By Andrew Segal
Crime Thriller

Can innocence ever be an incentive to murder?

A quiet seaside town is thrown into turmoil. Tammy Pierre, London
based private investigator, accompanied by her sometime lover, Israeli
art dealer and martial-arts coach, Dov Jordan, has just been brought
close to tears by police photographs shown to her by an hysterical
Eleanor Goldcrest, at the home of three innocent toddlers whose brutally
murdered bodies have been found on the beach at Lyme Regis.

Wealthy financier, Eric Goldcrest, alarmed that his partner of three
years, together with the local police has him nailed as guilty of
murdering the children, now retains Tammy to prove his innocence and
find the real culprit. But has his involvement in all this been
In this investigation, with no apparant motive or forensic evidence,
Tammy’s skills will be tested to the limit. In a twist that muddies the
waters, Eric Goldcrest, laments that he’s simply never made it clear to
Tammy about his position in the family and his relationship with the
children, all of which have been assumed by the investigation.



Tammy was left in no doubt about what was happening when
the interior of the Porsche was lit up by a blaze of lights from a third
following vehicle reflected in her rear-view mirror.
Her pulse raced and a vein throbbed in her neck. The
flanking vehicles gently closed in on her, bumping the sides of the Porsche,
shunting it this way and that. Gila screamed. Caleb swore under his breath.
Tammy’s palms remained dry and she gripped the steering wheel firmly as the two
grey SUVs moved ahead of her so she could neither drive through them nor round
Something like bits of iron junk was thrown from the
windows of both leading cars. The Porsche crunching over the gritty debris,
lurched unsteadily, quickly regaining its poise. Caltrops, she thought.
Four-pronged, palm-sized steel teeth for bursting tyres. Problem: she’d have
thirty miles at best before the run flat tyres gave up on her. Far less if she
pushed the car hard, which was just what she was aiming to do.
The vehicle following moved closer till it touched the tail
of the Porsche, which seemed to literally stagger under the impact. Tammy could
no longer be certain they’d get away. She’d thought the emailed warnings had
been directed at herself. But the situation was more confused than she’d
reckoned. Things were becoming unpredictable.
Junction 10 led to the A3, which they’d aimed for, but
would now be too slow for them to outrun the SUVs. There was no time to
consider options. Gila was screaming hysterically and banging on her side
window as though trying to escape the vehicle. Caleb had pulled what looked
like a plastic gun from the inside of his bomber jacket.
“Put that bloody thing away,” barked Tammy, in the next
moment reaching forward for the switch to the rear fog lamps.
“What the fuck’s she thinks she’s doing now?” scowled
The flash of the rear reds looked like she was braking and
the following motor immediately hauled back, giving her a window to stamp on
the brakes, adding to the eruption of light at the tail-end of the Porsche and
allowing her to fall back herself, out of the clutches of the two big greys.
Now, dragging the wheel left and forced unwillingly onto
the exit slip, with the two SUVs running on her offside wing, she immediately
swung the wheel to the right again, swerving in front of the two big motors and
back onto the main body of the motorway, then she floored the throttle. The car
responded like a SpaceX rocket, roaring ahead of the three following motors,
leaving them stuttering in her wake as she approached 180 mph. Now her palms
ran wet. The tyres could go at any second, and with that, all control of the
Gila was still screaming, Caleb cursing, as Tammy said
softly, “We’re about six miles from Junction 9. There in two minutes. At say,
half our speed they’ll be there in four, that’s three miles behind us. I’m
guessing, or hoping, they’ll reckon we’ll use our greater speed to take us
further round the motorway. But we’ll come off at 9 anyway, then find the A244
to Oxshott.
“And this is us, now,” she said almost at once, and braked
hard. “Dov? Anything?”
“Nothing behind,” said Dov, with obvious relief, looking
over his shoulder. “You should maybe slow down a bit Tammy? The tyres are gone,
you know.”
“I know, Dov. Let’s try to get home first.”
“If you can,” he said quietly.
She was on the rims, sparks flying as the Porsche careered
along the last mile of the A244 to Oxshott village. If she stopped now they’d
not be able to move again, the car simply being carried forward at this stage
on its own momentum and a silent prayer. Tammy suddenly realised that the
wrought-iron gates to the cul-de-sac would need to be opened and that’s where
their journey would end. If they were still being chased, their pursuers would
be with them in no more than a couple of minutes.
As she swung the car left towards where the gates should
have been, her confidence now failing, she saw that the housekeeper had
thoughtfully left them open together with the up and over doors to the double
garage in the safe house, an eight-bedroom red brick mansion at the end of the
cul-de-sac. In the distance could be heard the growl of fast-moving motors.
Through the iron gates, the pair starting to close
automatically behind them, the sounds of the other cars came ever nearer.
They’d be just too late. Glaringly clear. Now, in the
double garage, the up and overs closing agonisingly slowly, the sound of the
other three SUVs screamed at them, then whispered past, just as the doors
clicked shut. Tammy breathed. “Home.”




Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?


I’ve always been an avid reader, so my occasional question to myself in the past was, can I myself write? Over twent-five years ago an idea had occured to me for a horror short story based on the relationship between a timid, ineffectual little man and his pet cat. Encouraged by my wife and daughter I wrote, Cat & Mouse. Not too difficult to see who took each part. Well received at home, I joined a writers’ group and read them the story, and was bowled over by the shocked response and the applause that ensued. More short stories followed, and I now have enough for four collections of horror stories. These stories all have a theme, so they’re not just horror for its own sake. Themes include, domestic violence, transsexualism, murder, bullying, courage in the face of impossible adversity, endurance, survival, autism, comic horror and satire, to mention but a few.


