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In the sequel to PROFILE THREE, find out what Susan Carter and newly-trained agent Jack Pymble get tangled up in when they take on their next assignment.
The world of heroin trafficking seethes with money and sadism. Penetrating that scene with the intent of breaking open just a small part of it is a difficult, frightening, dangerous job. It’s also astonishingly complicated. Discover just how complicated it can be as an operation across the Top End of Northern Australia slowly develops.
Pymble had been sitting at the bar for a couple of hours, slowly drinking and taking in the scene. He knew no one, and no one knew him, which suited him because he liked the anonymity—the ability to watch without participating. The Borroloola Pub was an unsophisticated arrangement, little more than an untidy aggregation of prefabricated boxes scattered around a central, scruffy building. Borroloola was just a village, poised near the west coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. The boxes had been added to the pub slowly over the years as the number of clients increased—visitors who were often awed by the arse-end-of-the-world, rough-and-tumble, frontier atmosphere of the town and its only pub, and who were desperate to rent one of the boxes to escape the tormenting heat and try and grab a few hours sleep after a day’s exposure to a relentless Dry season sun.
Not that it was easy to sleep. The only fitting in each of the minuscule rooms, other than two single hard beds and a tiny cupboard, was an air conditioner which, if turned on, rumbled monotonously and shook the thin metal building with an incessant fervour. Guests of the pub injudicious enough to adjust the thermostat so that the aircon cycled were guaranteed sleeplessness as the equipment turned off unexpectedly with an asthmatic sigh, then vibrated violently a few minutes later as it started again. There were four alternatives to cycling the aircon. One was to turn it off altogether and stifle in the room. The next was to open a window and be attacked by mosquitoes and sand flies. The third was to leave the aircon running continuously and shiver all night. Jack Pymble was attempting to arrange the fourth option in the guests’ bar of the pub. The idea was to get pissed enough not to care. Jack was very carefully drinking beer and Scotch chasers, intending to get just so intoxicated as to ensure a reasonable night’s rest. So far, the booze didn’t appear to be working.
He surveyed the room again. The place was clean but incredibly shabby, a slipshod style developed with the obvious attention of well-meaning but inept bush mechanics. In the wall behind the bar was a square hole through which the barmaid, a petite and attractive blond girl with long hair and a slightly prognathous cheeky grin, hurled empty cans and bottles with unerring accuracy. The hole had been framed in unfinished timber, and one side of the frame extended about an inch out from the edge of the wall, as though the persons responsible had been lubricating their brain with booze while working out the measurements. An improvised wall separated the guest bar from the other major drinking hole in the building. A door allowing access from the one area to the other had been locked about an hour previously. The door bore marks suggesting that patrons may have taken out their anger on it from time to time over the years.
There were about twenty-five people in the room behind him, most of them Aboriginals. Until it had been shut down an hour ago, the noise from the bar on the other side of the wall had been incredible, an ululating screaming wail punctuated by the crashing of glass. It was impossible to decide if the noise was caused by fighting or by good humour. Pymble knew the sound was occurring especially loudly on this night because many royalty cheques had arrived in the community that day. He had seen them being passed over the bar in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash. As traditional owners of the land, many Aboriginals were paid royalties by a local mining company. Inevitably, a lot of the funds were converted into booze.
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 295
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|Profile Three ||