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Tuesday, March 15, 2016
New 5* for FIVE WEEKS plus read first chapter here!
Delighted to say that my other true story FIVE WEEKS has received another 5* review!
Here are some of the reviews!
5***** "Having read the authors first book, WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME which I loved, I had to read this and wow.This is a great story and one yet again I will recommend."
5***** "Another total page turner. A great read. His writing - again - totally draws you into the story. I was begging the character not to, well, I'm not going to spoil it, but couldn't wait to find out. Thoroughly recommend it, and can't wait for the next one."
"I thought the story deserved 5***** You think all is well, then, you get shocked, and more shocked, And that's why you can't put the book down I think most adults would enjoy it...."
5***** "This is an easy to read book, about an estate agent who due to circumstances leave London. He lands a job as a tele sales manager and has to go to America for five weeks of training. The adventure starts for real then. I really enjoyed this well written novel."
5***** "I have read Dave's other book "Wrong Place Wrong Time" and throughly enjoyed it, so when I found out he'd written another book I jumped at the chance to read it. Five Weeks is equally as entertaining as Wrong Place Wrong Time, the story's about a dream job in America that turns into a five week nightmare where he's left for dead in a Pennsylvania forest. Dave's life would be equally as exciting if it was a prime time show or a hit movie. If you read one book this year make sure it's "Five Weeks"
Now why not read the first chapter!
"Let go of my fucking hair!"
The blood cascading from my nose had turned my white shirt into a shocking shade of claret, but I'd rather have felt the pummel of their fists than hair being ripped from my scalp. Ignoring my plea and returning with violent cursing, they continued to haul me by my hair across the grimy black and white tiles of the kitchen floor. It wasn't a poky one either; it was at least twenty-five feet long.
Twenty minutes earlier my mate Steve and I were sat in the corner of the kitchen watching two girls kiss seductively. Was it a show - a show for us - or were they a couple in love? We weren’t sure, but there was no mistaking their passion. We egged them on a bit. Who wouldn’t, watching two hot girls get it on? But to be honest they didn’t need two perverts encouraging them.
“Just going for a piss,” Steve said as he got up from the bench, nearly knocking himself out on the door frame as he clocked one of the girls sucking the other's tongue and sliding it in and out of her mouth.
As soon as Steve was out of sight, two burly men came into the kitchen staring directly at me, menacingly. That is when I knew I was in trouble. Steve was nine years older than me. He loved a good old scrap and had the build for it. He wasn’t scared of anything or anyone and he knew he was a great fighter. Me? I hated fights. I hated violence, only ever had one fight and that was as a school kid a few years back, which I lost.
They'd been waiting for the moment, that moment to catch me on my own. The girls stopped their performance and looked over. I’m sure they knew exactly what was going to happen next, and before I had time to even think, two colossal sets of hands came towards me. Buttons flew from my shirt in all directions, bouncing off the floor and walls, and I was grabbed by the collar and hair and dragged onto the floor. In mid air I felt a crack on the bridge of my nose and saw a fountain of blood as they pushed me down to the floor.
“What the fuck d'ya think you're doing playing up to our girls, you wanker?" His accent was thick; Irish. "D'ya think you’re funny?”
Before I could plead any sort of innocence, I felt another crack hit my face, but I wasn’t worried about my nose I was more worried about my hair.
They lifted me up by my neck and pulled me into the hallway of the house, the atmosphere turned nasty and the invited guests had receded to a handful. We were in Islington, North London, a few streets away from where I worked. Whose party? No idea. We were invited by friends of friends, of friends. Later that morning, driving back home, Steve and I looked at each other with blank expressions, trying to figure it out, trying to figure out what happened and why. But I didn’t really care by then.
As they dragged me towards the front door, I heard a familiar voice coming from the staircase.
“What the hell’s going on?" Steve jumped the last three steps and landed a punch, right on the chin of one of them. The guy flew backwards and bounced off the wall, but not without taking another handful of my hair with him, the bastard.
“Let go of him!” Steve shouted through gritted teeth to the other guy, whose hand was still firmly wrapped around my neck.
“I will, I will but just get him out of here, now.”
“But he has done nothing wrong.” Steve replied.
“I don’t give a damn just get him out of here.” The pale skinned Irishman said as he released his grip from my throat. I slumped to the ground in agony. He took a few steps back, raising his hands in front of him.
“Okay, now get him out of here and there'll be no more trouble.”
Steve ignored him as he helped me up. “For fuck sake, look at you, you’re a right mess." He said, shaking his head. “Bastards,” I heard him mutter under his breath. I looked down and he was right, all I could see on my ripped shirt was blood and hair and loads of it.
“They waited Steve...they waited for you to leave.” I trembled as he took hold of me, put my arm across his shoulders and walked me to his car.
