Welcome back! I’m sure you’ve already read the story behind my first novel ‘The Final Straw Revealed’ which precedes this new chapter?
‘Unfinished Business’ is the sequel to ‘The Final Straw’ and continues Colin Bailey’s quest for revenge. The key themes of this sequel are death, revenge and music. “Hang on! Did you say music?”
Absolutely! Colin Bailey is a meticulous planner and in ‘The Final Straw’ he and his wife Karen were regular visitors to their local pub for their Friday night ‘music fix’. Hard rock and heavy metal music were what got Colin’s juices flowing. He spent many hours planning how to dispose of the people on his list listening to tracks by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest on his Walkman while he was working underground at Leigh Park Mines.
Using the name Colin Owens to stay under the radar of Border Control, he becomes a roadie with a Canadian Iron Maiden tribute band touring the UK and Europe. He goes deeper under cover by adopting the name Owen Collins while on the road. The band begins the tour in Scotland and moves down the eastern coast of England, crossing over to Liverpool and Manchester before eventually heading south to London.
This was all familiar territory for me; in a previous life I sang with bands that played various types of music; the last band I was in were very much a hard rock outfit. We covered tracks by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream and Rory Gallagher (all new names on the scene back then!). These were all mixed up with our own material and we were LOUD! We travelled in our Transit van with our roadies, unlike Maiden’s Hair in the book; there was no tour bus for us!
Travelling across the country, unloading our kit & getting set up for a gig, playing our set, then breaking the kit down & getting away to the next stop on our own musical mystery tour was part & parcel of our everyday lives for almost a decade. ‘Unfinished Business’ allowed me to make a sentimental return to the good old days in fiction at least; but back to the dark world of Colin Bailey and his quest!
Colin had seen that the band’s itinerary meant he could tick a few names off his list as he travelled across the country. Everything fitted! His plan was complete; he was scheduled for one last task at the end of the UK leg of the tour; this was when the band moved across to Europe and Colin could deal with the policeman whose continual harrying and frustrating might prove to deflect him from his mission – Phil Hounsell.
Colin hadn’t missed a trick; by keeping an eye on the local news from that quiet West Country town where he had been brought up, he knew that Phil was married with two young children and was now living on the outskirts of the city of Bath. He knew too that Phil had been promoted and had moved on to work in London as part of what proved to be the short lived Serious Organised Crime Agency.
As each name on Colin’s list is ruthlessly eliminated Phil Hounsell teams up with several of his former West Country colleagues as they hunt down the stone cold killer. Other characters that play a significant role in the story are:
Erica Hounsell, Phil’s long suffering wife, who finds herself in danger when Colin wants to be left alone to continue with his task.
Frankie & Billy, the roadies that work alongside Owen Collins, totally unaware of what he is up to.
Therese Slater, a Manchester barmaid who falls for Colin and gives up everything to follow him wherever he may end up. Does Colin have feelings for her? The final scenes on the towpath by the Pulteney weir in Bath leave you with as many questions as answers!
This novel was intended to tie up the loose ends that remained on the final page of ‘The Final Straw’; however, after consultation with my wife (she spoke – I listened) there are new threads beginning at the end of ‘Unfinished Business’! Sorry, if you want to know where all these threads will lead you’ll have to read the book, and then the NEXT novel will make sense!
I deal in facts not fantasy; the reality is that the world is a nasty place and although Colin Bailey may have an extreme way of improving it, sooner or later the streets will have to be cleaned. If this book helps to get that message across then it will have served a purpose.
Does it sound like the book for you?
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