It’s a day off from the A to Z Challenge but I don’t want to lose my impetus so here’s a bit of what I’ve been writing for Camp Nanowrimo.
Eleventh Hour is set in London in 1928. Briers Allerton was ‘our man in the Balkans’ until he got wind of a possible anarchist attack on a target in London. Who the target is and when it’s due to take place is unknown but Briers knows the call and knows what they are capable of doing.They are dangerous men, so Briers needs all the help he can get.
Please excuse the state of this, I wrote it around 5.30 this morning and it’s rough as a badgers chuff.
Briers returned to Broadway House by a circuitous route involving the tube and two buses, having parked the Austin in a residential street in St John’s Wood. A word to the reception staff and he was invited to proceed to an office on the third floor where he found Naylor and a jolly rotund Scot who introduced himself as MacGregor.
“It was quite a task,” MacGregor said, “but we think we may have a result.” He fanned a sheaf of photographs across the table. “Your descriptions were good and knowing past aliases was a boon. One of them hasn’t bothered to make himself a new identity, so we have a firm identification in his case, and we’ve narrowed the choices down to a couple of dozen for the others.”
Brien flicked through the pictures, grey grainy and still slightly tacky, discarding some and scrutinising the remainder. Eventually he selected two. “This is Nemanja,” he said, “I’d recognise that nose anywhere. Broke it myself. And this is Javor Bela. Both truly nasty pieces of work. I’d guess it’s Bela who’s using an old identity.”
“Travelling as an academic called Bronski.” Naylor nodded. “We had the name on file so picked him up when he got on the boat. Nemanja is travelling as Leontin, a representative for a company making quack medicines. You said there would be three.”
“I’m still looking,” Briers pointed out, scowling as he pored over the photos. “I can’t see Andrija and that’s a bad thing. Give me the other photos. Andrija is a small man but I suppose he could be wearing lifts.” He shuffled them again, tilting them towards the light and peering at the faces. “Too fat, too thin, no, that chin is real, beard – possible.” Briers paused, looking at another photo with a shock of recognition. Not Andrija but just as worrying in a different, more personal kind of way. Max Lorenz looked quite different from how Briers had last seen him but, once noticed, the silver cigarette case open in the long pale hands was a giveaway.
Back to A to Z tomorrow with G for …