Line of Descent Chapter 27


Chapter 27 Drayton waited with Krupmeyer amid the ruins of the summer house. He sat on the floor, resting his injured back against the wall. It throbbed with a steady nagging ache that the drugs could not quite mask. Beside him on the floor, Krupmeyer lay in a stretcher. About them, the team of paramedics … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 26


Chapter 26 Krupmeyer stared through the smoke at the black indistinct figure rising up through the hole in the floor in front of him. His eyes watered from the acrid smoke and his ears were filled with a high-pitched ringing from the effects of the explosion. The figure seemed to unbend slowly until it was … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 25


Chapter 25 The wounded man’s lifeless eyes stared up at the wooden joists of the ceiling. He had died quietly, slipping away from life unnoticed among the group of people huddled there together in the centre of the room. The maid had been the first to realise he was dead and had backed away from … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 24


Chapter 24 As soon as Drayton and his men entered the forest, the pace of their withdrawal slowed as they carefully negotiated each twist and turn of the path, wary of an ambush. They leapfrogged from position to position, always covering the man whose turn it was to go ahead and check out each corner. … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 23


Chapter 23 Drayton lay prone, squeezed between the other two men at the northern post. In front of them, the lawn stretched out in the moonlight to the treeline. Nothing moved or made a noise, not even his companions whose breathing had become almost inaudible. The moonlight turned the carefully tended lawn into a silvery … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 22


Chapter 22 He lay full length on the ground, concealed within a clump of vegetation through which he studied the house and the hastily built positions in front of it. He held a rifle which poked out in front of him, stopping two feet short of the end of the cover. It had been in … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 21


Chapter 21 ‘You did the right thing’ said Drayton handing him a glass of whiskey from the bottle Harting had produced from somewhere. Krupmeyer looked like he needed it. ‘If you’d stayed, he’d have got the lot of you.’ Krupmeyer accepted the drink. His hand still shook from reaction and the brutal physical effort of … Continue reading

Line of Descent Chapter 20


Chapter 20 Krupmeyer sneaked out of the house and across the lawn with five of the guards. Each was armed with a sub‑machine gun and a pistol. Before entering the forest, they stopped at the edge to rub some earth on their faces and hands. Krupmeyer went around each of them checking out the results. … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 19


Chapter 19 The medical supplies were kept upstairs in the control room. Krupmeyer and the guard dragged the wounded Drayton in there. Krupmeyer pulled the work desk away from the wall and cleared the top of it with one sweep of his arm before they laid him face down on it. His arms hung down … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 18


Chapter 18 Drayton rolled to his feet, still not fully recovered from the exertion of collecting Williams’ body. He felt light-headed and his thighs ached. He told the original ambush team to stay where they were and ordered the reinforcements to follow him as he headed as fast as he could in the direction the … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 17


They stood silently around the console, looking at the blank screen of the monitor. While they had watched the miniature tableau unfold on it, a creeping sense of horror had held them in its grip, gluing them to the screen with a compulsive interest that only ended with the camera’s violent demise. Suddenly they were free. The spell was broken. Drayton looked around to see wide nervous eyes in pale faces. He had been shaken by it and was relieved to see he wasn’t alone. There had been a nightmarish quality about the whole thing. Like an anxiety dream where something terrible is happening and you’re standing on the sidelines, ignored and powerless to stop it. Krupmeyer was the one to break the silence.

Line of Descent chapter 16


Chapter 16 By the time they reached the control room, Drayton had explained his reasoning to Krupmeyer. He agreed with Drayton’s conclusions. It all fitted together too damn well. ‘You’re right. You should have seen that mob in Coole’ he said. ‘They weren’t exactly world-class. A pop with an idiot son. It wouldn’t be like … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 15


Chapter 15 The foundations of Cosgrave Hall had originally been laid by a beer baron of the early nineteenth century. Its blunt and unadorned features reflected the solid uncompromising attitudes of its builder. It consisted of a large two-story house to which two wings had been added by his more refined descendants. In a further … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 14


Chapter 14 Walters raged and stormed. Drayton had never seen such a complete loss of control by a man of his position. He and Campbell sat silent for five full minutes, while he told them in vitriolic detail what he thought of the way they had handled the situation at the safe house. His language … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 13


Chapter 13 Drayton was called in towards the end of the meeting. It had been called at the instigation of Sir Gerald Walters and was attended on his behalf by his private secretary Grantley. Campbell, Grantley and Cheetham from the US embassy had discussed Krupmeyer’s information behind closed doors for nearly an hour before calling … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 12


Chapter 12 Captain Wainright was in charge of the team that had been flown down from Herefordshire that evening to assault the safe house. He was large and angular and looked very capable. Drayton had taken to him straight away. He had a flinty forbidding look that was constantly undermined by the dead pan asides … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 11


Chapter 11 Drayton was back in London by early that evening. He went directly to the plain sixties style building overlooking the Thames that housed the headquarters of the security services. They had been waiting for him to return and had scheduled a meeting to begin at his arrival to discuss what he had learned … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 10


Chapter 10 Krupmeyer checked out of the hotel and left Coole early the following morning. He had considered driving to Belfast to catch a flight to London but had instead elected to make the longer drive to Dublin to catch a flight from there. He was under no illusions. The prospect of seeing Helen again … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 9


Chapter 9 The meeting had been set up for the next morning by Pritchet’s superior, Chief Constable Wakeham. He was as eager as Pritchet to pass on as quickly as possible any hint of a threat to a member of the Cabinet. It was attended by Pritchet, Wakeham and a man from London called Drayton, … Continue reading

Line of Descent chapter 8


Chapter 8 Conways was a gentleman’s club. It had been established over two hundred years ago, in the heyday of the gentleman’s club, when they had sprung into existence all over London like a multitude of spring shoots. Through the years each had evolved, taking on their own personality and flavour. Some were exclusively patronised … Continue reading