BONUS MATERIAL

Most authors face the problem at some point that they have over-written. The book is too long or part of it is a diversion too far. Or, in our case, we liked one of the characters a little too much and gave him a comprehensive backstory. Very comprehensive. In the end we realised that this background material slowed the flow of the main narrative and, reluctantly, we cut it out. Still, we believe that knowing more about this pivotal figure will add to  the enjoyment of NOBODY GETS HURT, which is out today (Jan 11th). And so, as a PDF, that material is arranged as a short story (HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER), which can be read as a pdf on any device. Click on the link below.

How To Make A Monster Ebook 4

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER

 

Despite what it says on the cover, Sam barely features in HTMAM. The story acts as a prequel to the novel below, where she definitely does.

NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

EVERYBODY HURTS

This is a review of the new Sam Wylde thriller (due out next week) in Mike Ripley’s Getting Away With Murder column for Shotsmag. See

http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/column_view.aspx?COLUMNIST_ID=1

for the full version. The title, by the way, is ironic – almost everybody gets hurt.

“A MOST DANGEROUS GAME

I have noted before now the growing number of female thriller writers (action thrillers rather than crime novels) and how many prefer to be known by initials, such as ‘C.J.’ or ‘L.A.’, rather than their full forenames. Another one forms one half of ‘R.J. Bailey’, the husband-and-wife writing team (aka Mr and Mrs Rob Ryan) behind Nobody Gets Hurt, which is published by Simon & Schuster this month.

NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

 

It may be a thriller which is half-written by a female, but the protagonist is wholly female, this being the second outing for Sam (Samantha) Wylde, ex-British army now retrained as a bodyguard, or Personal Protection Officer, and security consultant, currently on assignment at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Whilst searching for a missing daughter and an ex-husband (possibly dead), Sam Wylde needs all her considerable military skills and resourcefulness in a plot which encompasses gun-running to the IRA and a tense, hair-raising journey across France and into Spain which reminded me of Gavin Lyall in his heyday. And I can’t say fairer than that.”

Mike is right about the Lyall influence, there is at least one set piece, featuring a Facel Vega, which pays homage to Lyall’s Midnight Plus One, although we didn’t fire bullets across the top of petrol cans to see if a round could ignite the fuel in a Citroen DS, as he apparently did. I know, what wussies.

Lyall-Midnight1

“Welcome back, Sam.”

In January, the second Sam Wylde thriller, Nobody Gets Hurt, finally escapes from e-book limbo into the solid world of real books (pre-order here: https://tinyurl.com/ycvp2ga7). It features a villain with a complex backstory (IRA, ETA, MI5) and so we have written a companion piece about him, which will be available as a free download here and on robtryan.com. We’ll keep you posted.

How To Make A Monster Ebook 4NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

BUFFALO SOLDIERS

Well, it’s Buffalo Airmen, actually. Initially this picture confused us somewhat here at Bailey Towers. It is obviously taken on the set of the movie Hurricane, which is the story of the Polish pilots of 303 Squadron who fought in the Battle of Britain (which was co-written, not entirely coincidentally, by Mr RJ Bailey). Pictured are actors Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones) and Marcin Dorocinski (The Spies of Warsaw, Anthropoid). Iwan plays Jan Zumbach, who was both an ace pilot and a bit of a maverick and Marcin appears as the older, wiser Witold “Cobra” Urbanowich.  But what does the sign say?

 

DMDWIrKX4AE0oZC

 

Well, one clue can be found on Iwan’s Twitter feed, which reveals a man who is passionate about both Wales and the environment. The second clue comes from our long-ago habit of drinking Zubrowka vodka, the Polish stuff with the bison grass in it. Yup, it is something grim to do with Polish bison. The government in Poland already permits an annual cull of the splendid beasts (which, ironically, are the symbols of nature conservation in the country) but it recently gave permission for logging in one of the last redoubts of the bison, the primeval forest of Bialowieza. So the sign reads something like:

SAY NO TO THE KILLING OF BISON

For more details and some rather wonderful photos of bison, see here:

http://geographical.co.uk/nature/wildlife/item/2172-europe-s-black-rhino-the-culling-of-poland-s-wild-bison

Meanwhile, here is an official photo from the set of Hurricane.

Screenshot 2017-10-25 12.13.12

 

 

 

NOBODY GETS HURT (Well, almost nobody..)

This is an extract from the new Sam Wylde thriller, Nobody Gets Hurt, which is available as an e-book now. It is written by “R J Bailey”, which is 50% me.

