CoolMain Press Proudly Announces
Before the TOURIST TROPHY in the Isle of Man
the Seventh Volume Appearing in
Dakota Franlin's Grand Series
RUTHLESS TO WIN
"A wonderful story full of action and remarkable detail"
Boyd S Drew on Amazon
"The Queen of Racing Scribes"
John Houlton on Facebook
by Dakota Franklin
Grant Scarfe, a mathematician of genius, steadily on his way to the top as an engineer at Porsche, has led a protected life of privilege. It follows naturally that when Armitage, the premier racing house of the world, decides to throw a million dollar party at the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man, they should ask Grant if he wants to spend his sabbatical year building motorbikes for Billy Crawshaw to race.
A dead engineer would crawl out of the grave to race Billy Crawshaw in the TT.
But Lydia Simpresi, Armitage’s treasured sponsor, to whom no one ever says no, decides that the once-modest party at the TT will be a homage to her late father. That piles on the pressure. And then Billy decides, on a whim, that Grant should put the team in Northern Ireland where road racing is the national sport—right after terrorism. That makes the pressure intolerable, because each of the opposing terrorist groups, and their equally violent splinters, views Armitage as ‘on our patch’, couriers of drugs and money to fight the forthcoming election—and of detonators for bombs.
It was only a small bomb. A warning that the next one will kill some of us.
Then there is the police, traffic cops bumped up for their political allegiance, incapable of protecting Grant’s staff, more interested in ensuring that the Harringtons sent to beef up his security don’t cause a renewed outbreak of The Troubles.
‘Joanne and those ex-commandos all by themselves are a moving small-scale war.’
Patton, the only competent cop, is a British anti-terrorist plant. He intends to force Grant to go along with both groups of terrorists and then to testify against them, clearly a suicide mission.
That isn’t all. The internal politics of Armitage are such that if Grant in his motorbike ‘sideshow’ puts a scratch on Billy, Armitage’s Le Mans 24 Hours starter and star, Mallory and Jack Armitage will ruin his career.
Grant’s only solace is his growing love affair with Harry Bingham, his Operations Director.
In her red leather team jacket she looks like Vogue’s idea of a biker’s moll.
Circumstances, political intrigue and plain police incompetence conspire to where Orange Joe, the armorer of the Protestant terrorists, gets away with a dozen detonators Grant brought for him from a bike test at Monza. Grant uses a bomb made for Orange Joe to blow up a rival (and Patton) instead to blow up Orange Joe himself.
If murder sets a man apart, it is not physical distance.
But Grant, in his desire to protect her, has not told Harry that he intended killing Orange Joe. She is horrified to discover that he holds his mathematician’s core of ice secret from her.
Lovers share, Grant.
Orange Joe was saved from the blast by his safe door, he still has the detonators, and he has tortured the Californian drugs dealer who made the bomb to death to discover that Grant switched the cases. Now Patton has leaked that Grant did it.
On the Isle of Man for the TT, Grant discovers that his racing team’s trucks will be used to carry detonators for bombs into Britain. But he has a plan to put all his tormentors at each other’s throats—
‘Grant isn’t a smartass,’ Harry said. ‘He’s a lateral thinker who invents lose-lose conundrums to entangle our enemies.’
—as soon as he has survived the dangerous TT with Billy intact.
Then the terrorists take Harry hostage to force Grant to carry their bomb into position for them, and everything explodes in uncontrolled violence on the Snaefell Mountain between the competing terrorist groups, Patton and his anti-terrorist police, and the Harringtons helping Grant recover Harry.
God’s Scofflaws is the sceptical outsider’s view of the pressure cooker that is Armitage, written in Dakota Franklin’s crisp style which amuses even as the events horrify and thrill. The innocent abroad Grant Scarfe is one of her most engaging characters.
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