This Week’s Excerpt
This week it comes from the upcoming publication which is currently going under the name Escher’s Staircase. I am going off that title though; anyway its an erotic suspense novel with deep philosophical angles (I hope!). This part is from an unnamed section but lets call it The Detective. If you read the novel you will know where it fits in.
Copyright © 2013 by Lazlo Ferran
All Rights Reserved.
The red 1971 Pontiac LeMans Convertible streaked along the highway at full speed. The muscular driver behind the wheel was wearing Ray Ban’s and his medium-length brown hair was ruffled violently by the air-stream over the windscreen. He seemed intent only on the road ahead. He held the accelerator flat to the floor with his foot. On the passenger seat was an elegant blonde. Her hair too was flowing out behind her head in the turbulent air. Her head was reclined and at rest on the top of the seat. She appeared to be asleep. The car raced on.
This case started – as I’d always dreamed the best one would, with a blonde walking into my office. Actually, she was better than the blondes I have dreamed of. Tall – statuesque even, with an hourglass figure a man could kill for, she somehow had the face of a top call girl but the eyes of childhood innocence. She looked like my first, my last love, and I was hooked.
I had to take another drag on my cigarette before I could talk:
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“I hope so. I need you to find a killer.”
I stubbed my cigarette butt out and blew a long stream of white smoke towards the window. “Okay, so why aren’t the LAPD interested?”
“They gave up, Mr Andrews.” My name slid off her tongue like an oyster but I wanted to hear her to use my first name.
“Right. You have funds?”
“I have what it takes.”
“Yeah. Let’s just start with the basics.” I took out a creased pro-forma and filled it in as she supplied the answers. When I had finished, she had lit an expensive cigarette. It floated between her fingers as if she were trying to stop it drifting away. “That’ll be one grand for the first month, including expense, payable half in advance and half on completion. You will receive a full, written report at the end of the month and a free one hour consultation as part of a revue. If you wish to continue, the rate will probably be similar. Does this sound okay?”
“Okay. Sign and print your name here and then if you would like to pay the deposit, I have a few questions.” She signed using her own pink pen from her handbag. She was wearing a blue three piece with a very short, tight skirt and a matching hat. Whoever’s woman she was had to be paying for this investigation. I put her at twenty-two.
“I’ve no doubt … Miss Stevens …” I began, reading her name from the form. “…I can find out a good deal from the Court Records but suppose you tell me what I won’t find there?”
“Alright. My sister… older sister by two years, was murdered … shot near the corner of Sunset and Vine late one night while leaving a restaurant and walking to a car. The car belonged to Johnny Chico. Here’s her photo.” She pulled a folded, glossy 10×8 from her handbag, opened it up and lay it in front of me.
“She looks just like you; could be your twin?” The blonde opposite nodded noncommittally.
“I’m going with him now. He likes young blondes.” She blew a plume of white smoke to emphasise her point. “I have reason to believe it’s Johnny’s ex who had my sister shot. Shavaun would not have done anything to deserve being shot. I believe it was to punish Johnny. I want you to find him.”
“I presume Johnny is paying for this.”
“Yes, but he tried to stop me. You see, I think his ex, Stella, wants to kill me now. She is only interested in money. If I don’t catch the killer – and her, it will be my head on her plate next.”
As I begin to think about starting work on my out-and-out Vampire novel this track has become my inspiration (Well it is from Romania!). It’s hauntingly beautiful so give it a listen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlD_uwu_P0 by Cleopatra Stratan. Enjoy! She’s on Facebook, search for Cleostratan (her profiles seem to change around a lot).
Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate will be free from 30 August-3 September on Amazon so tell everyone, their dogs, their friends and their dog’s best friends!
A review of an old classic this week: the film The Naked Jungle (1954). I watched this with the g/f and its pretty much the first film of my choice we have watched together.
It’s an old pot-boiler with Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker and William Conrad (who went on to play Cannon, the detective. Really it is mostly Heston and Parker thrashing out a bizarre bride-by-post situation on a plantation in deepest South America around the turn of the century. In fact Conrad plays the guy who stood in for Parker’s character at the marriage-by-proxy ceremony and he does his best to defend her against an nihilistic and increasingly agitated Christopher (Heston). Parker is brilliant as the gorgeous and forceful Joanna who has walked into the marriage with both eyes open and is determined to make a success of it. Moreover she actually falls for Christopher who is stubborn, ambitious, innocent of women but above all, lonely. He himself says he only knows how to be first and he soon finds out that as far as men go, he is not Joanna’s first. Heston hams it up brilliantly and ad-libs a scene where he throws perfume over her before demanding she leaves on the next boat. The scene is brilliantly echoed by the director when the gooseberry – a swarm of lethal Soldier Ants come to town: Christopher throws a glass bottle containing one of the ants against a painting of his own plantation hitting it squarely in the building – his palace.
The ants swarmed every 25 years (this actually has some truth to it though I believe it is not expected to happen again) and threaten to destroy Christopher’s empire. The ants throw the couple together in a struggle to survive and save the plantation.
Heston does overact a bit towards the end and the climax is rather truncated but the film comes in at a tight 95 minutes so even my girlfriend didn’t get bored! Its early Heston at his best and does Parker proud. The direction and editing is pretty good too. An early example of disaster movies and a very good one. Watch it!