Screenshot 2017-05-25 09.34.57

Short of money to search for her missing daughter Jess, Sam has accepted a job to escort Mrs Irwin, a US citizen with a fear of flying, from Normandy to Luxembourg, where she has financial dealings. Sam has been hired as a driver. The muscle is George Konrad, a Hungarian who doubles gunman duties with working as an armourer on film sets. Here, they have just finished a meal and are set to pick up the car they will use to deliver the client. Contains strong language.

 

Konrad examined the carnage on the plate before him, dipped his fingers in the lemon water and wiped his hands on a napkin ‘I’m done here.’ He nudged the Gitanes packet. ‘Mind if I have a cigarette?’

‘Mind if I join you?’

‘You’d be very welcome.’

We smoked two each, not saying much, lost in our thoughts. Eventually he said: ‘How about we get the car now, drive back to the hotel, check out and drive down and look at our very own Omaha Beach.’

I glanced at him through the last wreaths of my smoke. ‘Omaha? Hardly. At least I hope not.’

‘I worked on Saving Private Ryan. Tom Hanks’s Thompson was one of mine. Nice guy.’

saving-private-ryan

All this seemed a long way from Hollywood film stars and re-enactments of D-day. If it were me, I think I’d stay with replicas and bank the pay packet. At least nobody would be shooting real bullets at you. But then again, it was possible that men like Konrad needed the adrenaline that the work gave you. And I was one to talk. What the fuck was I doing there, smelling the breeze off the ocean, wondering where a woman who was worried about her secret fortune was right now? You can tell yourself you are doing it all for Jess, but part of you wants this.

‘What’s your real story?’ he asked.

‘How do you mean?’

‘Everyone on the Circuit has something inside them, a little kernel of hate or addiction or love that brings them back.’ He looked at me. ‘We’re all damaged in some way.’

‘Apparently, you know more about me than I do. You tell me.’

‘I heard lots of things about you. Dead husband, missing daughter, some trouble in a garage in London. It’s hard to know what’s true and what isn’t.’

I laughed. ‘Thing is, it’s all true.’

He gave a low whistle. ‘Wow. I guess some of us are more damaged than others.’

‘Fuck off,’ I said softly, but with feeling.

‘Sorry. I meant.. some of us carry a heavier burden. My English..’ An apologetic shrug. ‘It doesn’t always work right.’

‘Yeah. Forget it. OK, let’s go see what wheels they left us. Let’s hope it comes in black.’

We settled the bill. I checked the Seamaster. It was after nine and the streets were growing dark as we walked towards the car’s location, but the air was still warm. I refused a third cigarette but Konrad lit up. ‘Last one for a while,’ he promised. I didn’t have to ask why. It wasn’t because he was worried about passive smoking risks for me or the client. It was so he would always have his hands free and never have to worry about dropping a lit fag in his lap in the heat of the moment.

I had asked the Colonel for a French car and something with a boot, rather than a hatchback, which ruled out the Citroen DS5 that I would really have liked. The Colonel had sourced me a Peugeot 508 GT Line saloon, which was nice and roomy for three people, with enough space in the rear for the Principal to lie down if need be. Not the fastest car on the road, maybe, but more anonymous than, say a BMW M5. And besides, I was hoping to avoid any high-speed chases. Slow but steady would be my watchword. I saw it as soon as we turned into the place, parked at the southern end of the square, well away from a brightly lit brasserie.

I found the keys on the wheel and pointed the fob to unlock it. Konrad put a hand on my wrist to stop me.

‘Not yet,’ he said. ‘Give me a minute.’

He shucked the knees of his trousers and got down on the ground. From his pocket he took out a compact Maglite and examined the chassis. He ran his hands around the bumpers, too, and the wheel arches.

‘OK, open her up.’

I pressed the button. The car flashed its sidelights and the interior lit up. I opened the door and was hit by the new-car smell of leather, plastics and faux-wood. I sat in, adjusted the rake of the steering wheel and moved to fire it up. ‘No. Before you start the engine.’

He leaned inside and looked under the dash, checking all the panels were tight.

‘Pull the bonnet release, can you?’

Another quick inspection around the engine bay and he slammed it closed.

‘Trunk.’

‘Boot,’ I corrected. It took me a while to find that one.

‘Sorry, we’ll be doing this every time we have left it unattended. I need to check.’

‘For trackers?’

‘Yes. I’ve got a GPS and RF detector I’ll run over it too. But I’m also looking for something nastier. Used to be they used mercury tilt switches,’ he said. ‘Easy to spot. Now they use the same technology that puts a spirit level in your iPhone.’ He held thumb and forefinger a few millimeters apart. ‘Tiny. But the first corner you lean into…Boom.’

todseelie

‘You honestly think..?’ I began.

