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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Zabala is back!

Catherine Vibrissae first encountered this nasty fellow in Catalyst. Now, in Catacomb, she will meet him again – and it will be a life-and-death situation.

Emilio Zabala: Head of Security at Cerberus, age 39. Basque killer, got tired of ETA, wanted to kill for money rather than murder for freedom. Head of Cerberus, Loup Malefice hired him in Barcelona some years back to remove an obstacle to planning his offices there.

Zabala feels compelled to kill a woman every so often; it has become a ritual.

He has thin lips, dark hair, dark, almost black eyes. His voice seems tinged with menace.

[The Basque surname originally denoted someone who lived in any of the various places in Biscay and Araba called Zabala, which is derived from the Basque zabal meaning "large" or "broad".]

Zabala has business in Morocco (excerpt):

The passport checks were done on the ferry, Zabala’s passport stamped with an entry number. He debarked from the ferry at Tanger Med, where a policeman smiled and said “Welcome to Morocco.” A shuttle bus took him for a short ride to the terminal building and then he joined a queue to pass through customs and immigration. The official’s scrutiny was thorough, and he was eventually waved through. His training ensured he was vigilant and noted the security and cameras. For years Morocco had been terrorist-free; until 2011 when a bomb exploded in a Marrakesh café, killing seventeen people; and recently eight Moroccan IS members were shown posturing on video, stating they ‘intend to bring jihad to Moroccan soil’; maybe Algeria was a buffer between Morocco and strife-torn Libya, but they weren’t taking chances. As a retired terrorist himself, he couldn’t blame the authorities.

            He opted for a taxi to Tangier city; it was 40km from the terminal but the route was so circuitous that it took almost forty minutes. During the journey, he thought again about the death of Petra. He was shaken by it. None of his other victims had affected him this way. Perhaps because she was a kindred spirit. He hadn’t meant to lose control. It had been too long since the last victim; and it was lousy timing.

            They passed many locals in all kinds of dress, from western through to traditional. There was amusement and laughter, and the occasional raised voice, probably on a mobile phone. He didn’t feel comfortable among these people. They were proud of their country and their king, it seemed, and he felt those sentiments were misplaced. He still yearned for a republic in Spain. On balance, he’d rather deal with the likes of Kamal Saleem; that man knew his place, even if he was a director of the health foods company.

            The taxi driver dropped him at the Hotel Continental. He was familiar with its white edifice, red flags fluttering from its rooftop. The nineteenth-century building seemed to mirror the town itself, being on several levels and featuring balconies, sun terraces and flights of exterior stairs.

            He mounted the steps, passed through the entrance arch and approached the receptionist, an attractive young Moroccan woman, dressed smartly in white silk blouse, broad black belt and tight red skirt. He addressed her in French and she responded with a throaty accent and offered the register. He gave her his passport, which she photocopied and returned, and he signed in; then she gave him his key and directed him to his room on the first floor.

            The passageways were decorated in colourful tiles, the arched windows draped with red curtains.

             Once in his room, he flung the case on the settee. The view through the window was panoramic, taking in the port, but all he could see was Petra, dead Petra.

            He emptied his pockets onto the small round coffee table at the foot of the bed. He needed a shower and a stiff drink. Forget Petra, he told himself. You have a job to do. Head of Security. And overseeing the Moulay Project, too. His pleasures came expensive and this little jaunt was the ideal means to acquire enough wealth from the Moulay find to indulge himself. Petra’s demise was unfortunate, a mistake. Best forgotten tonight with another woman.


Catacomb, a subterranean cemetery: a place where ancient corpses
are found – or new ones are dumped.
After their recent success in Barcelona, Cat and Rick continue their vendetta against Loup Malefice and his global company, Cerberus, penetrating the lair of Petra Grimalkin in Nice.
But death stalks the pair, as do the dogs of law from the NCA, Basset and Pointer.
Cat’s trail of vengeance next leads to the Cerberus health food processing plant in the Maghreb. She puts her skills to good use in Morocco where she again confronts the psychotic killer, Zabala.
From the exotic streets of Tangier to the inhospitable High Atlas Mountains, danger lurks and a deadly ambush awaits…

Catacomb, to be published 20 October.
E-book now available for pre-order. Paperback available soon!
Amazon UK here

Amazon Com here

Smashwords here

Available formats: epub mobi pdf rtf lrf pdb txt html

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