In the last post: a riot broke out at the disco. Semi-retired Chief Inspector Dobbs pulled the plug...
Dear friends, if you like a pleasant chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 12
All the commotion at Ye Olde Inn disco had Chief Inspector Dobbs worked up and he could feel sweat dripping from his armpits. He yanked his bright yellow pullover over his head and exposed his Tower of London T-shirt. It was a present from his wife, and he hated it. "You're semi-retired and off duty," she had told him, "Time to get out of those stuffy cotton shirts."
It also disclosed his Police Identity card, hanging around his neck on a piece of leather string. Off duty or not, he never removed it.
After marrying in his old age, something he'd spent his life avoiding, he’d purchased a cottage at The Stables as a weekend retreat. "A place to relax and get away from the hectic bustle of your office in London’s East End," his wife had said.
It seemed, however, that every criminal in the area used The Stables as a hideout. Alf and Bert over at the bar were two typical examples. Even Styles, the Inn's proprietor and owner of The Stables was a tax-fiddling crook. There was no such luxury as ‘Off Duty’ in his line of work: no wonder he hated it. Especially when he wasn't dressed properly.
A riot had almost broken out on the dance floor, incited by a young hooligan named Dick Charmer and a frustrated old slag named Olive. Both were suspect villains.
Like the excellent cop he was, he’d pulled the disco’s plug, restored order, and commanded the disc-jockey to play soft music at a much lower volume. The DJ's choice of melody, however, was deplorable and did little to improve his mood.
“You, and you,” he said, pointing to the two troublemakers. “Get over here.” And if they gave him any lip, something he hated, he'd have them arrested and thrown in jail for the night.
To be continued…
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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