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Nighthawks by Lambert Nagle - Book Tour

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When art, money and power collide...

A Mafia boss addicted to beautiful art. A Catholic priest who knows too much. A modern-day Jay Gatsby.
And a woman on the run.
Disgraced London detective Stephen Connor is given an ultimatum: take a transfer to Rome or kiss his career goodbye.
With his love life in tatters and his confidence at an all-time low, can Stephen find the world's most valuable painting before it disappears forever?

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This incident takes place in the early part of the book, where the protagonist Stephen Connor, who has been assigned to the Italian art police from London goes to meet a small time criminal on his own patch in a dangerous part of Naples. Stephen has taken a local colleague who knows the area with him as back-up.

 ‘A Late Night Encounter’

Naples, Italy

 Stephen felt uncomfortable in a perfectly good, if slightly worn grey suit he’d found in a second-hand clothes store, which also sold him an office shirt and a tie. He recalled that the last time he’d worn that kind of outfit had been at a funeral.

As he looked around at the desolate concrete tower block, rubbish strewn everywhere, he couldn’t get over the sinister quiet of the night. On closer inspection, there were a few youngsters around, junkies mainly, sitting around stoned or openly shooting up. All his instincts told him to get out of there.

They’d had to park the car three blocks away so as not to draw attention to an unknown vehicle. Vittorio had been the one to boast that they hadn’t been spotted, but then a boy, who looked no older than ten had appeared from nowhere and asked,

‘Mind your car, Mister?’ Vittorio had told him where to go. Stephen wasn’t so sure that had been a good move but it wasn’t his patch. Now Vittorio didn’t look too happy either.

‘Ready?’ Stephen said.

‘I just want to get out of here alive,’ Vittorio said. ‘See those little kids over there?’ Stephen nodded.

‘They’re the lookouts. They know we’re here.’ With a feeling of dread welling up inside him, Stephen got out a burner phone and sent Corri a text.

We’re outside.

They heard footsteps running down a concrete set of steps, which echoed into the night. Then a man, who Stephen recognised as Corri, appeared from the shadows. He pointed towards the stairwell and led the way. Stephen went second and saw Vittorio looking round to check they weren’t being followed, before falling in behind. Stephen counted four flights, then they went across a concrete walkway, which stank of piss. He could see that the door to one of the apartments was ajar. Corri pushed it open. A younger man barred the doorway, giving him and Vittorio a long, hard look, before letting them in.

‘Bag search.’ As Corri’s accomplice spoke, Stephen recognised his voice from the surveillance audio. It was Corri’s nephew, Paolo, he was sure of it. Paolo pointed to the large sports bag Stephen had slung over his shoulder, which he opened for inspection.

Stephen’s eyes darted towards a folding table in the middle of the sparsely furnished living area, where the sale items were set out. Stephen held the print out of the eBay listings in his hand and then promptly dropped it.

As he bent down to pick it up, he silently cursed himself for his nervousness, but Paolo was too quick and got there first, giving him the side-eye as he handed it back to him.

‘All good,’ Stephen said. He drew out 600 euros and was about to pass them over to Geppo when Paolo stepped in.

‘I’ll take that. Just in case it’s funny money.’ He made a big deal of holding each note up to the light.

‘Call me if you have anything else. I sell antiques.’ Stephen passed over another of his fake business cards. Geppo took it and passed it to the nephew.

‘I might have. Give me until the end of the week.’ The nephew shook his head firmly.

‘Or we might not,’ he said, glaring at his uncle. ‘Not Italian, then,’ the nephew said, looking at Stephen’s business card.

‘No, English,’ Stephen said, calculating that Paolo wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an Irish and an English accent. Paolo looked him up and down, and then again at Vittorio.

‘I’ve seen you before.’

Vittorio didn’t flinch. ‘Maybe you have.’

Author Bio –

Lambert Nagle is the pen-name for Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt, co-writers of international thrillers, mystery and crime. Alison is a former television production executive who worked for Walt Disney and the BBC before pivoting to become a multi-genre author and screenwriter. Her short film drama Waves (with Maciek Pisarek) won the Special Jury Prize, Worldfest, Houston. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, University of Melbourne, Australia. He writes about film and media for leading academic publishers.

Other titles by Lambert Nagle include Revolution Earth (featuring detective Stephen Connor) and Contained in Capital Crimes, a short story collection from members of ITW (International Thriller Writers) with a foreword by Peter James.

With six passports between them, they set their books in the far-away places they live and work.

Social Media Links –


Author: Instagram:@alisonripleycubitt

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