By Philip McCutchan
The 23.35 Kings Cross to Edinburgh, the night express, is about to depart…
Amongst the passengers are several members of parliament on their way to The Party Conference in Perth… with no security. Enter Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Shard.
The passengers have no idea what awaits them. Ian Costermaine was aboard, on his way to an important job interview; Mr and Mrs Irons had boarded the wrong train; two doctors, husband and wife, and their children were also aboard … but scattered amongst them were several middle-eastern faces … a peaceful bunch, unlike the Birmingham hoodlums … but all was about to change. Peaceful no more, with guns, the middle-eastern hijackers, soon have the PM and most of Britain in a frenzy.
Their demands are simple: the custody of three High Court judges, and the release of their jailed colleagues. People will die and the train will be blown up in the heart of Durham. With a senior Treasury official and eleven Conservative MPs on board, there is a lot to lose. Hedge is in a fluster, hoping his man, Shard, will be able to bring things back in order as chaos descends on their carefully laid plans…
Philip McCutchan began writing in 1956. Prior to this, he joined the Royal Navy on the outbreak of World War Two as an Ordinary Signalman and ended the war as a lieutenant, having served in destroyers, aircraft carriers, cruisers, a battleships battlecruiser, an armed trawler, and an ocean boarding vessel. For three years after the war he sailed in Orient Liners on the Australian run and then for a time became an assistant master in a preparatory school.