Dear friends, if you like a good 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 for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 29
“You heard,” said Chief Inspector Dobbs, jabbing a finger at Bert who still clutched to the scaffolding ladder. "Come and take the scarecrow down.”
Bert shook his head, trying to clear his mind. He pouted and waggled a finger in his ear. “What?”
“You stuck it there, you take it down.”
“Scarecrow?” Bert rubbed his eyes, one at a time, and then stared wide-eyed at the body hanging from his home-made noose. He could see now that it wasn’t Lance, but a collection of his old clothes stuffed with straw.
He shot a venomous look at the smug Dick Charmer, his intended victim, and bolted down the ladder’s last few rungs so fast that he almost fell. “I’ll kill him with me bare hands,” he roared, “He’s made a mug of me.”
“Stop right there,” said Chief Inspector Dobbs, placing his life in danger by stepping in front of Bert’s colossal bulk. And then he froze with amazement and pointed at Bert's chest. “Where did you get that?”
Bert stopped, and when he peered down, he spotted the inspector’s identification card hanging around his neck. He stared at the card with enormous eyes. “I… I… I don’t know.”
“Right then, I’ll deal with you later. Hold your hands out on either side of that scaffolding pole.”
Dumbfounded by the strange turn of events, Bert followed orders. With a grunt of relish, Chief Inspector Dobbs fished a chunky set of handcuffs from his dressing gown pocket, and with practised ease snapped them over Bert’s wrists.
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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