In the last post: wearing a dressing gown and slippers, Chief Inspector Dobbs took control of the murder scene...
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 31
Chief Inspector Dobbs gazed at the scaffolding-clad terrace house. Tall shrubs and clinging ivy covered most of the building's jagged stone walls. New slates crowned the roof with the assurance of another century of shelter. Short, well-groomed gardens fronted each of the three dwellings. A powerful scent of honeysuckle filled the morning air, and fluffy bees already droned their busy song while flitting among rose bushes bordering the lawns.
The semi-retired policeman gave a bitter smile. Tragic circumstances ruined the idyllic scene: in his expert opinion, criminals occupied all three houses. Big fat Bert in the end house was a previously convicted robber who now worked at The Cloud Estate as a security guard. Olive, in the centre house, was a previously convicted con artist, who now worked at The Stables as a bookkeeper. And young Dick Charmer, in the house at the other end, was a suspected pickpocket who covered his crime by working as a roofing contractor.
Right now, the morning's wicked drama made him want to spit. Either Bert or Dick Charmer had hung a scarecrow outside Olive’s front door, making it look like an execution. Both had denied it was their doing. Why? Was it a sick joke, or something more sinister? And why was his identity card hanging around Bert's neck?
He needed time to think. He'd already handcuffed the ruffled Bert to a scaffolding pole, and Dick Charmer, smarmy innocence plastered all over his face, would soon follow.
Displaying his fiercest scowl, Chief Inspector Dobbs flapped his arms at the small gathering of early morning spectators. “Go on, get out of here, the show’s over.”
Reluctantly, they shuffled away, gazing back over their shoulders and giggling.
"Hurry along or I'll have the riot squad here and the lot of you locked up."
Satisfied he was now master of the predicament, Chief Inspector Dobbs set his jaw and whirled about to Bert and Dick Charmer. His voice grated, steady and low-pitched. “I don’t know what your game is, but I’m sure as heck going to find out.”
To be continued…
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Quest for Lost Heroes by David Gemmell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Good story. A little complicated maybe with all the weird cultures, clans, names and places, but by the middle it had me hooked. In a minor way, this reminded me of Lord of the Rings. All the elements are here: wizards, the void, brave heroes, damsels in distress, battles, action, and the search for an object that will save the world. In this case, a pig farmer's daughter!
Unlike many quest stories whose hero is a reluctant girl, this legend is about a bunch of magnificent old men. They are has-been heroes who miss the glory of war and set off on a quest just for something to do.
All sounds rather amusing, but this is serious stuff. One rape scene near the end of the story seemed unnecessary and almost had me throwing the book away in disgust.
Seemingly, it's the fourth in a series, so I came in a bit late, which explains why I found it tough to get into. Still reads fine as a stand-alone though. I shan't go back to read the earlier titles, but if there had been a follow-up, I would have read that too.
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James at Goodreads