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A Fatal Score
A.W. Lambert
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A brutal killing on a cross channel ferry and the arrival of a jazz musician to perform in a sleepy seaside town.

Two totally unconnected events?

So thinks private investigator, Theo Stern. But sinister happenings indicate otherwise and Stern finds himself sucked into a threatening entanglement of intrigue and death.

The door displayed the sign ‘PRIVATE’ in gold lettering, and without a moment’s hesitation Wallace rapped sharply with his fist. A voice from within called for them to come in. Wallace led the way, leaving Stern to close the door behind them.

Cooper sat behind his desk, a frown of confusion crossing his face at the sight of the two men. Wallace strode across the room, his hand out stretched. "Geoff,” he said brightly, a broad smile spreading across his face. "Reg Wallace, you remember, the Blue Mood? Nice to meet you at last.”

Nodding, Cooper rose slowly from his seat. He took Wallace’s hand warily. "Yes, nice to see you too,” he said, his eyes flicking across to Stern.

Wallace caught the glance. "This is Theo Stern,” he said brightly. "Local PI and a good friend.”

Yeah, right, thought Stern.

Cooper lowered himself cautiously back into his chair. "I didn’t know you were coming, er, Reg,” he said haltingly. "You should have called, let me know. The receptionist down stairs? She didn’t...?”

"Oh, we didn’t want to bother her.” Wallace grinned. "Theo here knew you were up here somewhere so I thought we’d give you a bit of a surprise.”

Cooper’s eyes narrowed suspiciously, but after only a brief hesitation he half-heartedly motioned toward two chairs standing against the wall.

Wallace immediately shook his head. "No, we won’t sit down,” he said, his voice still bright. "We’re not staying.”

Cooper shrugged and relaxed back into his chair, some hint of composure returning. "So, what can I do for you?”

Wallace leaned forward, his palms flat on the desk, the smile suddenly dropping from his face.

"I just wanted to know why you fucked with my friends,” he said softly, his eyes suddenly steel hard.

Cooper’s jaw dropped. "What... I don’t know... What are you saying?” he stuttered.

"Oh I think you know what I’m saying,” Wallace growled. "I’m talking about Steve Arnold and the other guys in the band. They were all my friends, and for some reason you chose to play them for a bunch of suckers. You even managed to kill one of ’em. I just want to know why.”

"N-Now listen,” Cooper stuttered. "I never killed anyone. And you can’t just barge your way in here and accuse me...”

Stern stepped alongside Wallace. "Careful, Reg,” he warned.

Wallace held up a conciliatory hand. "Don’t worry, Theo. It’s all under control.” He turned back to Cooper. "You see, it’s just that I’ve got a little problem, Geoff. It goes like this. I know what you did; I just don’t know why you did it. That’s all I’ve come for. That’s all I want to know.”

The colour had completely drained from Cooper’s face, and a tiny trickle of saliva glistened in one corner his open mouth. Now, no longer relaxed in his chair, he sat bolt upright, his white-knuckled hands gripping the edge of the desk. Stern, himself astonished at Wallace’s instant attack, dragged his eyes from Cooper’s thunderstruck face and looked down at the little man by his side. Wallace’s expression was completely impassive, his eyes, unblinking, locked onto Cooper’s face.

Cooper suddenly came to life. "You come in here, into my own office, and accuse me of the most outrageous...” He rose violently from the chair, sending it clattering against the wall. "Who the hell do you think you are?” He reached for the telephone, his finger pumping at the number. "The police will have something to say about…”

"Yeah, you phone the law.” Wallace interrupted, his voice low, menacing. "And I’ll tell them a little story about a telephone call I received in the early hours one day last week. Woke me up it did, really annoyed me. That was until I realised who was calling.” A smile touched his lips, but only his lips. "Bet you can’t guess who it was.”

The words rang ominously threatening, and Cooper’s hand froze over the telephone. He remained silent.

"No? Don’t want to guess?” Wallace taunted. "Well, I’ll tell you. It was Ronnie Fox. And d’you know what he told me? He told me t

A.W. Lambert was born and raised in south London, England. After completing his National Military Service he embarked on an engineering career in the British aircraft industry where he also became a qualified pilot. In 1992 he retired from industry to follow his two main passions: the playing of his favourite music, traditional New Orleans Jazz and Creative Writing. After studying with The Writer’s Bureau, he built experience with success in magazine article and short story writing before moving to the field of full length Action/ Adventure. A Treacherous Past is his first published novel. He lives with his wife in North Norfolk, England.

Fiction Books :: Action & Adventure Books

ISBN: 1597056335
ISBN(13-digit): 9781597056335
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 311
Paper Weight (lb): 13.0

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