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GOOD AS GOLD


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Good as Gold is a work of crime fiction set in Sydney’s North Shore. 

When former New South Wales Detective Sergeant Craig Johnson is almost blown apart by a parcel bomb at his front door he, and his partner Charlie, are placed on extended leave. 

It is suspected that David Boyce, an ex-British Special Forces operative, could be on to the fact that he was being investigated and was behind the attack. 

With possible connections to organised crime a beautiful journalist looks like she has her own hidden agenda to seek out whoever is responsible. 

Plenty of action with twists and turns make this a page-turning read from start to finish. 

In Store Price: $AU23.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

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ISBN:   978-1-921919-54-1  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 131
Genre: Fiction
/Crime

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Author: Ken MacKenzie 2012
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2012
Language: English

Author bio.

 

The author spent twenty-nine years in the security industry, working on doors in pubs and clubs on Sydney’s northern beaches in the mid eighties through to the nineties.  

The last twenty years he has been employed driving armoured cars around both metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales.  

He presently resides in the small village of Byabarra on the mid north coast and enjoys wandering and fossicking while exploring the Australian bush. 

Chapter 1  

Blondie yelped loud enough to wake the dead; the silly bitch had probably stumbled onto another blue tongue lizard up on the front porch, I thought to myself as I ignored her and locked the car. Picking up the shopping bags I began to walk up to the house, I only got halfway across the driveway on my way to the front door, when an explosion suddenly picked me up bodily and threw me onto the front of my car. I rolled off the bonnet and down onto the ground, lying there on my back, with the noise of the blast still ringing in my ears.

Dazed and bruised I lay on the concrete; I could feel the wetness of blood and chunks of flesh hanging from my face, arms and body. I thought I must have been in a bad way, but wasn’t game to look. There wasn’t any pain so I guessed I must have been in shock. I remembered that sometimes people didn’t always feel any pain until they actually saw their injuries.

After what felt like ages, but I knew was only minutes I heard the wail of sirens and forced myself to look down my body while running my hands around my head. Reasoning that if I started to feel any pain after seeing how bad I was hurt, the ambos were close enough now to give me a shot of pethidine or morphine, to dull the pain.

Slowly I raised my head and began to check myself out, I laughed mirthlessly, realising I wasn’t really injured at all, apart from a possible concussion, which was most probably caused from my head and back slamming into the bonnet, or when I hit the concrete driveway. The chunks of flesh and blood were in fact pieces of Blondie, mixed with spilt milk and other food stuffs from my damaged shopping.

Getting unsteadily to my feet I followed the trail of blood, guts, hair and skin to where I found the largest portion of Blondie, her head and upper torso lying a dozen feet away on the front lawn. Slowly I began to make my way over. As I got closer I saw that her intestines were hanging from her torn body. I knelt beside her and patted her head, my eyes beginning to fill with tears. I comforted myself with the thought that at least she had died instantly.

Standing up, I wiped my eyes and walked back to the front porch to survey the damage more closely.

Climbing the steps onto the porch I carefully moved one of Blondie’s severed legs out of the way with the toe of my running shoe and looked down at the several burnt and torn pieces of what appeared to have once been a small cardboard box. The pieces of cardboard lay amongst a black burnt powder residue, roughly the size of the lid of your average two-litre ice cream container spread out on the surface of the concrete porch. This was all that remained of what had been the source of the explosion, a crude home made bomb.

Looking about I took in the carnage, the front door was hanging by the bottom hinge, with what looked like a couple of three eighth size nuts and bolts embedded in it. Two of the four windows in the front of the house were completely shattered. My car had a hole in the front passenger door that the average man could have shagged and the rear passenger window was completely gone. Obviously whoever had made the bomb had opted for large gauge bolts and nuts, if they’d gone for a smaller gauge and a shit-load more metal they would have got move coverage and I’d have been dead as dog shit. That and the fact that Blondie had taken the brunt of the blast, were the two main contributing factors in my still pumping air.

Looking up I saw a fire engine and two police cars come flying down the street. As if on cue the neighbourhood started to come to life, as all the busy bodies began to appear and have a gawk. I noticed nobody had stuck their head out earlier, when I’d been lying there on the ground enjoying my near death experience.

I pulled out a crumpled pack of smokes from one of the deep side pockets of my cargo shorts and lit up, my hand visibly shaking. Slowly I drew the pungent fumes deep into my lungs, holding it there, savouring the taste before finally letting it go and exhaling the thick blue stream of smoke in the direction of the crowd of emergency workers that were running up my driveway towards me.

Sitting in my backyard, I admired as always the blackboy palms in the landscaped tropical garden, as I sipped my third bourbon and coke and smoked yet another cigarette, while Detective Sergeant Bill Peters shot another dumb fuck question at me.

“So Johno, who do you reckons trying to put the frighteners onto you?”

I’d known Bill Peters a lot of years, he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, the wrong side of fifty and an eight schooner a day man, he ate the full leaded, 16 mg durries like they were smarties. I was giving them a real hammering too, but then again some low dog cunt had just tried to blow me away.

“Who knows Bill, your guess is about as good as mine.”

He scribbled away in his notebook, I couldn’t imagine what Peters could be writing, surely not my reply to his question. I watched his watery blue eyes as they followed his pen across the page.

