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WITCH DOCTOR'S VENGEANCE

The night before a crucial Senate vote, one of Canberra’s most powerful politicians is executed with surgical precision. The assassins deliver a shocking ultimatum to the Federal and State Governments - “Stop your partisan politics and restore power to the Australian people or more of you will die!”

Only Jake Lachlan, a rookie Queensland Senator, holds a clue to the violence. A sudden rash of political killings forces Jake to confront the spectre of a sinister conspiracy – bringing him face to face with one shocking truth after another with explosive implications for his country’s future.

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ISBN:   978-1-921406-20-1   
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 260
Genre: Fiction
Cover: Clifton Smith

 


Author: Andy L. Semple
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2008
Language: English

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AUTHOR BIO  

Andy L Semple was born in Darwin in the Northern Territory, but has lived most of his life on the Gold Coast. He holds a Geology Degree from the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, and a Commerce Degree from Bond University on the Gold Coast. 

He lives and works on the Gold Coast with his family, where he is currently working on a series of political action thrillers.  

When he isn’t writing novels, his day job is as the Managing Director of ANDIKA Pty Ltd, a Gold Coast based investment advisory company.  Witch Doctor’s Vengeance is his first novel.

Chapter 1  

FINGAL HEAD

4.35 a.m. - Monday

 

 

T

he old beach house sat alone surrounded by beach scrub and the darkness. Only the sound of waves crashing 50 metres northeast could be heard. The shutters were drawn and two Kelpie cross dogs lay asleep in front of a burning fire. A thin stream of smoke flowed out of the chimney and headed northwest, across the beach scrub towards Coolangatta. Inside, a man sat quietly in front of the fireplace, shoving stacks of paper into hot flames.

 

The papers were the product of many months of tiresome and detailed work. Each sheet represented hour upon hour of surveillance notes, in-depth subject profiles and detailed maps of suburbs throughout the Canberra metropolitan area. He knew when the police patrolled, who jogged and at what time, who walked their dogs, when the newspapers were delivered and most importantly, where his targets slept and what time they awoke.

He and his men had stalked them for months, watching, patiently discerning which part of their daily routine could be exploited and when they would be most vulnerable. The solitary figure sitting in front of the fire was an assassin, an exponent of death, trained and funded by the Australian Government. His short brown hair glowed as he stared deeper and deeper into the flames. Tomorrow he would kill. The times, places and targets had all been chosen. In less than twenty-four hours the course of Australian politics would be changed forever.

CANBERRA

8 a.m. - Monday

 

The sun rose over Canberra marking the start of what would be a long and busy day. With the Prime Minister’s energy legislation initiatives twenty-four hours away from a full Senate vote, the town was in frenzy. Members of Parliament, senators, bureaucrats and lobbyists were making a last minute push to amend or remove certain elements of the energy legislation. The count was too close to call and the leaders of the Australian Labor Party, Coalition, Democrats and Greens were exerting great pressure on the ten ‘independent’ senators who controlled the balance of power in the Senate. Two of the independent senators were believed to have Coalition leanings with three others leaning towards the ALP, leaving only five senators that were truly viewed as independents.

 

No one was exerting more pressure than Richard Falvey, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff. It was just after 8 a.m. and Falvey was ready to explode. He was standing at the backend of a classroom of a newly opened ABC childcare centre in the Canberra suburb of Dunlop watching the Prime Minister read ‘Dr SeussHorton Hears a Who!’ to a bunch of aged 5 kindergartners and he was getting angrier by the second. Falvey told the PM that the photo opportunity with the kids was a waste of time, but the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Tegan Thompson, had convinced the Prime Minister otherwise. It was rare for Falvey to lose to anyone, but Thompson had sold the Prime Minister on the idea that, in the throes of cutthroat legislation battles being played out, it would be good PR for him to look as if he were above the dirty political games of Canberra.

