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George Pike, a lawyer dies. His soul delivered to the Third Dimension decides to work for Hades Inc. Getting a new body, he is given an assignment to come back to the First Dimension and promote the interests of Hades by preventing Armageddon.
“Good morning, Toronto Herald,” came a bored, angelic, feminine voice. I knew her from the good old days; the lady weighed no less than three hundred fifty pounds, was a bitch, and resembled an overweight Wicked Witch of the West, but her voice was impeccable.
“I’d like to speak with Mister Michael Horn, if you please,” I replied.
“Just a minute,” the bored angel said at the other side of the line. There was some clicking and static, but finally a familiar, throaty voice came through the ether. ‘Mike Horn speaking.”
He was a good friend; we had first met in the early days of my legal career. Mike interviewed me while I was suing the Canadian Government on behalf of a small Newfoundland fishing company. I reached a sizeable out-of-court settlement, which was news in those days, since the government did not settle with anybody. Actually, I had managed bluffing another bluffer with a mediocre hand. The government lawyer believed we had a very strong case. We did not, although I was sure percentages slightly favored my client at a trial.
After the interview, Mike and I got roaring drunk, and I allegedly challenged a bronze statue for a wrestling bout. It was such an enjoyable time that we kept in touch and had quite a few similar adventures, each involving different combinations of wine, women, and songs all taken to excess.
Mike was born to become a newspaperman as I was born to be a lawyer. Nobody in the media business operated quite like him. He was a perfectionist, scrupulously honest, and intelligent with great sense of humor in addition to being the most capable writer I have ever read. He did not write a single word on the greatest sensation until he could substantiate all of his claims. His writing style was easy to read and most entertaining; I wish I were half as good as he was.
With such qualifications, Mike was a prime candidate for the unemployment line, but he disappointed everybody, becoming a syndicated columnist and political commentator. His column was widely read and often debated by large segments of the population. Many young journalists tried to emulate him.
Mike’s secret was that he recognized the basic qualities of politicians early in his career and figured out what made them tick. Having an analytical mind, he could predict most major political events with uncanny accuracy. I decided to contact him, come clean, ask for his advice, and then work out what to do.
I swallowed hard. “Hi, this is George Pike speaking. How are you, Mike?”
There was a momentary silence.
“You must be mad; George is dead,” he said. “In fact, I wrote his obit and attended his funeral. Now, you claim that you are he. Do you think I am some kind of a fool?”
“Mike, I am not mad, nor do I think you are a fool,” I replied calmly, “but that doesn’t change the fact that I am George Pike reincarnated. Test me if you wish.”
He must have thought I was completely crazy, but evidently he was not very busy and decided to play along.
“This is ridiculous,” he said. “I cannot be talking to a dead man!”
“There is always a first time, Mike,” I replied. “I wish you’d test me. Ask me any question about George Pike, and you’ll see I’m genuine.”
“Well,” he said, “I’ll play along. Do you remember the details of the suit of Red Cod Ltd. versus the Government of Canada?”
“It was my favorite case,” I replied.
“What was the outcome?”
“We won. I convinced that nincompoop, Addison Bigglestown-Kirklance the third, B.A., Ll.D., Q.C., etc., to settle out of court.”
“How much was the settlement?” he snapped.
“Mike, old friend, when you asked me that the first time we met. I said it was confidential. Do you remember?”
“I do,” he replied slowly.
“Since I’m dead and no longer the lawyer of Red Cod, I can tell you, although I’m sure you’ve already checked it out. Did you?”
“Of course, I did,” he replied.
“Well, it was four million dollars,” I replied.
There was a long silence on the other end.
“True,” Mike said, “but I just thought of another possibility: George’s secretary may have known the details and passed them on to her boyfriend.”
“That’s a laugh,” I replied. “Gail’s only boyfriend ever was a crazy Russian sailor who loved overweight women, preferably heavier than three hundred pounds. Gail with her two hundred eighty was a little bit on the skinny side. Anyway, if I were Igor, I’d have a Russian accent.”
“That’s correct,” Mike stated, “but you could be a friend of Igor. May I ask you a few more questions?”
