#Excerpt “The Lazarus Charter” by Tony Bassett

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EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER FIVE, THE LAZARUS CHARTER

(Teacher Bob Shaw is suspicious about the new life being led by his friend, Professor Gus Morley.  Although Morley and his bodyguard Ryan Benjamin warn him off, Bob is still curious and follows the two men for a mile and a half through the streets of Fitzrovia).

‘Breathless after running the last few metres, I reached the same turning beneath a stucco entrance arch. I found myself in a smart mews – a street where, decades ago, coachmen and grooms would have kept horses and carriages.

As I squinted at the street sign, saying: ‘Hamelin Mews,’ I was just in time to observe the pair entering a quaint two-storey Victorian house twenty metres ahead of me on the right.

Curiosity overcame my fears. I walked cautiously down the cobbled street until I reached the entrance. Bright mauve wisteria clambered beside the front door and curled above the ground floor windows. To the left of the black door was a shiny gold-coloured plaque proclaiming: ‘Hamelin Clinic.’

There were no further details about the nature of the enterprise conducted within. Perhaps Gus had had a hospital operation and was receiving follow-up treatment here, I thought. I went to the window and peered through one of the square panes. It looked like a small office with a reception desk.

Suddenly, Ryan’s menacing face appeared behind the glass, baring his teeth like a fighting dog.

It was time to leave. I raced back towards the arch, but within seconds felt a powerful hand gripping my shoulder.

I spun round, ready to fight back, but my assailant – Ryan – struck me hard on the jaw, a blow which sent me sprawling onto the ground.

I quickly recovered, leaped to my feet and swung a punch at Ryan, directly hitting the left side of his head, but he hardly flinched and responded by jabbing me forcibly in the stomach.

Winded by the man for the second time and doubled up in pain, I must have staggered about in front of him like a stumbling hunchback. Then he pummelled my body with a series of further blows until I collapsed on the ground and passed out.’

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Bob Shaw is baffled to see a man in a brown coat at a bustling Underground station. Surely it can’t be his friend, the scientist Professor Morley? Morley perished weeks before in a blazing car. Is the man an impostor or did his friend fake his death?

This fascinating and ingenious thriller tells of Bob’s battle to find out the truth, helped by his wife Anne.  They are confronted by ruthless enemies and forced to flee their home in this fast-paced spy thriller from the author of Smile Of The Stowaway.

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About Tony BassettTony Bassett

Tony Bassett, who was born in West Kent, grew up wanting to be a writer from the age of nine when he edited a school magazine. After attending Hull University where he won a `Time-Life’ magazine student journalism award, he spent six years working as a journalist in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff before moving to Fleet Street. Tony spent 37 years working for the national press, mainly for the `Sunday People’ where he worked both for the newsdesk and the investigations department. He helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial for the `Evening Standard’, broke the news in the `Sun’ of Bill Wyman’s plans to marry Mandy Smith and found evidence for the `Sunday People’ of Rod Stewart’s secret love child. On one occasion, while working for `The People’, he took an escaped gangster back to prison.

His first book, Smile Of The Stowaway, is one of four crime novels Tony has written over the past three years.  He has five grown-up children and eleven grandchildren.  He lives in South East London with his partner, Lin.

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