‘I don’t know. No stone unturned, eh?’ He brushed dirt off his hands, then his knees, and walked to the rear of the vehicle.

‘Right. No stone unturned.’ I watched a cohort of jerky black shadows diving above the lights on the square, scooping up a final meal of insects. Bats. My insides felt as if there were a couple of them trapped inside me, flapping about. I hadn’t figured on worrying about bombs.

‘Sam,’ Konrad said. ‘Come here a second.’

I got out and walked around to the rear of the Peugeot. At first I couldn’t see what he was referring to, just the yawing black hole of the boot’s interior, but then he flicked the Maglite’s beam on, just for a second, long enough for me to take in the curled-up body and the grey pallor that only death can lend to human skin. The delivery driver, I assumed.

‘Welcome to Omaha Beach,’ said Konrad softly.

Nobody Gets Hurt is available here:

https://tinyurl.com/y7l6z2zn

NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

 

SOMEBODY GETS HURT…

This is a second extract from the new Sam Wylde thriller, Nobody Gets Hurt, which is available as an e-book now. Short of money to search for her missing daughter Jess, Sam has accepted a job to escort Mrs Irwin, a US citizen with a fear of flying, from Normandy to Luxembourg, where she has financial dealings. Sam has been hired as a driver. The muscle is George Konrad, a Hungarian who doubles gunman duties with working as an armourer on film sets. Here, they have just finished a meal and are set to pick up the car they will use to deliver the client. Contains strong language.

NOBODY GETS HURT PBB

Konrad examined the carnage on the plate before him, dipped his fingers in the lemon water and wiped his hands on a napkin ‘I’m done here.’ He nudged the Gitanes packet. ‘Mind if I have a cigarette?’

‘Mind if I join you?’

‘You’d be very welcome.’

We smoked two each, not saying much, lost in our thoughts. Eventually he said: ‘How about we get the car now, drive back to the hotel, check out and drive down and look at our very own Omaha Beach.’

I glanced at him through the last wreaths of my smoke. ‘Omaha? Hardly. At least I hope not.’

‘I worked on Saving Private Ryan. Tom Hanks’s Thompson was one of mine. Nice guy.’

Unknown

All this seemed a long way from Hollywood film stars and re-enactments of D-day. If it were me, I think I’d stay with replicas and bank the pay packet. At least nobody would be shooting real bullets at you. But then again, it was possible that men like Konrad needed the adrenaline that the work gave you. And I was one to talk. What the fuck was I doing there, smelling the breeze off the ocean, wondering where a woman who was worried about her secret fortune was right now? You can tell yourself you are doing it all for Jess, but part of you wants this.

‘What’s your real story?’ he asked.

‘How do you mean?’

‘Everyone on the Circuit has something inside them, a little kernel of hate or addiction or love that brings them back.’ He looked at me. ‘We’re all damaged in some way.’

‘Apparently, you know more about me than I do. You tell me.’

‘I heard lots of things about you. Dead husband, missing daughter, some trouble in a garage in London. It’s hard to know what’s true and what isn’t.’

I laughed. ‘Thing is, it’s all true.’

He gave a low whistle. ‘Wow. I guess some of us are more damaged than others.’

‘Fuck off,’ I said softly, but with feeling.

‘Sorry. I meant.. some of us carry a heavier burden. My English..’ An apologetic shrug. ‘It doesn’t always work right.’

‘Yeah. Forget it. OK, let’s go see what wheels they left us. Let’s hope it comes in black.’

We settled the bill. I checked the Seamaster. It was after nine and the streets were growing dark as we walked towards the car’s location, but the air was still warm. I refused a third cigarette but Konrad lit up. ‘Last one for a while,’ he promised. I didn’t have to ask why. It wasn’t because he was worried about passive smoking risks for me or the client. It was so he would always have his hands free and never have to worry about dropping a lit fag in his lap in the heat of the moment.

I had asked the Colonel for a French car and something with a boot, rather than a hatchback, which ruled out the Citroen DS5 that I would really have liked. The Colonel had sourced me a Peugeot 508 GT Line saloon, which was nice and roomy for three people, with enough space in the rear for the Principal to lie down if need be. Not the fastest car on the road, maybe, but more anonymous than, say a BMW M5. And besides, I was hoping to avoid any high-speed chases. Slow but steady would be my watchword. I saw it as soon as we turned into the place, parked at the southern end of the square, well away from a brightly lit brasserie.

I found the keys on the wheel and pointed the fob to unlock it. Konrad put a hand on my wrist to stop me.