Born in Hungary, Gabriel studied civil engineering at the Budapest University. Taking active part in the 1956 revolution, he decided to defect. Settled in Canada, worked as an engineer but after a few years, he took a job in Bangladesh. For the next twenty odd years he worked in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific as a consulting engineer, chief executive officer, United Nations environmental engineering advisor and finally as a professor.
In 1982, he married, returned to Canada, and taught environmental engineering at Seneca College in Toronto. He retired as the Chair of Civil Engineering Technology. Since retirement, his hobby has been writing. Gabriel has published several full-length novels in both English and Hungarian.
The Soldier of misfortune is his tenth English language novel, and .the third published by Wing ePress. Apart from historical novels and thought provoking sci-fi, he had experimented with a variety of genre. His first novel, the Hades connection is being translated into Russian.
In Hungarian he published four novels: A Bardán kapcsolat (sci-fi, 2000), Hösök vagy bönösök (historical novel, 2005), Menni vagy maradni (fictionalized autobiography, 2006), A Fegyverek árnyékában (historical novel 2007)
Other publications: In addition to short stories and newspaper article, he has also written several manuals and college textbooks published by the Province of Ontario, Seneca College, United Nations, and the University of Malawi.
I’ve met this multi-published author before, but Gabriel Timar’s book, Aura Of War is so flawless with its convoluted espionage details that I couldn’t put it down. The life history of Baron Arthur DeVendt’s military career is an above average read. It is so real, so believable, that I could have sworn this writer was telling his own life’s experience. Yes, it is that good. If you doubt me, read it yourself. Not only is this book a keeper, but I rate it a 5+. You’ll not find a single plot glitch, or unexpected snag within the fabric of this story. It’s the history of one man’s military accomplishments, in a war that tears his family, and homeland of Hungary asunder.
When WWII begins in Germany, Baron Arthur DeVendt is only a school boy, yet he comes from a military background, and so, is determined to find a way to serve his country. Yet, in keeping with his plans to become an International Businessman when he grows up, he also prepares himself by becoming an accomplished linguist.
While serving as a cadet in the Royal Hungarian Army, he is employed for his linguistic talents, as well as by the French Foreign Legion…then eventually as an underground leader of Saboteurs, with many men under his command.
When he finds the Lady who wins his heart, he is in no position to even tell her who he really is. Yet, he knows he wishes to marry her, no matter what. This is his straw of hope throughout his years operating as a spy, until one day his team is compromised. Then he must make his own decisions how to save his operatives, as well as himself. -- JoEllen Conger, Conger Book Reviews, 5+
Multi-published, Hungarian born author, Gabriel Timar, uses his personal knowledge of military schooling to bring authenticity into this World War II composition. He creates his character, Adam von Halder, as a balancing act between a tightly controlled military-trained officer, and that of a Don Juan who can’t help himself when it comes to rescuing fair damsels in distress. This is a complex account of a man’s burning ambition to govern his army, while also being enchanted by the feminine gender. You can’t help but cheer him on as he struggles to appease both his passions.
Adam von Halder, born in Hungary, would never have had his very own army in South-West Africa, if it hadn’t been for his misfortune as a cadet to have been challenged to a duel. By the gentleman’s code of the day, he was forced to accept the challenge. But then, tongues wagged when he actually shot the fellow dead. Coming from a long line of professional soldiering, this was unacceptable. He was then packed off to England to finish his military education.
Trying to salvage his career, he signs himself up to soldier on the smallish South-West African island of Santome. Here he begins to successfully build his integrated forces with black and white Officers and men. Until the day His Majesty’s governor of the island decrees segregation for the island’s troops. Then Adam is at his peak of master-mining his men to keep peace within the ranks, while fighting off the invading Germans on one hand, and social unrest on the other. With the new laws in place, by law he isn’t even permitted to kiss his brown-skinned beauty.
Adam is a man you can’t help but admire. He faithfully follows his orders, yet, he may have a twist upon its interpretation. Here is a daring soldier who with his sharp observations and wit is always one step ahead of the opposition. This riveting complex plot will keep you turning pages long after lights out. -- JoEllen Conger, Conger Book Reviews, 5+
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 377
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