The Midnight Falcon

      Graham Saunders
The Midnight Falcon

An emotional and dangerous journey across Europe as the characters reach to discover their destinies. Colby Linden, burdened with a troubled past, is in search of atonement. Beautiful, seductive Valentina Gussev a woman he knew well, offers him an opportunity. But there is much he does not know about his mission to return a Queen to Sachovia.Sachovia is an Eastern European state newly emerging from its communist past and a recent destructive civil war. A populist call goes up to re-instate the old Monarchy. This does not please the parliamentary opposition and plots are put in place to ensure that a monarchy will never emerge again. Since the assassination of her elder brother, there is only one remaining link to the old monarchy – Natasha Kashinka. She is a child, an orphan and has no desire to leave France, the land of her birth to be taken to a war ravaged country she does not know. But forces greater than she can resist have taken hold of her future. In London, Colby Linden once a high flying close protection officer for Equis Security, has been sidelined after a botched rescue attempt involving the tragic death of a young boy. The boy's death still weighs heavily on Colby's shoulders and he has sunk to a position of obscurity in the depths of Equis security. When an opportunity to redeem himself by covertly escorting young Natasha to Sachovia, he finds himself uncertain that he still has what it takes.Valentina Gussev, an agent of the Sachovian Security Bureau, uses the past she shared with Colby to convince him to accept the commission. They set out together aboard her ketch – The Midnight Falcon to the tiny Greek island of Ikinos where Natasha has been kept secure in the care of young Katrina and Captain Kowalski. The old feelings between Valentina and Colby emerge again but something in Valentina's behaviour suggests that all is not well. The three of them sail to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik and from there, keeping a low profile Colby and Natasha travel north by motorcycle to Trieste where further instructions await them.Valentina returns to Ikinos to tidy up lose ends and finds that Katrina has been abandoned by Kowalski. They leave Ikinos together and it is revealed that Valentina is a double agent working towards the demise of Natasha. Her motivation which has come close to destroying her is blackmail. She believes that her brother Sascha is being held captive on pain of death unless she abandons her conscience and cooperates with the anti-monarchists. The unimaginable happens when Natasha is kidnapped from under Colby's nose in Italy. A ransom is demanded of Boris Koch the Prime Minister of Sachovia for her return. He believes that Valentina is still loyal to his cause and instructs her to sail her ketch to a rendezvous where Natasha will be recovered in exchange for the ransom. It is revealed that Captain Kowalski is one of the kidnappers.Valentina confesses to Colby what she has done, the ultimate betrayal of the ones she loves. Colby is left bewildered and outraged.Before Natasha is safely recovered it seems that she and Kowalski are shot dead. Valentina calls Boris Koch and tells him that Natasha is dead. She admits her guilt to him. Boris, driven by vengeance, sends an Assassin after Valentina. Unrest is fermenting again in Sachovia and it looks as if another civil war is about to break out.Valentina convinces Colby to meet Natasha and take her to London until she can make permanent arrangements for the child's welfare.Katrina finds refuge on the Channel Island of Guernsey in a cottage owned by Valentina. She meets a boy and a romance develops. Valentina sails her boat to Guernsey but the assassin is on her tail. After an encounter the assassin is left dead and the Midnight Falcon sunk.Sachovia finally collapses into war again and Boris Koch faces his end with dignity, his hopes dashed.Valentina sinks into a depression which is lifted when she is finally reunited with Natasha and Colby. There is forgiveness and the hope of a happy future for the three of them on Guernsey.

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    Comatose

      Graham Saunders
Comatose

A tale of emotion and suspense where an unlikely supernatural romance develops against a backdrop of armed robbery and car chases. Lost in a coma Emily finds a strange universe where she meets a stranger. Emily's brother, desperate for money, takes extreme measures to make sure that he will inherit Emily's beloved cottage. Only one man can save her life and he is not sure that Emily even exists.Warning: This description contains plot spoilers.Young and attractive, Emily Wilcox falls from a bolting horse. She is taken to hospital in a deep coma.. In Emily's comatose world, she has a strange awareness, an ability to explore. She finds herself in a bizarre small universe where nothing makes sense to her. Eventually she discovers a door and finds the strength to push through. It is a door that takes her into her beloved cottage. The cottage has been rented by an aspiring young writer Alexander Havers who encounters Emily as... maybe a figment of his imagination... maybe a ghost. Despite the strangeness, the two become close and work on Alexander's novel together. Alexander feels that Emily is probably the sign of his decaying mental state but chooses to accept the apparition as a real person and soon falls under her spell. Emily equally falls under Alexander's spell and a strong bond develops between man and ghost.Tony, Emily's half brother, is in trouble with a criminal gang. Tony is a troubled cocaine user and gets into serious debt with Jimmy Costard, a dangerous man. Tony starts to fear for his life. Jimmy wants to make use of Tony's natural ability behind the wheel of a car as a getaway driver but Tony finds the idea troubling. He sees the sale of Emily's cottage, which he will inherit should his sister die, as offering enough money to allow him to escape from Jimmy. But Emily, although still in her coma and now dependant on life support, will stubbornly not die.He enlists the aid of one of Jimmy's associates, John Mason an ice cold assassin, to end his sister's life. Emily is now able to hear the voices in her hospital room and she overhears the plot to take her life. In her ghostly form she returns to the cottage and convinces Alexander that she is real, not a figment of his mind and that she desperately needs his help. Alexander and Suzanne, Emily's mother, rush to the hospital and the attempt on the comatose girl's life is averted. Seeing her for the first time as a real woman, Alexander kisses Emily in her hospital bed and she finally wakes from her coma. Now awake and recovering rapidly, Emily does not remember any of her time in her strange coma world nor does she recognise Alexander who has by now become besotted by her.When Emily finally returns home to her cottage, Alexander has gone, leaving no forwarding address. He is even more in love with Emily than ever but feels rejected by her lack of recognition and feels that he has to forget her. Finally Suzanne tells her daughter about Alexander's encounter with her strange ghostly apparition but Emily can remember nothing of the events even though she feels that something very special is missing from her life.Tony has run away to keep his head down and Jimmy's big job has to go ahead without Tony. They take a less skilled driver who crashes the car in an attempt to escape a chasing police patrol. All the occupants of the getaway car are killed except for John Mason who is left with an attaché case of gold... and one last assassination to complete...The novel that Alexander and Emily had worked on is finally published but by now Alexander has a rewarding job offer based in New York and puts his plans of becoming a full time author on hold.Suddenly while watching the hypnotic flames of her fire, Emily finally remembers the strange life she lived, trapped between a bed ridden comatose patient and a ghostly presence in her cottage. She remembers Alexander, knows that she still loves him and wants him back in her life. Despite her best efforts she can find no trace of the man who saved her life... Not until she passes a book shop and sees the book they wrote together on display. Alexander is at the airport, on his way to New York and a new life, when he finally receives a message relayed from Emily. He is forced to make a decision: to go New York and become rich or return to the humble cottage and Emily...

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