Angels’ Cut 1st explosive thriller in the series – excerpt and video
Angels’ Cut – the Angels’ Share series begins
Angels Cut is part of The Angels’ Share series. It contains realistic (not gratuitous) violence and upsetting scenes.
Angels’ Cut starts with a killing in Belfast during the troubles. No one could have foreseen how the conflict and criminality of the past could emerge many years later and with frightening viciousness. With all that history and criminal conflict, directed by corrupt people in the Establishment, government agencies, the banks, commercial interests and organized crime.
Years later, a simple event, instigated by people at the tip of a rapidly growing iceberg, generates conflict and killing. They take a brilliant young investigative journalist who is getting somewhere with an investigation into public and private sector corruption. Will they secure her dossier? Will they simply kill her? Time is short.
Angels’ Cut excerpt‘
… ‘Give me a moment.’ Sam pressed some keys on his mobile. ‘Reverend Duncan phoning to enquire about …’ He made a few ‘uh huh’ noises and finished by thanking the person he spoke to.
Sam turned to Cal. ‘She’s back in intensive care now: not stable, no visitors, sounds critical. I need sleep. I’ll go to the hospital first thing.’ Sam yawned. ‘What’s on your mind?’
‘This isn’t my patch and we don’t want to rock the boat. Especially not with Macho Mike in charge over here.’ Cal said.
‘Yeah, Mike Swindon. Puts the hard in hard man. An excellent investigator who’s aggressive and gets results. Yanks would call him “lean ’n’ mean”. I’d add balding, broken-nosed, ugly, backed by an in-your-face, no-shit, no-fools attitude. For some mysterious reason, his people love him.’
‘Hmmm. We’ll need to win him to the cause. I’ll walk back to the digs and find my own way to the hospital.’
‘Right-oh. See you tomorrow.’
* * *
Sam knew the hotel from his old life. The night porter welcomed him, and they enjoyed fifteen minutes of blether while Sam downed a whisky and water. In his room, he thought of the injured girl in the hospital and his wee sister, Eilidh. He disliked being on a battlefield without knowing where and who the foe was. Mulling things over, he fell asleep.
Trapped behind glass, Eilidh was beyond reach in Sam’s dream. She held out her hand. Reaching for her, his fingers bumped against icy cold glass. The desperation and fear in her voice echoed and re-echoed. The scene and sounds repeated in an endless loop until his alarm stopped the bad dream. Twenty minutes of meditation eased things. But the events in London remained, and the nightmare was just beginning.
Back in the hospital at 07:00, Sam chatted with the charge nurse. He couldn’t shake the sense of being watched.
‘Does she have anyone?’
‘No. Nobody’s come near, except you.’
‘Critical. She hasn’t been helped by her poor physical condition, as well as the rape, the brain injury, fractures and lacerations. The beating caused internal bleeding. She’s very poorly.’
‘Okay to sit with her?’
‘Why not?’ The nurse took him to the bedside.
Sam looked around. More than once he’d been plugged into similar systems. This young woman lay at death’s door with no one there for her, alone in the medical machine. He sat down and gently took her hand. At times like this, compassion welled up in him. He imagined her life before the assault, noticing the tracks of intravenous drug use on her arms and the broken-nailed and dirty-fingered hand he held. Her chalk-white face lacked expression, with shut eyes and a slack jaw. Only the battering and contusions added colour. With a tube still taped to the side of her mouth and her head swathed in bandages, Sam couldn’t detect any improvement.
What benefit would survival bestow on her? Might she recover only to return whence she came, perhaps to an untimely death? Would she still sell herself for money to buy drugs or food? Was a return home a possibility? Had she a home to return to? Who cared enough to spend the time to help her help herself? He dozed.
Around 07:30 the girl’s hand twitched and her eyelids fluttered. The rhythmic tone of the medical monitor altered. The alarm blared. A crash team burst in, blocking the exit with action and equipment. Sam retreated to the wall and admired the teamwork as the life signs display continued flatlining. She was declared clinically dead at 08.13.
No one noticed Sam. When the door became free, he walked out. Someone was waiting for him.
* * *
A balding, broken-nosed, somewhat ugly man leaned against the corridor wall, arms crossed. Dressed smartly in a blazer, slacks, shiny shoes and a red and blue striped silk tie, he was tall and fit looking, maybe forty years of age. He moved to stand in front of Sam, dark reptilian eyes staring from a belligerent scowl. His lips compressed almost to invisibility just before he spoke.
‘So you’re the holy man who persuaded a certain black man of my acquaintance to get off his bloody patch!’ The voice rasped in a sharp London accent, overflowing with restrained and angry energy.
‘And you’ll be Macho Mike.’ Sam offered his hand. It was ignored.
‘It’s people like you who’re more trouble than you’re worth, screwing around in things which are none of your business. In the bloody way, all the bleedin’ time.’
‘Have you thought about Clorets?’
‘What?’ Mike Swindon’s face coloured up.
‘The breath freshener.’
‘Your breath smells worse than my dog’s and, if you must stand so close, something minty would do a lot for your PR.’ Somewhere out of sight a suppressed snicker snorted out.
‘You’re on my patch.’ Mike squeaked with indignation.
‘And you are badly out of line.’ Sam’s voice resounded with military formality and bearing. ‘Are you trying to start a battle or communicate with me? Silence. The policeman took a step backwards. Intimidation usually worked just fine. ‘A number of points, Inspector. One, the black man of my acquaintance is an Inspector and colleague of yours whom I know and respect. Two, I hope racist tendencies didn’t drive your disparaging remark about the hue of Cal’s skin, given recent events in the Met.’ Mike Swindon made to speak as Sam held up his hand in a forceful stop gesture. ‘Three, I’m not bleeding, at least not last time I checked.’ Macho Mike tried to speak again, only to be stopped once more. ‘Now, there’s a choice here. Start again or escalate to a final conclusion. What would you like to do?’
Swindon gazed at the man in front of him. His eyes were hard, calm and perhaps a little angry. The ‘Vicar’ stood full square in his space and challenged him: not scared, not going to back down, ready for him. ‘Start again,’ Swindon said, quiet, stalled for now, but not forgetting.
Want to know more? … you can always get a copy of Angels’ Cut.
© Mac Logan – Angels’ Cut
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