, sir? We have company starboard side?’
We looked, and there about a mile away the lights of three fast Turkish Naval skiffs were heading our way lights blazing in the darkness.
‘Bloody Hell! Get onto base and have some support come out to meet us. Taylor, open her up.’
The FB jolted into warp speed as Taylor pushed the engines to max and hit the injector switch. Williams got on the radio and Jones pulled open a compartment door on the boat floor and lifted out a bazooka and pointed to a box of rockets inside. ‘You know how to load one of these, Nevis?’
‘Okay, grab those and let’s go.’ He hoisted the tube onto his shoulder, positioning the shoulder stop flange and knelt on the starboard side, aiming it over the edge of the FB. Took a rocket from the box and opened the bazooka lid – that’s the end cover – pushed in a rocket until it clicked into the breach before closing it and securing the hasp. I tapped Jones hard on the shoulder. ‘Ready,’ I shouted and ducked away covering my ears.
The third one we fired hit home and the nearest skiff which was still a good six hundred metres from us went up in an explosion of fire as the rocket exploded on impact leaving burning pieces of the boat floating on the sea.
We were now pretty much out of range of anything shot from the shore and the FB’s twin Mercedes engines were showing their class, putting ever more distance between us and the chasing skiffs.
‘What the…?’ Williams pointed towards the skiffs. Behind them and catching up fast were two Turkish Naval launches with machine guns mounted on the forward superstructure. We were out of range, but those boats can move so we wouldn’t be for much longer. I tapped Jones on the shoulder and shouted in his ear what we had seen. He moved his head from the bazooka sights and looked.
‘Jesus, Nevis! Are you sure you blew up an ammo dump and not the President’s palace?’ He shouted over his shoulder to Taylor. ‘Weave!’
Taylor started to zigzag weave the boat. Then we heard the sound that strikes fear into any soldier out in the open: the whirring of helicopter blades.
It was a good way away from us and coming from the direction of the beach.
‘Are we in international waters?’ Jones shouted to Taylor, who nodded ‘Affirmative.’
I knew what Jones was thinking. We wouldn’t stand a chance against a ‘copter out here in the open waters, especially if it was carrying air to ground missiles, so we would raise the white flag and surrender. Doing that in international waters would limit the chances of being held for more than a couple of days; our masters would say we were just on patrol and must have strayed out of the Cypriot three-mile limit. But if we were in Turkish waters that was a different thing altogether; we’d be put on a show trial no doubt, and either rot in a Tukish jail or be part of a prisoner swap.
The whoosh of a missile had us all diving to the bottom of the boat – seems they didn’t want to take prisoners. I was wrong; the distant boom of it hitting home on one of the Turkish launches that disintegrated in a white explosion of flame and debris shooting into the air stopped my thoughts for a moment. Then as one we all turned and looked towards the Cyprus coast. Bearing down on us were two SBS Pacific 24 Mark 4 Royal Navy armed launches – the missile had come from one of them; the firepower they had far outclassed the Turkish launches. Our chasers had seen them too, the other launch and skiffs turned for home and the helicopter banked away towards the land.
In a minute the first Pacific drew close by and a smiling face looked down on us from the rail.
‘I might have known it would be you upsetting the neighbours Jonesy, any casualties?’
Jones saluted. ‘No sir, glad to see you, sir.’
He was bloody right there.
Who Is Barry Faulkner?
Faulkner was born into a family of petty criminals in Herne Hill, South London, his father, uncle and elder brothers running with the notorious Richardson gang in the 60s-80s, and at this point we must point out that he did not follow in that family tradition although the characters he met and their escapades he witnessed have added a certain authenticity to his books. He attended the first ever comprehensive school in the UK, William Penn in Peckham and East Dulwich, where he attained no academic qualifications other than GCE ‘O’ level in Art and English and a Prefect’s badge (though some say he stole all three!)
His mother was a fashion model and had great theatrical aspirations for young Faulkner and pushed him into auditioning for the Morley Academy of Dramatic Art at the Elephant and Castle, where he was accepted but only lasted three months before being asked to leave as no visible talent had surfaced. Mind you, during his time at the Academy he was called to audition for the National Youth Theatre by Trevor Nunn – fifty years later, he’s still waiting for the call back!
His early writing career was as a copywriter with the major US advertising agency Erwin Wasey Ruthrauff & Ryan in Paddington during which time he got lucky with some light entertainment scripts sent to the BBC and Independent Television and became a script editor and writer on a freelance basis. He worked on most of the LE shows of the 1980-90s and as personal writer to Bob Monkhouse, Tom O’Connor and others. During that period, while living out of a suitcase in UK hotels for a lot of the time, he filled many notebooks with DCS Palmer case plots and in 2016 he finally found time to start putting them in order and into book form. Eight are finished and published so far, with number 9 at the editors.
Faulkner is a popular speaker and often to be found on Crime Panels at Literary Festivals which he embraces and supports wholeheartedly.
He has recently been seen on screen in the Channel 5 Narcos UK series, Episode 2 The London Gangs and his Palmer book ‘I’m With The Band’ has just been serialised in 16 parts by BBC Radio Bristol. He has been a subject of Corinium Radio’s Writer’s Room programme, Manchester FM’s Hannah Kate Book show, Hawkesbury Upton Lit. Festival ‘Best of British’ panel chairman, Evesham Festival of Words Crime Panel and Bristol Crime Fest Indie Author Panel amongst others
Faulkner is a member of ALLI (Alliance of Independent Authors) and publishes a blog about the ‘geezers’ of his youth, the criminals and their heists. It goes in depth about the Krays, Brinks Mat, Hatton Garden ‘Nipper’ Read and all the other major heists and who ‘dun ‘em’. Take a look at geezers2016.wordpress.com
He also speaks about that era in illustrated talks for social clubs, WI and others.
As a crime writer Faulkner is quite particular about ‘getting it right’ and as well as his own Facebook page he publishes a page called ‘UK Crime Readers and Writers Page’ which has lots of information about the forensic crime detection methods, police procedurals and other facts of use to both reader and writer of crime and detective books.
Faulkner now lives in the glorious Forest of Dean with his wife and three dogs.