What genres do you write in?


I write in several genres. I’ve mentioned horror short stories above, But I have also written several children’s books, all in verse, for the very young. With alliterative titles like, Clarissa the Clown, Roberto the Robot, Majesty the Magician, Stephen the Statue, Papa the Puppetmaker and more, the object being to encourage children to like books and stories from a very early age. The rhymes should also assist with reading skills.


I also write thrillers. The Hamilton Conspiracy, a thriller based in Hamilton, Bermuda, London, New York, Paris and Mauritius, had excellent reviews when first produced by US publishers, and has recently been re-released by Clare Newton’s, Happy London Press. Also, now on release, The Lyme Regis Murders, a crime thriller based in the English seaside town of the same name, is my first foray into the world of crime fiction. A follow up with the same principal character, The Black Candle Killings, delving into murder with links to voodoo, is in the course of being read by a number of interested parties.


What drew you to writing these specific genres?


This is a harder one to answer. What drew me was, in each case, simply an idea occuring and the desire to see if it could be converted into a narrative. When I started getting positive responses to what I produced the natural desire was to see if what had been started could be replicated. And it has been.



How did you break into the field?


After publication of The Hamilton Conspiracy, I spent more time concentrating on my career, dealing with people and businesses facing major financial problems. This area alone has proved a fruitful source of material for my brand of fiction. After publication of The Hamilton, writing took something of a back seat, until 2017 when publishers in Ireland expressed a wish to promote a book of 10 of my horror short stories. Beads of Blood gained mainly five-star reviews on Amazon, and encouraged me to spend more time at the keyboard.


What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?


I think reading is meant to be a pleasurable activity. I’ve no pretensions to being a writer of modern Classics. If people gain a sense of satisfaction reading my stories, that’s as much as I can hope for. Five star reviews are worth working through the night to achieve.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


What writing does, as a creative exercise, is to allow one the luxury of producing something unique, something special. Ideally, one needs the praise of others as evidence that what you’ve produced, ‘works,’ and obviously not just for you. Looking at the finished article, the statue, the painting, the book, the short story, if it ‘works,’ gives the writer an indescribable buzz. You can’t begin to explain it. You need to do it to understand.


What do you find most challenging about writing?


Giving characters a real voice. Making them plausible. Engendering a desire in the reader to identify, sympathise and empathise with them, so that they are drawn to read on to learn of outcomes. The story is important, of course, but the characters populating it make the story.


What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?


Probably the only advice would be, if you want to do it enough, you will. Be prepared to be disappointed, rejected, laughed at, even mocked. But keep going. Comedy playwrite Noel Coward said, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘There are thousands of talented people out there. Those that succeed do so simply by having staying power.’ There’s your answer. Keep plugging away.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?


I’ve pretty eclectic taste in my reading. With the Classics I like, among others, Dickens and Trollope. Modern authors of repute would include, Hemingway, Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ruth Rendell, Margaret Attwood. Dozens more. I like drama, comedy, thrillers, psychological crime. The multi-talented, Sybil Bedford, a journalist who reported on the Nuremberg Trials, an historian, gourmet and author wrote, A Legacy. It’s a stunning story of the entwining of a wealthy bourgeois family with that of a vastly different aristocratic one, in the years prior to the first World War when detailed against the backdrop of a newly unified Germany. Lots more on my, have read, or, to read list.


Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?


I like cooking, when I get the chance. When I departed my primary school for secondary education, all the class gave our main teacher, chocolates and flowers. I baked her a cake. Also, I’m sorry to say, I have to admit to a love of fast cars. I’m not pretending I could afford a Bugatti Veyron. But one lives in hope. Guns and weaponry are always a source of fascination, and serve to add authenticity to my stories.


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?


You can connect through happylondonpress. com. Also, has some info available.


Author Bio

A contract killer changed my lifeThe encounter inspired me to become a Crime Thriller writer.

He was a contract killer, and he was in my car!

I’d been lost, looking for West Thurrock in Essex, and asked a little
old man in a shabby coat, on the opposite side of the road, the way. He
offered to show me if I gave him a lift, and whilst I make it a rule
never to give lifts to anyone I don’t know, I reasoned, he could hardly
be a contract killer, could he. Could he? Of course not.

As we drove he casually informed me that he’d, ‘Done it for the
Kray’s, mate.’ That would have been the notorious East London gangsters
he was referring to, known to kill, or have killed, without conscience.

Once I’d dropped him off and recovered my composure, I realised I was
looking at fodder for a short story. What then followed was a raft of
short stories, including, ‘I am a Gigolo,’ something I told my wife when
I first met her, and which almost ended our relationship before it had
begun. That title is now the heading for a book of short stories.

Jokingly, over lunch, I told a fellow professional I’d once been a
contract killer, and devised a story. He believed every word, and left
me at some pains to disabuse him. That title, I am a Contract Killer,
now heads a further collection of short stories.

Writer of scary short stories and full-length novels like The Lyme Regis Murders.

It’s been a fascinating journey… I hope you’ll want to share with me.


Weekly Blog:
AnchorFM Podcast:—Andrew-Segal–Part-1-e4homt/a-aibjav
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