‘Not yet,’ he said. ‘Give me a minute.’

He shucked the knees of his trousers and got down on the ground. From his pocket he took out a compact Maglite and examined the chassis. He ran his hands around the bumpers, too, and the wheel arches.

‘OK, open her up.’

I pressed the button. The car flashed its sidelights and the interior lit up. I opened the door and was hit by the new-car smell of leather, plastics and faux-wood. I sat in, adjusted the rake of the steering wheel and moved to fire it up. ‘No. Before you start the engine.’

He leaned inside and looked under the dash, checking all the panels were tight.

‘Pull the bonnet release, can you?’

Another quick inspection around the engine bay and he slammed it closed.

‘Trunk.’

‘Boot,’ I corrected. It took me a while to find that one.

‘Sorry, we’ll be doing this every time we have left it unattended. I need to check.’

‘For trackers?’

‘Yes. I’ve got a GPS and RF detector I’ll run over it too. But I’m also looking for something nastier. Used to be they used mercury tilt switches,’ he said. ‘Easy to spot. Now they use the same technology that puts a spirit level in your iPhone.’ He held thumb and forefinger a few millimeters apart. ‘Tiny. But the first corner you lean into…Boom.’

todseelie

‘You honestly think..?’ I began.

‘I don’t know. No stone unturned, eh?’ He brushed dirt off his hands, then his knees, and walked to the rear of the vehicle.

‘Right. No stone unturned.’ I watched a cohort of jerky black shadows diving above the lights on the square, scooping up a final meal of insects. Bats. My insides felt as if there were a couple of them trapped inside me, flapping about. I hadn’t figured on worrying about bombs.

‘Sam,’ Konrad said. ‘Come here a second.’

I got out and walked around to the rear of the Peugeot. At first I couldn’t see what he was referring to, just the yawing black hole of the boot’s interior, but then he flicked the Maglite’s beam on, just for a second, long enough for me to take in the curled-up body and the grey pallor that only death can lend to human skin. The delivery driver, I assumed.

‘Welcome to Omaha Beach,’ said Konrad softly.

 

 

Nobody Gets Hurt is available here from July 6:

https://tinyurl.com/y7l6z2zn

 

ONE LAST JOB

Bodyguard Sam Wylde is back. Coming soon is the e-book of NOBODY GETS HURT, with paperback to follow later.  Sam is searching for her daughter Jess, who was taken by her ex-husband at the end of  SAFE FROM HARM. Having depleted her bank account criss-crossing Europe, and desperate for money to pay experts to trace Jess online, she agrees to take a job from Colonel d’Arcy, the man who run’s Europe’s premier Personal Protection agency. It might be her last.

This is an extract, where she learns what she’ll be up against. Or thinks she does.

Screenshot 2017-05-25 09.34.57

 

Eventually the Colonel took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ‘So, the good news is, I can advance you the money for a job. This one is right up your street. I mentioned it last time you were here, but it wasn’t greenlit then. PPO needed. Client has to be in Luxembourg for an emergency board meeting. Client lives in New York. And is afraid of flying.’

I  remembered now. ‘So what am I meant to do? Row across the Atlantic?’

He put his head to one side and gave me a quizzical look. I suspected he thought I should be more grateful. ‘They’ll come by sea.’

‘Not that much of an emergency then.’

‘The fear of flying dictates the transport. It means time will be of the essence once the client reaches this side of the Atlantic.

‘Why do they need a PPO?’

‘Well, apparently there are parties who would rather the Luxembourg meet didn’t take place.’

‘What kind of parties?’

‘The unpleasant kind.’

‘The armed and dangerous kind?’ I asked.

He showed me his palms in a what-can-you-do? gesture. ‘You could say that.’

‘Surely the client could bring their own home-grown muscle?’

‘Apparently not.’

I thought for a moment. ‘Even if I liked being an armed guard – which I don’t – I’m not licensed to carry a weapon in France. And I wouldn’t be approved in the current climate. Nor, it went without saying, with my SIA suspension. ‘I don’t want to end up doing five years in a French prison because I had to carry a pistol. Just on the off chance there’ll be trouble.’

 

images

‘That’s not your problem. We have a FITLO.’

A FITLO was yet another of the acronyms the world of close protection loves. Firearms Trained and Licensed Operative. ‘French?’

‘Hungarian.’

I had a mental flash of a bullet-headed thug like Bojan, the Serbian who once tried to stab me in what was his idea of a fair fight (although only he had a knife). ‘Who is he?’

‘George Konrad.’

