Stoner is a practical spook. He drives a big van. The best van. A VW Transporter. The roads are packed with them. Look around you. Try a test. Spot a Transporter next time you’re having a coffee in your favourite shop. Observe it parked nearby. Check out its identifying features – it will have some, most likely a panel on the side advertising the business of its owner. Go grab another coffee the next day and observe all the other VW vans parked nearby. Yesterday’s van is unlikely to be there … unless the sign has changed of course. This is a common way of running surveillance. Stoner knows that. Less easy using an Aston Martin, however. Furthermore, you can brew up, crash out, or do Bad Things in the back of a VW while keeping an eye on the opposition. You try that in your Aston, Mr Bond.

A great thing about the Transporter, and one of the reasons Stoner runs a small fleet of them – he also operates a mostly bogus business, the Transportation Station, offering a delivery service – is that it’s decently easy to up-engine them. Take a seriously horny motor from another VW and slot it in. Visit Cornwall in the summertime and you’ll see lots of these. Slow … they are not. Invisible among the streetlife … they can be.


And they’re great for carrying things. This should be no surprise. Stoner often uses his for carting a smaller motorcycle around with him. Motorcycles can reach parts other vehicles cannot, of course. Drive Transporter, park it up, extract the Harley-Davidson (not the great big one; the little MT350 – look it up), go do the dirty, return, park motorcycle inside van, leave quietly and invisibly. Anyone looking for a man on a motorcycle will never spot a dull guy trolling along in a nondescript VW Transporter.

Which makes me wonder exactly how many of the very many Transporters on the roads are being driven by guys on clandestine missions. Hmmm…

You can visit the Transportation Station in Six Strings, a JJ Stoner quick thriller, which is published on 22 February 2018.

In a former life, JJ Stoner was a hard-faced military man. Now, discreetly and deniably, he resolves sticky situations for the British authorities. So when the Drug Squad can’t convict a particularly unpleasant pusher, Stoner is tasked with permanently solving the problem. But before he can deploy his very particular skill set, an old acquaintance steps out of the shadows and delivers disconcerting intelligence…

Six StringsSix Strings is a quick thriller, an hour’s intrigue and entertainment. It features characters from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series. You don’t need to have read any of the other stories in the series: you can start right here if you like.

‘You want me to kill someone.’
Stoner plainly had a grasp of both the gravity and the subtlety of the situation. ‘There’s no need to rattle on so much. Killing people is what I do.’
He paused.
‘But only if he orders me to…’

As well as a complete, stand-alone short story, ‘Six Strings’ includes an excerpt from ‘The Corruption Of Chastity’.

There’s also a behind-the-scenes blog from author Frank Westworth, who shares more secrets from Stoner’s shady existence.

Please note that ‘Six Strings’ is intended for an adult audience and contains explicit violence.

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