It had just gone 10.00 pm when the grand planes landed south of the Brunei river, on a dirt airstrip surrounded by trees that seemed impossibly tall. There was no fanfare, nor any grand welcoming committee for the three Blackburn Beverleys as they descended from the soft clouds above, packed to the rivets with two companies of soldiers from the British army’s 1st Battalion.
Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in a village near Manchester, UK. Author of the Ben Bracken series A Wanted Man, Morte Point, The Penny Black and Till Morning is Nigh, The Watchman, and the standalone post-Brexit country-noir Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), writing horrible things between school runs. He writes full time, as well as organising and attending various author events across the UK, while boxing regularly for charity. Passionate about inspiring a love of the written word in young people, Rob spends a lot of time in schools across the North West, encouraging literacy, story-telling, creative-writing and how good old fashioned hard work tends to help good things happen.
It’s probably best it winds up in the right hands.
As he’s pursued by New York’s most dangerous mobsters, factions of federal law enforcement, and American Intelligence, Ben’s hunch is that their joint quarry must hold something of international significance.
But, with the request coming from fellow former military man and trusted friend William Grosvenor, not to mention the eye-watering payout, one last job can’t hurt, can it?
My thanks to Kelly of Love Books Tours for the tour invitation. I’m delighted to share a publication day extract of The Watchman, and congratulations and happy publication day to Rob Parker.
So begins his American road trip, one that takes him from the city that never sleeps to the misty swamps of Florida. All in pursuit of one highly coveted envelope. Because it turns out, this job isn’t the walk in Central Park it was promised to be.
As soon as the planes were still, those soldiers disembarked with caution. They weren’t expecting any resistance at the airfield, not yet, as the militia was yet to arrive and forcibly swallow it – like they had the other two airports in Brunei. Sinclair followed his brothers in arms out of the cargo door onto the dirt, and he took a look around. In the distance, rising imperiously over the treetops, stood a number of smoke columns; dark, thick smears against the light pollution of Brunei’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan. Dogs barked somewhere, howling at the night in impotent warning. Publisher: Lume Books
Format: Ebook and paperback (24 June 2021)
Page Count: 296
The Watchman is packed with action, underpinned with believable conspirative intrigue, world-class writing and twists you just won’t see coming.
He’s not wrong. The contents that’s slipping through these influential fingers contains evidence of the world’s biggest cover-up. Evidence that will rewrite history books and incriminate one of the most powerful men on the planet.
At just nineteen years old, Sinclair was used to all the ribbing and paid it no heed, although he did take note of the second part of the ruffler’s statement. Special assignment. To where, and what, he didn’t yet know – only that they had indeed been picked for it.
One last mission for an old friend. What could go wrong?
The roads were jammed with a confused public as the bus wound its way through the streets, sounding its horn and veering up onto pavements. Orders were barked by a senior officer who loomed at the front next to the driver, swaying with bended knees to match the bus’ movements and, as he spoke, Sinclair was suddenly very aware that him being appointed there was unique. This was no ordinary appointment and instruction. They were on their way directly to the palace, while the rest of the city combusted around them, to extract the Sultan of Brunei himself.
It’s sold as an in-and-out jaunt to The Big Apple, to pick up a harmless envelope. But when Ben Bracken is offered the assignment, he’s a little hesitant. He’s a family man now, with a duty to stay alive for his loved ones.
‘Easy, junior,’ said a voice behind him. ‘We’ve got the special assignment.’
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Sinclair let the warm air hit him – then got moving. He and a band of Gurkhas had separate orders from the main bulk of I soldiers, who were heading off to the bottom of those smoke-stacks. He left the throng and hopped on the back of a bus that waited a hundred yards from the paused aircraft. As soon as he sat down on the front seat, his flopping thatch of blond hair was ruffled from behind.