Sampler: Dead Radical by Peter Stevens and Ian Honeysett

The 1791 French revolution brews hot and boils over into the Paris streets as all sides of the political debates are used to create a thrilling plot.

Summer 1791 and, for two years now, Inspector- General Rouget Maison, head of the Paris police, has been fighting an unseen opponent, “The Mastermind”, or as he calls himself, “the True Patriot”.

This ruthless, shadowy figure is dedicated to fighting everything the French Revolution stands for. He has considerable resources at his disposal and an extensive network of powerful people who share his views.

Inspector-General Maison has also been hunting Eloise, an accomplished assassin.

She has been working for the “True Patriot” but is now being hunted by him, and the police, after failing to kill some of the key names on his list of those who “really need to be removed”.

The three-cornered pursuit comes to an explosive climax as the action switches from Paris, to London, to Marseilles and finally back to Paris again, leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake.

Dead Radical is a standalone novel but, to get the full Bastille effect, readers might wish to read the four books in the series in sequence: beginning with The Eighth Prisoner.

Peter Stevens and Ian Honeysett

Sampler: Dead Radical

When the coach arrived outside Doctor Christie’s, Christine could see candlelight in the room she believed to be Danton’s bedroom. She made her decision and, two minutes later, the coach drove off. Taking a very deep breath, Christine walked up to Christie’s door. She was very surprised to find it open and then she remembered, with a smile, Danton’s final words to her: “If you change your mind, the door will be open for you.” Christine remembered that Georges’ stepfather was with him. She would be as quiet as possible. Gingerly she removed her shoes.

She was three-quarters up the stairs when she heard the noise. She stopped dead. The sound came again. It was a woman giggling, obviously not alone. Who was she with? There were men other than Georges in the house. As quietly and as quickly as possible, Christine climbed the remaining stairs and peered into the room. Two large candles glowed from separate tables, giving Christine a clear view. The massive figure of Danton lay sprawled naked on the bed. On top of him was a fair-headed woman, somewhat older than Christine but physically in fine, physical shape. She too was naked. Christine was about to turn and go when the light from one of the candles clearly showed something lying, glinting on the floor. And the woman on the bed was reaching for it.

“What are you doing, sweetheart?” Danton asked.

“Oh, just a little something to invigorate our love-making.”

“Watch out, Georges! She’s got a knife!” shouted Christine who, without thinking, threw her shoes at the naked woman and then launched herself at her. The shoes had no obvious effect but the lighted candle in Christine’s other hand did. Christine stabbed at the woman, catching her full on her bare backside. The woman screamed, rolled off the bed, picked up the pile of clothes by the chair and rapidly disappeared out of the door. Christine turned to look at the naked, prostrate revolutionary, her hands on her hips and her eyes blazing with anger. “Georges!” she cried.

Danton pulled a sheet across him to cover his most intimate parts. He glanced down at the long stiletto knife on the floor. “Christine, my dear, it appears that you have just saved my life. Be a good girl though and keep the noise down. My stepfather is asleep across the corridor. Fortunately, he’s quite deaf but I’d hate to wake him right now.”

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