Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.
Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.
Who are the heroes and who are the villains?
Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.
In spite of his end-of-tour paranoia, Jim had got out of Northern Ireland without being shot or blown up. He’d done his twenty years and the long-service pension had been in the bag. That had felt good.
It had felt good, but for the first couple of years afterwards, he’d missed the army more than he’d expected. At the very start, it was great being home with his family. His girls were nine and eleven and Jim was there every day when they came home from school, even if he was going out to work later. Julie seemed to enjoy having him home, he was learning the Knowledge, and the master plan was moving forward. If everything stayed on schedule, he’d been on track to have his taxi licence within two years.
After less than a month, the first cracks had started to show. There were so many things to think about in civvy life. He had choices and options where before there had been either simple, clear orders or the alternative – which was waiting around for orders to be given. Whichever one it was, you’d always be with your mates and you’d mostly have a laugh somewhere along the line.
The worst part of being out was the responsibility. As an experienced sergeant, he’d had a lot of responsibility before, but it was different. In the army, you always had someone to blame if things didn’t work out. You were just following orders, after all. Do what you’re told and, when it doesn’t go according to plan, blame someone else. It made life so much easier, even when doing what you were told involved standing in the cold rain for four hours waiting for some angry Provo to open up at you with an AK-47.
It wasn’t the same back in the real world. It was up to him whether or not he got on his Honda scooter and drove around London with a clipboard. No-one was going to call him in for a bollocking. If he forgot to pay the electric bill, and the power was cut off, he couldn’t laugh and blame the useless logistics people. If he began to realise that his wife was a nag and having kids wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, he couldn’t put in for a transfer.
As he sat in the museum and waited for morning inspection, Jim remembered how he’d felt back then – as though he was on a boat on rough seas, cut loose and with no engine or tiller. All he’d been able to do was to hold on and hope for the best.
Tony’s latest thriller, Sixty Minutes, was released on 29th August 2019. Tony is the author of bestselling psychological thriller, Best Eaten Cold. He writes pacy contemporary thrillers which explore different themes, but all share Tony’s thought-provoking plots and richly-painted characters. Sixty Minutes is his fourth novel. His second novel, The Old Orchard – a gripping family thriller – was published on the 7th of November 2017 and the sequel to Best Eaten Cold, – Cold Intent – was published in November 2018.
Highlights of his early career include (in no particular order) three years as an oilfield engineer in the Egyptian desert, twelve years managing record companies for EMI Music in Greece, India and across Eastern Europe, running a caravan site in the South of France and being chauffeur to the French Consul in Sydney. Having survived the Dotcom boom, he went on to be a founder of the world’s largest website for expatriates, a major music publisher and a successful hotel technology business. In amongst this, Tony found the time to backpack around the world twice (once in his twenties and once in his fifties), learn six languages (including Norwegian and Greek) and to find a beautiful Norwegian wife.
He now lives in Oxfordshire and writes full-time. He recently turned sixty and is married with three children and five grandchildren. You can find out more about Tony at www.tonysalter.com
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