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Vehicles For The Violent

VEHICLES FOR THE VIOLENT . . . By Frank Westworth (part 2)

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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.

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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.

 Amazon US: www.amazon.com/dp/B079FWDPS8

Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079FWDPS8

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/38569336-six-strings

Author Facebook page: www.facebook.com/killingsisters

Author website: www.murdermayhemandmore.net

Author Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Westworth/e/B001K89ITA/

Author Goodreads page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/576653.Frank_Westworth

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VEHICLES FOR THE VIOLENT …by Frank Westworth (part 1)

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Six StringsJJ Stoner – the musician, motorcyclist and murderer – returns in a new quick thriller this week. Like any competent contract killer, Stoner needs to relocate rapidly but blend in unobtrusively. In ‘Six Strings’, he uses two wheels and more to confound his enemies. Author Frank Westworth (who freely admits to being a fellow motorcyclist and a musician, but keeps quiet about any other similarities with his fictional creation) explains about Stoner’s transports of delight…

James Bond. Bentley or Aston Martin? Tough choice, huh? We can only sympathise. When I first sat down to write an actual full-length thriller, all I knew about Stoner, the central character, was that he rides a motorcycle. Of course he does. It’s best to write about what you know, otherwise your own ignorance becomes bliss for someone else, as The Reader always enjoys pointing out the idiocies, the inaccuracies, the foolishnesses. Best not to make them.

So I knew he rode a motorcycle. A big one, a black one, a very loud one, one with the proud British name ‘Norton’ in gold on its gleaming black tank. I have one of those, you know. Surprised?

While waiting for the nice man in the nice yellow van to come and cart the Norton and its hapless rider back home, again, I pondered upon exactly why ace-guitarist, top gunner JJ Stoner would ride a motorcycle which was less than 100 percent reliable and not entirely faster than a speeding bullet (well…). He wouldn’t.

HarleyThe rider wears a helmet – great head protection, that’s why the law compels them. He wears a face mask, great precaution against suicidal 100mph wasps, and a perfect disguise. He wears leather, and body armour tough enough to slow a small calibre handgun round to the point where it hurts, but is unlikely to be fatal. All of that in full view of anyone who might be looking.

Except that they aren’t. Looking. Looking at him. They’re looking at the motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson, and they hate it. And they despise the rider. Maybe they did see Wild Angels on Netflix. Biker theory has it that they’re just jealous. Envy is a proud thing.

Bikes carve through traffic. They can do great getaways. And you can just lose them in a crowd – a crowd of other bikes, of course. All those shades-wearing, beardy guys in their dirty leathers – they look the same, right? Right.

So our hero gets in quick, gets dirty, then gets out quick on a motorcycle. This happens a lot; read the news, endless crime gets committed on motorcycles, usually small ones, small ones stolen for the purpose and abandoned after the bag has been snatched, the Uzi emptied into the crowd, then they’re gone. Unfindable.

But… motorcycles are vulnerable. Never be fooled by the movies where our hero ditches the motorcycle into the side of a truck, car, wall, whatever, then gets up, shrugs and carries on doing whatever he was doing before. That doesn’t happen. Think great pain, bones poking through leathers, teeth dislodged and very many abrasions. A road is not a race track. There are no run-off areas.

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So Stoner also needed a car. More comedy sets in here. Why would any spook or similarly sly soul choose to drive a car like an Aston Martin? Parading your personal vanities is really not what spooking is about – unless the whole point is to make yourself wildly visible, of course. And in any case, although a super-powerful motor is great for chasing and/or running away, unless the great getaway takes place on a deserted highway late at night there are always other happy families ambling merrily along, innocently getting in the way. So … ditch that idea

TO BE CONCLUDED

You can read more from Frank Westworth on Fully Booked by following the links below.

KILLING ME SOFTLY

THE REDEMPTION OF CHARM

THE MUSIC OF CRIME FICTION

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