Sampler: The Hunt for Enigma’s Mother by Gordon Bickerstaff


Ruthless forces are competing to prevent the exposure of a criminal cold case capable of destroying the alliance between Europe and the USA.

In North Carolina, a home invasion goes horribly wrong, and triggers a series of disastrous knock-on events, beginning with the abduction of a five-year-old girl.

Six years later, one of the kidnappers is identified on a routine facial recognition scan at Glasgow Central train station.

Relevant authorities are notified, and they race to be the first to capture the fugitive.

Zoe Tampsin’s Lambeth Group prepare to make an arrest.

Unaware of ruthless forces competing to prevent exposure of a criminal cold case capable of destroying the alliance between Europe and the USA.

The stakes are high.

The consequences are unthinkable.

The options are vanishing.

Sampler: The Hunt for Enigma’s Mother

Gordon Bickerstaff

Zoe explained. ‘In my evidence bag, there is a pistol someone used in a brutal double murder, six sticks of dynamite stolen from a quarry, and all the components for making a bomb. My colleague will create a video of the moment she found them in this building.’

‘Unholy lies. You’ll never get away with that. I’ll create a worldwide media storm and they’ll put you in jail.’

Zoe shook her head with disappointment. ‘What part of the look on my face is giving you the impression you’re not in serious trouble?’

She glowered. ‘Are you trying to make an impression?’

‘Look at me, Loretta. You’re not following me. How will you manage a media storm when you’re dead? When I confronted you with the bomb-making evidence, you fired a round at me, and I had to defend myself.’

Rebel returned with the kit bag. She revealed the pistol, the dynamite, and various electrical components.

Zoe approached the sofa and raised her voice a notch. ‘Return my friend or I will use the terrorist ploy to put you in harm’s way.’

Loretta blinked and rubbed her forehead. She struggled to grasp the angle these women were working.

‘Do your worst. I will make a formal complaint to the US Ambassador. Your superiors will roast your sorry ass for daring to threaten an American with fake evidence.’

Rebel turned her back on Loretta and rolled her eyes at Zoe. This isn’t going to work.

‘What attracted you to the west of Scotland?’ Zoe asked.

Loretta spoke with a flippant tone. ‘Love the scenery. Why does it matter?’

‘You should take a long hard look, because you won’t be seeing much from now on.’

Loretta sniggered. ‘Heed my warning. I react violently to threats.’

Zoe’s frustration showed in her loud voice. ‘Call your people. Free my friend, and all of this goes away. I want her returned unharmed. Then I’ll get out of your hair.’

Loretta shifted her eyes to her bag hanging on the back of a chair. She jabbed a finger at Rebel. ‘Hey, ginger nutcase. Fetch me my bag.’

Rebel ignored the insult, lifted the strap, and tossed the bag to Loretta’s feet.

Loretta delved inside, and in one quick movement, jumped from the sofa, pulled her silver Colt revolver and fired one shot.

Rebel spun around and hit her head on the edge of a chair before crashing to the floor.

Zoe dashed toward Loretta, but she aimed the pistol at Zoe’s head. ‘Back off, missy.’

Standing her ground, Zoe raised surrender hands.

Loretta marched past Zoe and lifted Rebel’s fallen Glock. Opened her bag and dropped the pistol inside.

Zoe knelt at Rebel’s side. ‘She’s bleeding. I need a towel to arrest the blood loss.’

‘Give me one good reason why I should let you.’

‘If you understand anything, you know we work within a unit. She bleeds out. Nothing on this planet will save you from the wrath of her mates.’

Loretta escorted Zoe to the kitchen at gunpoint and opened a cupboard for Zoe to grab a handful of towels. Loretta lifted a first aid box, handed it to Zoe, then followed her back to the living room.

Rebel regained her consciousness. ‘Didn’t see that one coming.’

Zoe helped Rebel out of her jacket and ripped her top to expose the wound. She wiped away the blood to expose a one-inch tear on the surface of Rebels arm.

Smiling, Zoe said, ‘It’s nasty looking, but just a nick. A handful of stitches, and you’ll be fine. Hold this in place.’ Zoe examined a bruise on the side of Rebel’s head. ‘How is your vision?’

‘Fine. I’ve had worse bangs on my noggin.’

Zoe straightened and faced Loretta. ‘You wanted me to leave. So be it. I’m taking her to a hospital.’

Loretta laughed. ‘I don’t think so.’

Zoe unpacked a dressing, fitted it to Rebel’s arm, then helped Rebel onto her feet.

‘We’re leaving.’

‘Move one inch and I will fire on you.’

Zoe agitated toward Loretta. ‘What are you going to do? Kill the two of us? You won’t get away with murder. Our boss sent us to this farm.’

‘Why not? Plenty of space around here to bury two bodies. I know a perfect place for pushing your car into the sea. Island life is full of perks. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve attended to business in town all day.’

‘Think carefully, Loretta.’

She flexed her finger around the trigger guard. ‘I don’t need to think. I need to stamp on two cockroaches invading my home.’

She aimed the Colt at Zoe’s head and pulled the trigger.

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