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Monday, 19 May 2014

'Instil fear in black uncaring hearts!’

Some of the background to my crime novel Sudden Vengeance is based on real crime reports in local newspapers in UK. Needless to say, the names have been changed. You might detect a trend – crimes against property tend to warrant more severe punishment. These snippets are relevant to the story; they might go some way to explain why somebody would consider becoming a vigilante, in order to obtain justice on behalf of victims. It’s a big moral question, posed more than once in the novel.

News reports from the book:

Shocking Death
An old age pensioner, 80, was robbed and badly beaten in her ground floor warden-controlled flat. Mrs. Dorothy Monk was declared dead on arrival at the Queen Alexandra Hospital.
– The Alverbank Chronicle

‘Justice denied’
Mr. Terry Pryce, 19, charged with manslaughter, was acquitted today. Mrs. Michelle Boynton, 38, the widow of the man Pryce was accused of killing, broke down when she heard the verdict.

Last June Mr. Geoff Boynton, 42, objected to Pryce damaging his garden fence with a screwdriver. Pryce allegedly became abusive and stabbed Mr. Boynton in the chest five times. Mrs. Boynton beat off Pryce with a garden rake and later identified him.

After today’s verdict, Mrs. Boynton’s solicitor stated that they would “consider a civil action or other alternatives to get justice”.
 – The Alverbank Chronicle

Youth Let Off
Judge Wallside dismissed the case against Steven Campion, 17, charged with sexually assaulting his neighbour’s six-year-old girl. “I understand that while you babysat, the girl was provocative in her nightdress,” the judge said.

The parents of the child intend to appeal.

A Child Protection Agency spokeswoman said, “This sends out entirely the wrong signals. The judge’s comments were wholly inappropriate.”
– The Alverbank Chronicle
Embezzler Jailed
Keith Stewart, 43, a computer analyst-programmer at HBT Inc, Southampton, admitted embezzling £40,000 from the company. He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
– The Alverbank Chronicle
Rape Hoaxer Guilty
Bethany Harmon, 26, was today found guilty of blackmail. She made a practice of obtaining lifts from lone men and, once in the car, she cried rape unless the driver paid up. Judge Franks said, “Your actions are wantonly despicable and I have no option but to set an example of you.” She was given a prison sentence of 15 years.
– The Alverbank Chronicle

Vandals Blamed For Heart Attack
Mr. Fred Testcombe, 71, died of a heart attack yesterday when he discovered his allotment had been vandalised. His wife, Doris, has been inconsolable. Their neighbour, Mrs. Bessie Evans, 62, of Hardy Close, said that Mr. Testcombe “considered the allotment his pride and joy. He took up gardening for therapy reasons after a bad heart attack some years ago. It’s been a terrible shock to Doris. Whoever did this ought to be horse-whipped.”
– The Alverbank Chronicle.
The Vigilante – Right Or Wrong?
The vigilante is not new in this country. They were around long before Robin Hood. We know why people turn to vigilantism: they see their world falling prey to anarchy; they feel the establishment cannot hold back the tide of evil. The forces of law and order will say that people cannot take the law into their own hands, for that way truly lies anarchy. Yet those who espouse the vigilante’s cause might argue that since the law enforcers are incapable of applying the law sensibly, then someone else must do it.

But what drives this latest manifestation? What motivates The Black Knight? Has he suffered the tragic death of his parents at the hands of some criminal, some drunken driver? Perhaps he is consciously using a similar trademark name to those gaudy characters featured in violent American comics. Yet the pleasant south-coast town of Alverbank is no Gotham, surely?

Whatever his reasons for taking on this guise, he is intriguing. We are going to hear a great deal more from him.

A police spokesperson, who wishes to remain anonymous, states that the criminal fraternity is anxious about this vigilante. They want him caught, “before he kills somebody.” Me, I hope he stays loose, to instil fear in those black uncaring hearts!
– The Alverbank Chronicle Comment

Sudden Vengeance is published by Crooked Cat Publishing tomorrow, 20 May 2014

Please purchase the e-book from Amazon UK here
Please purchase the e-book from Amazon COM here


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