“Chapter 1”

Steve Conway pushed through the crowd at the arrival hall of Bangkok’s Don Muang airport and headed for the public taxi stand. Ah, it was good to be back in The City of Angels, Krung Thep, The Big Mango or whatever you wanted to call it, there was no city on earth like Bangkok.

He stepped outside through the glass doors into oppressive heat. Within a minute his shirt clung to him like a sheet of plastic cling wrap as rivulets of sweat rolled down his spine.

He joined the queue for the public taxis and began to admire the shapely form of the slim, stylish young Thai woman waiting in front of him. She was a knockout in every sense! His eyes travelled from the amber-tinted sunglasses sitting atop the glossy, black shoulder length mane, to the designer white linen waist length jacket and knee length dress, down the well-toned almond legs to the gold Grecian sandals. There was a lingering sweet aroma of a perfume which had to be expensive. She exuded class from the top of her well-coiffed head to the tip of her well-shod toes. He was comparing her livery of matching Louis Vuitton suitcase and shoulder bag with his battered brown Samsonite, when the shooting started.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Three shots in rapid succession echoed around the cavernous concourse sending the queue and everyone else screaming and running in panic in all directions. Some fell, tripping over in their haste, to be immediately trampled in the instant stampede.

The first shot took down a young female backpacker beside Conway. The second in rapid succession, dropped a taxi driver as he was about to grab the suitcase of the stylish young woman. She cried out in horror and bent to him, an act which saved her life. The third shot flew over her head and shattered the floor to ceiling glass window beside where she had been standing.

She looked up, her face a mask of fear and bewilderment. Conway had heard that sound and seen that look before. The sound was the staccato bark of an M-16 and he’d seen that same look on the faces of villagers in South Vietnam when the shooting started and the bombs began to fall.

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