Finally he put down the notebook and pen and leaned back and got another smoke going. Leaning forward I butted mine out, sickened by the amount of dead bumpers that lay twisted in the bottom of the ashtray. But as I swallowed the dregs in my glass and reached again for the bottle of Wild Turkey, I reasoned that a lot less than half were actually mine.

“You sure you don’t want one, Bill?” I could see the poor bastard was absolutely tonguing for a drink, as he sat there in his cheap dark blue suit in the late afternoon heat.

“No. Thanks anyway, Johno.”

While I was adding the Pepsi Max and ice from the esky a tall ginger-haired bloke in overalls came through the back door accompanied by a young uniformed constable. They stopped next to us and the young cop spoke directly to Peters.

“Excuse me Sarge, this bloke’s here to fix the windows. And, well I couldn’t find Detective Summers anywhere to see if it was alright.” He trailed off.

“Righto, son.”

“Jules!” boomed out Peters, as he tried to locate his offsider, a young female detective constable that was supposed to be out the front overseeing the boys from forensic.

A minute later the young detective stuck her head round the door.

“Yeah, Sarge?” She was as ugly as a hatful of arseholes. Skinny, flat chested, with short auburn hair, she had dyke written all over her.

“Have the boys finished out the front yet?” asked Peters.

“Just about.”   

“Well when they have, can you let this bloke know, so he can fix the windows?”

“No problem.” She smiled and disappeared. The little bitch had probably been going through my cupboards.

“When you’re cleaning up the glass and shit can you put any bits of my dog you find to one side, so I can bury her later?” I asked the glass bloke.

“Sure mate, no problem.”

He and the general duties officer turned and left. Peters and I watched them wander off through the house, then I looked back to my inquisitor.

“Come on Bill, this is bullshit, you and I both know you’ve got fuck all chance of finding who tried to neck me, so let’s finish up, if I come up with anything I’ll give you a call, fair enough?”

He looked me over for a couple of seconds before he spoke in a low voice.

“Fuck you Johno, whatever you’ve gotten yourself into, make sure you keep it out of my turf, I get out in just over twelve months and I want a clean brief. I don’t need the fucken’ agro, I survived the purges of the nineties and the naughties, just ’cause you didn’t, doesn’t mean you’ve gotta drag any other cunt down with ya. You got that?”

I looked him hard in the eyes as I spoke. “In my book Bill, the only thing that I ever did wrong, was, I never sucked cock.”

Peters got up from the outdoor setting and walked up onto the back veranda, huffing and puffing from the little exertion, he spun around, his huge beer gut wobbling as he spoke. “You always were a smartarse Johno, that’s why they arseholed ya, ’cause you wouldn’t conform, if you’d sucked a bit of cock, all would have been forgiven. But no, you couldn’t do that. You’ve made your bed. So you can fucken’ well lie in it!”

I laughed to myself as Peters turned and went through the door. Obviously by his parting remark, Peters meant he wasn’t very interested in finding out who wanted me dead, as I no longer belonged to the brotherhood of the Police Service, I was on my own. Sitting there sucking on my bourbon I let my brain tick over as to what had happened. Who was after me, was it just a scare, or was it fair dinkum. Fuck knows I had enough enemies, but I’d been pretty quiet lately unless it had to do with Boyce, but surely he didn’t have any idea we were onto him. I rubbed the back of my neck, which was sore from the stress of the afternoon’s excitement and my ride up onto the bonnet. Then I thought again about poor silly Blondie, she was always a bastard at Christmas, ripping the paper from the presents under the tree. She’d seen that box at the front door and ripped into it, fucken’ dumb dog! How was I going to tell the kids? I was lost in my own thoughts, not a good place to be when some cunt’s trying to kill you, when a voice brought me around. “G’day, mate.”

I looked up and saw a bloke in his mid twenties in blue board shorts, sand shoes and a white tee shirt with a wave and surfing logo splashed across his chest, standing on the veranda looking down at me.

“Who are you?”

“Brett sent me about the door.” Brett was a builder mate of mine, I’d rung up, he’d also put me onto the glass company.

“Oh right. Do you reckon you can salvage the door?” I asked.

“No way mate, it’s well and truly fucked. I rang Brett, he’s gunna drop one over later. What hit it anyway?”

“An eight year old and a couple of nuts and bolts.”

The young bloke gave me a funny look. “Must have been a bloody big eight year old.”

I drained the last of my drink before answering, “Yeah, she was.”

As the young chippy wandered back inside, I got up and followed him through the house and out to the front yard. I felt sticky from the heat even though I’d changed my filthy clothes and showered before my interview with Peters.

The glass bloke and his offsider were taking a large sheet of glass from the side of their truck and carrying it between them up towards the house. The coppers and reporters had all gone, I’d noticed the young detective constable giving them some line of chat earlier, smiling brightly as she spoke. Whatever she’d said had seemed to satisfy the lot of them and they’d left me in peace, happy to just video the scene and talk into the cameras, surprisingly enough. I looked around at the pieces of Blondie scattered on the front patio, driveway and lawn. Then I turned to the garage to get a shovel, it was time to put Blondie to rest with all the other pets, down under the big blackboy out the back.  

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