Falvey had been working around the clock for two months trying to get the Senate votes needed to pass the energy legislation. The government had announced funding for the creation of the first of Australia’s six nuclear power plants and two hydrogen energy plants to battle against the threat of climate change. The government recently ratified Kyoto and had set itself a target to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by the end of 2050. The energy legislation had already been passed in the lower house or the House of Representatives as the government had the numbers or the majority vote. The count however, would be close in the upper house or the Senate as the government had plenty of opposition to their proposal to fund, manage, maintain and insure the six new nuclear plants, but there was a plan to make a last minute charge to get the energy initiative over the line. The only problem was Falvey needed the Prime Minister back in his office on the phone, not in some childcare centre reading fucking kindy kids’ books.

The event had started late and now was running over its original half-hour time slot. Falvey looked at his watch for the twelfth time in the last ten minutes and decided that enough was enough. Looking over to his right, he glared at Tegan Thompson, who with a big cheesy grin on her face, was standing several metres away. Falvey slid like a snake between the wall and several of the Prime Minister and cabinet department staffers and worked his way over to Thompson. When he finally reached her, he pulled her back to the classroom exit and cupped his hand over her left ear. “This is the dumbest media stunt you have ever pulled. If the Prime Minister’s energy legislation shits itself tomorrow, you’re dead meat. This circus has gone nearly fifteen minutes over schedule. I am going back to the Prime Minister’s office and if he isn’t back there in thirty minutes I am personally going to shit-can you.”

Thompson strained to smile and look relaxed. She glanced around the classroom and noticed that some of the media were watching. She nodded her head several times and was relieved when Falvey finally stepped away and headed for the classroom exit. Thompson stood there for a moment and told herself what a prick Falvey was to work for.

 

Senator Jake Lachlan walked down the hallway of the Platinum @ The Exchange office building. It was just after 8 a.m. and the building was crowded with people. Lachlan avoided making eye contact with anyone for fear of being stopped and he was in a foul mood. Lachlan did not like Canberra, in fact he hated the place. In winter it was fucking cold and in summer it got too fucking hot. Midway along the hall he turned into an office and closed the door behind him.

Inside were 3 men wearing dark ‘matrix like’ suits and drinking coffee. Lachlan shot his secretary an oh shit glance, but before she could respond, all three men closed in on him.

“Senator Lachlan, could I please have a moment of your time? I just need five minutes,” pleaded the man closest to his office door. A short fat man pushed his way in front. “Senator, I would like to speak to you about how the cane farmers in your state will be affected if you don’t vote for Government’s energy legislation.”

The thirty-five-year-old rookie senator held up his hands. “Gents, you’re all wasting your time. I have already made up my mind and I will not vote for Government’s energy legislation. Now if you will kindly leave my office, I have rather a lot of work to do.” The group started to talk, but Lachlan opened the door and gave them the NRL referee sinbin gesture and waved them into the hallway. The three men stumbled to gather their briefcases and headed off dejectedly, in search of another senator to persuade.

The chubby lobbyist hung back and tried to give it another go. “Senator, I’ve talked to my people in your state and in your local region, and they’ve told me you have a lot of cane farmers waiting for the ethanol plant money the Treasurer has put aside in this legislation.” The lobbyist waited for a reaction from Senator Lachlan but got none. “If that part of the energy legislation doesn’t pass, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes come the next Senate election.”

Lachlan just gave him the ‘tell someone who gives a shit’ look and pointed at the door with his thumb. “I have work to do. Tell your story walking, pal! Good bye!”

With the vote close the lobbyist was not willing to give up that easily. “Senator Lachlan, if you vote no for the energy legislation the Australian Farmers’ Federation will be left no other choice than to support your opponent come the next Senate election.”

Lachlan gave a little smirk and said, “Nice try pal, but I’m not running for a second Senate term.” With that Lachlan grabbed the door and closed it in the chubby lobbyist’s face. Lachlan turned around to face his secretary, Carmen Duffy.

Carmen smiled and said, “I’m sorry, Jake. I told them you had a full calendar for the next few weeks, but they insisted on waiting around to see if you could fit them in.”

“No worries, Carmen. Please hold all my calls until lunchtime.”           Jake left the main reception area and walked into his office. He set his briefcase down beside his desk and switched on his laptop and waited for it to fire up. If the start of his day was anything to go by, Jake knew he was going to have a long shitty day.
 

 

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