Apart from Queen’s Greatest Hits droning in the background, the journey home was quiet. The windows were open to let in some of the much needed early morning breeze and every few minutes or so I lifted my right hand and hesitantly touched the top of my head and in amongst the hair, all I could feel was a cold piece of skin.
It was around four in the morning when Steve dropped me home. The still of the night couldn’t prevent my hand shaking as I turned the key in the door as quietly as I could, not wanting to wake any of my family not wanting them to see me looking a mess.
By passing the stairs and going straight into the lounge, I closed the door behind me and flicked the light switch. Adrenalin surged through my body as I stood in front of the mirror and raised my head to look at myself. My stomach sank as the glow of the ceiling light fitting above highlighted a three-inch bald patch. I felt sick. I looked like a monk. A battered monk who just had the shit kicked out of him.
After staring at my reflection, for what seemed like hours, a hint of the early morning sunlight crept through the gap in the curtain, I made my way to the bedroom I shared with one of my brothers. I cried myself to sleep on the bottom bunk, not wanting to wake up. And when I did, the pain and tears of earlier were still visible.
My folks were horrified when they saw me a few hours later with a busted face, black eye, and a hideous bald patch. Talking about it sent a shiver down my spine. A close friend of mine did try and make light of the situation by saying that as a Jewish festival was around the corner, wearing headwear would hide the bald patch. I tried to laugh but couldn’t manage even a smile.
As I worked in Islington, I knew that I'd always be looking over my shoulder just in case I came face to face with those men again, and driving to work through the early morning rush hour gave me plenty of time to think about what would happen if I did. Every morning when I was about ten minutes away from the estate agent’s office I worked for, paranoia would set in, and as I parked the car I'd look around just to make sure I wasn’t being followed or about to be jumped on. It wasn't the best way to prepare for a busy day ahead.
It had been three months since the party and thankfully I hadn’t seen the men who beat me black and blue. I stayed away from the street where they lived, and as far as I knew, they didn’t know where I worked. If we had a property to take on our books that was for sale in their road, I'd make an excuse and my colleague would do the valuation. I didn’t give a damn about the commission I may lose. My hair had grown back a bit but there was still a bald patch visible, covered with a pathetic layering of fuzz. I just had to live with it. It was tough at first, I hated being vain at times, but I got used to brushing my hair in a way that it wasn’t so noticeable.
By this time, I’d met a really nice girl called Jenny. One afternoon she'd been looking at the display of properties for sale, but every so often, she’d peeked round and smiled at me.
“Oh, another one being reeled in by his smile,” my boss would say, two desks behind me. I enjoyed sitting at the front, it did have its perks, mainly being the first contact for potential buyers. Jenny had shoulder length blonde hair, sparkling blue eyes and a smile that showed off her straight, white teeth. She looked so young, too young in fact to be looking for a property I thought when I first spotted her gazing through the window.
At nineteen, she was two years younger than me but acted older and after a few dinner dates over a period of a few weeks, we were practically an item. I was in love with her. She had Irish blood, but that didn’t put me off after what had happened at the party. But something did finally put me off working in Islington again. One evening after a day of negotiating properties for many excited first time buyers I knew that day was going to be my last.
At the time this area of London was booming with property developers buying and converting period houses into apartments. 'Flat Land' we used to call it, and there were many young couples taking their first steps on the property ladder. But that day it all ended for me. Without a single sight of those two thugs for months, that evening at around seven and on my way to the car after closing the office, I heard footsteps behind me. It was a cold evening and being November, it was dark by three in the afternoon. I hated the winter.
“Hey, you,” I heard someone yell with the words echoing down the quiet residential street. I didn’t turn round. I knew. I just knew straight away. I recognized the accent and I was scared. I carried on walking, quickening my pace. My car was close, just in the company parking bay.Just get in the car, just get in the car I repeated to myself. Again I heard, “Hey, YOU!” But it was louder, more aggressive, and they were closer. “Come here again and we’ll fucking shoot you, you hear? We’re watching you.” His voice seemed so close now it was like he was standing next to me.
Shoot me? Did they have a gun?
I still didn’t turn around. I wouldn’t dare.
My heart began to beat simultaneously with the pace of my steps and as I reached the car I eventually opened the door and threw myself into the seat, fumbling frantically with the key to slide into the ignition. When the engine turned over I yanked the car into reverse, slammed my foot on the accelerator and wheel-span out onto the road, just missing a passing car. Without braking, I thrust the gear stick into first and looked in my rear view mirror as I sped along. Under the glow of the street lights behind me, I saw two men laughing, the same two from the party. I will never forget their faces. And they did have a gun. One of them was waving an air rifle in the air, whether it was loaded or not, I had no idea, but I wasn't going to hang around to find out.
As I made my journey home I thought about my next move. I wanted to visit Steve but he was away, and I knew I couldn’t work around Islington anymore, even if Jenny lived there. I didn’t want to take the chance, so whilst sitting in the rush hour traffic, and before I made it home, I’d already finished writing my resignation letter in my head.