MISSING PERSONS extract
smiled suggestively. ‘The first is always the best. You never forget the first
Kyle stared at his partner, who was
almost forty, round faced and balding, and pretty average-looking – you
wouldn’t look at him twice in the street – but there was something lurking
beneath his exterior that was electric, aggressive and fiery – but at the same
time, congenial. Like an attractive reptile, poisonous but spellbinding.
‘Do you mean….’ Kyle began
Donny snapped with sudden
irritation, ‘What I said was what I meant. It’s easy enough to understand. Even
for a half-caste like you.’
Shamefaced, and without realizing
what he was doing, Kyle wiped a hand across his boyish face, and spoke in a
strangled voice. ‘I’m not a half-caste.’
‘What are you then?’
Donny laughed cruelly. ‘That’s just
Kyle’s brows contracted into a confused
frown. He hated his partner using big words, the words he’d learnt trying to
better himself in prison.
But Donny was now on a roll, and loved
tormenting Kyle, his loveable but vulnerable hooligan. Half-teasing, but also
intentionally heartless, he added, ‘Boils down to the same thing in the end.
The son of a black whore and white trash.’
‘At least if I was going to kill someone,
I’d do it properly.’
This was Kyle’s ultimate defence, knowing
it was his partner’s Achilles heel. In a moment of weakness, Donny had confided
in Kyle, telling him the truth about why he was banged up for eight years at
the age of twenty. A pensioner he tried to rob in her home fought back, and
when he pushed her forcefully, she fell, cracked her head on a coffee table and
died. It was more accident than murder and of this he was ashamed. It was
pathetic. Not even a proper murder. Ignominious. Which was another addition to
his vocabulary courtesy of HM Prison.
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CARELESS TALK - extract
Ted glanced at his watch. It was four o’clock. Only another hour to go until he
had to meet Donald. And still there was no indication that the chipolatas had
worked. He stared across the kitchen table at Marjorie, who was reading Woman’s Realm and noisily slurping tea.
Suddenly she winced painfully and a low animal moan came from the depths of her
exclaimed Ted with exaggerated concern. ‘What’s wrong?’
ran from the room and just about made it to the downstairs cloakroom before
throwing up in the small hand basin.
Ted listened to the revolting sound of her retching, a grin spread across his
face. Eureka! he thought. It worked.
We also found a
great way to entertain everyone in the studio canteen. If any of the studio
floor managers needed someone paged to the studio, they would use an internal
phone, and there was one situated between the two heavy doors leading into the
studios. We began to put in some false
calls. Sitting in the canteen, you might
hear an announcement along the lines of:
go to studio three in five minutes, please?”
None of the
telephonists seemed to twig. We got away
with all kinds of names, everyone from Joe Stalin to Bill Shakespeare. Then one day I picked up the internal phone
and put in a call for Miss Connie Lingus to go to Studio Three.
demanded, “Who’s that? This isn’t a proper call, is it? Are you mucking about?”
was nothing wrong with the telephonist’s sex education.
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EXTRACT & PREVIEW from MR MICAWBER DOWN UNDER
Or if you would prefer, why not listen to David Barry reading a 12 minute extract from the book at the London Lit 3 at a north London bookshop.
But having come thus far, and realising that time was definitely not on his side, Mr Micawber persevered. He placed the clock on the counter in front of the pawnbroker’s dinner plate.
'With all due respect, sir,' he began slowly, 'horologists have marvelled at its mechanical movements, giving no mere estimation of the passage of the noon sun over the meridian at Greenwich. In short, it is most reliable.'
'Get to the point!' snapped the pawnbroker, nearly losing the food from his mouth, which he just managed to catch and gulp like a ravenous dog.
Mr Micawber coughed delicately before continuing, and when he spoke it was in the measured, refined tone he reserved for simpletons. 'I was under the perceptible impression,' he enunciated, savouring each consonant, 'that the point - although circumnavigated by my testimony as to the accuracy and efficiency of this elegant contraption - had, in short, been reached.'
The pawnbroker stopped eating and looked up slyly. 'How much?' he demanded.
Mr Micawber suppressed a smile, knowing that his fish was hooked. But he still liked to retain a certain amount of propriety and dignity in transactions of this sort, for to arrive at an agreed price expeditiously seemed indelicate.
The ogre stared at Micawber, waiting for an answer.
Mr Micawber coughed more loudly. 'Ahem! Until such time as this precious ornament may be redeemed, and until such time as something turns up - which I am confidently expecting - shall we say – um – three pounds?
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THE WRECKING BAR Extract
Lambert stared pointedly at a
portrait of a primary schoolgirl in a blue-gingham blouse, smiling sweetly to
‘You’re a family man, I see.’
scowled with suspicion as he wondered what Lambert was driving at. ‘What’s that
supposed to mean?’
just think it’s commendable to love one’s children. There’s something spiritual
about that sort of love.’
scowl uncoiled and he nodded his agreement. ‘Although the missus and I split up
about eighteen years ago, and the children are grown up now, I still see them
regularly. I’ve got a good relationship with them.’
what about DS Lennon? Was he a family man, too?’
was devoted to his kiddies. Do anything for them.’
when he suspected O’Sullivan was seriously abusing young Con, he didn’t look
too hard for evidence linking the son to his father’s murder.’
face darkened and he lumbered to his feet. ‘I think I can safely say this
also stood up. ‘That’s okay, Martin. You’ve told me everything I need to know.’
moved a step forward, his chin jutting forward confrontationally. ‘Well, I’ll
tell you something else for nothing: if it turns out that Con O’Sullivan’s been
killing those paedophiles in South Wales, I hope he finishes the job and gets away with it.’
smiled thinly. ‘How did you know?’
don’t have to be Einstein to work that one out. It’s still in the news, and you
sound like a taff.’ Dyson glanced at his watch. ‘Now if you don’t mind – it’s
pub quiz night.’
he swung open the flat door, Lambert thanked him and started to exit.
an’ a mate went on holiday to Wales a couple of years back,’ Dyson said,
and Lambert noticed a malicious glint in his eye as he turned to face him.
‘Would have been all right if it weren’t for all them taffs. Fucking sheep
shaggers the lot of them.’
never heard that before,’ Lambert said, but the door had already slammed in his
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