Europe is awash with gorillas with guns. They were mostly hitmen. That was where the easy money was. Offing someone’s rival for cash, no questions asked on either side except who, where and how much? But the real thing, the FITLO, was a rare bird, because his or her job was to stop the hit. Some did it because it was morally more attractive than mere assassination, others because it was more of a challenge. And then there was the attraction of it being a less crowded field. ‘George Konrad? I don’t know him, do I?’ I asked.

‘Unlikely. He’s good, so I am reliably informed, and that’s all you need to know.’ His eyes flicked to the screen. ‘Very good, so they say. You’ll be in charge of driving and choosing the route. He’ll be there in case a situation arises.’

The PPO world not only loves an acronym, it loves a euphemism, too. A ‘situation’ in this case meant some bastard opens fire on us. With real bullets. ‘I have control of all transportation? Right? No arguments?’

‘I’ll make it clear to him.’ You might think that two professionals assigned to look after a Principal would agree on most things. It was rarely the case. Even deciding which road to take could cause disagreement. It was much better if tasks and responsibilities were assigned beforehand. Compartmentalisation was the key to the harmonious and safe transport of a client.

‘Where is the client now?’

‘Somewhere in the Atlantic aboard a private yacht. They’ll be dropped off in France in a couple of days.’

‘Where in France?’

‘Do you want the job?’ he asked.

I was intrigued, but I gave a noncommittal shrug. ‘I assume a landing as close to Luxembourg as possible?’

‘Well, no. Don’t assume that. The coast towards Belgium is still very tightly patrolled, thanks to the refugee problem.’

A few tumblers clicked into place in my still-addled brain. I found a little cubicle for Jess and parked her there. There was something else he wasn’t telling me. It made no sense not to land close to the destination. Unless . . .

‘What’s the PoFU?’ Potential for Fuck Up.

‘A Red Notice.’ Colonel d’Arcy said this as if it were a golf handicap. But his eyes were darting about. I’d never seen him look properly shifty before. He usually stopped at mildly evasive.

I found myself wanting it spelled out. ‘An Interpol Red Notice?’

red-notice22-300x274

‘Yes.’

‘Anything else?’

He cleared his throat. ‘The client is also carrying an outstanding EAW.’

‘A Europol Arrest Warrant?’

‘Yes,’ he snapped. ‘So it will all have to be under the radar.’

It would be best under the fucking ground – tunnelling to Luxembourg. A Red Notice was only a request to detain a suspect. The EAW was trickier. That required the police force of a member state to arrest the suspect. So if we came up against a cop with a computer, there would be an instruction to detain. And then what have I got – a Hungarian willing to shoot his way out?

‘What’s Konrad’s OD when it comes to the police?’ The Operational Directive established any ground rules. I just hoped there were some.

‘I’ll make sure he knows it’s the same OD that applies to all my people. To put his hands up and go quietly. He’s not there for cops. He’s there for . . . any others.’

That was something at least. A gunfight with cops was never a good idea.

‘And before you ask, we don’t know who the said “any others” are.’

Not so good. ‘You had time to prepare any fake documents?’

‘No, but that will be the first port of call after landing.’ He knew what my next question would be. What was the EAW for? Rape? Murder? There are some things that are beyond the pale even for a PPO.

‘The warrant is for bribing a trader at Deutsche Bank to rig the Euribor rate.’

The needle barely gave a jerk. Insider trading and market manipulation was the norm with many clients. Few of them got extremely rich and kept clean hands. Every yacht in Monaco harbour was built with somebody’s tears. Or somebody else’s money. I didn’t know much about finance, but knew the Euribor as some sort of exchange rate set between European banks. Like the better-known Libor, it could be manipulated to give traders an edge. And a big profit. ‘How serious is it? The offence?’

He tried to sound dismissive, as if it were nothing. ‘It’s an unsubstantiated historical allegation.’

‘How long ago?’

‘Four years.’

‘How seriously will the cops take it?’

The Colonel shrugged. ‘You can never tell. At the moment, as you know, bankers and investors are pariahs to some sections of the press. But in the scale of banking offences that have been committed in Europe? Small beer. However, there is always a risk of running across a policeman who thinks he is Eliot Ness reborn.’

‘Did he do it?’

The Colonel’s wrinkled visage gained a few more crevices as he frowned. ‘Who?’

‘The client. The man we’ve just been talking about for fifteen minutes. Did he bribe someone four years ago?’

The glint in the Colonel’s eyes illuminated the garden path I had been led up. ‘Didn’t I say? Why you are perfect for the job? The client isn’t a “he”. It’s a “she”.’

 

To be continued. A short story linking the events in Safe From Harm to Nobody Gets Hurt will also be available soon.