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Friday, 19 August 2011
‘The Accidental Assassin’ by Jan Toms
Reports of the incident in the in the local paper identifiy him as Vincent Green, but Victor is not too concerned as returning to work he is for the first time centre of attention – a novelty for Victor. The subsequent arrival of a cheque for £20’000 payable to V Green has Victor mystified, but with no return address, just an unsigned note with the words ‘ Be more discreet next time’.
Eventually the victim is named as Tommy Hewson, known as ‘Gruesome Hewson’. This information is conveyed to him by his local bobby Constable Alan Grimes, who tells Victor that he has done the community a service as Gruesome was part of one of the gangland mafia. He gives Victor some background on the two gangs the Pretty Boys and the Blues Brothers who both started their lives in South London and subsequently moved to the
Isle of Wight. The whole thing alarms Victor so much that Alan has left before he remembered the cheque.
Soon Victor is caught up in the gang warfare unaware that both gangs think that he is the Vincent Green, the name used by international hit-man Vincenzo Verdi. As the two gangs try to take each other out hapless Victor is constantly in the wrong or maybe the right place at the wrong time, leaving innocently a trail of bodies behind him. And when a lady takes an interest in him Victor is initially transported, but be careful what you wish for.
Jan has created some marvellous characters, Alan Grimes close to retirement and recently widowed, his daughter Charity who feels it’s her mission feed him lentils to keep him healthy, The Blue Brothers, Reggie, Randy and Dodge, and the Pretty Boys - Harry, Garry, and Barry, not to mention Fluffy the poodle. A fun read had me laughing out loud.