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“It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear
of losing power corrupts those who wield it,
and fear of the scourge of power corrupts
those who are subject to it.”
 ----Aung San Suu Kyi
 National League
for Democracy,
Burma (Myanmar)

An Unlawful Act in Libya


Extract from An Unlawful Act In Libya

A loutish young man with thick, wet lips accepted my passport as if I had just dropped it in the terminal building’s filthy toilets. Behind him there were two officials doing absolutely nothing. One of them reclined in a chair and stared out of the window. The other actually sat on his haunches on top of a desk, barefooted and hunched, like some malevolent succubus. My visa was examined very carefully, and then, apparently in disappointment at not being able to find fault with it, the guy turned to the one on the desk and held it out towards him saying. "Museriya". Egyptian. The succubus nodded slowly, then spat a stream of tea out at my passport. He had been drinking from a tiny glass.
Grinning his satisfaction, the guy at the counter handed me back my passport, dripping with tea. "Leh?" Why. I asked. They all burst out laughing, even the one who had been staring through the window. But it was hard, brittle laughter which did not reach their eyes, and in their cold-fish stares I sensed something else; they were dying for an excuse to do something more to me. Something much worse. All I had to do was to utter the right words to make it possible

A Murderous Act In Iraq


Extract from A Murderous Act In Iraq  

"Mr Ramshaw, please you not to do that. You have heard, yes, of embassy officials who can exit quietly at night while MI5 or Anti Terrorist Branch sitting in cars are not looking....then they can go and crush Iraq enemies at safety in your country? Well, same can happen to you, sir. No one can deceive His Excellency Uday Saddam Hussein."
To my bemusement, there was a sustained round of applause to this from Uday's eagerly watching entourage. Uday himself looked bored. He banged the butt of his golden Beretta on the desk for silence.
"I am sure you will do this thing for me," he said in English as he raised his large red eyes to me. There was a contemplative, faraway look in his eyes which intrigued me. For a moment he looked.....well, this was a surprise.....sort of lonely and vulnerable. In fact I had started to believe it was only a trick of the light until he began to speak again. "My father, he thinks I am like my grandfather, my mother's father, a thief and a liar. He does not give me important posts in military and security, but gives to my younger brother, Qusay. Why? Because he thinks I cannot do, that Qusay do better," Uday intoned bitterly. He stopped to remove a letter from his jeans’ pocket. "I write to my father this.....this letter." He handed a crumpled scrap of paper to his interpreter to translate. The interpreter loosened his tie, looking uncomfortable, and translated slowly.
"Your Excellency my father, you are only powerful man in Iraq who can stand up to a lot of big nations and defeat them. I'm not looking for materialistic things, so that's why I don't want to work in government. But I want to learn from you, so I'll be ready for the stage after Saddam Hussein. When that day is come I will defend against the hatred towards you that will come out in people after your death. Please give me chance, your elder son, to take over from you, not Qusay who is young."

A Crazy Act In Uganda


 Extract from A Crazy Act In Uganda
He yanked at my door. It came off in his hand. I cowered back on the seat.
"My son.....my son will die now...."
The giant had spoken in thickly accented English. I licked dry lips. The arm holding the handgun hung loosely by his side. He was in army camouflage uniform, drenched almost black in sweat.
"Your son?" I got out in Swahili. "Is he sick? I am a doctor."
"Doctor!" he exhaled in a roar that sent spittle flying to my face. An arm as thick as an elephant's trunk reached out and grabbed my wrist. He jerked me out and began pulling me towards his jeep, which had crashed into a roadside ditch. "Where you learn this Swahili?"
"I grew up in this country."
His pumpkin head rotated briefly, and piggy little eyes raked my face. He was striding and I was running to keep up with him. In the back of the jeep was a small boy of no more than 6 or 7, lying flat on the floor.
"Snakebite," said the giant. "I was taking my son to the hospital. Now he will die. You are carrying medicine?"
"No....no serum. Sorry. My fault, I should have brought some."
To my dismay the man began crying. Quietly. Tears rolling down his cheeks.
I took out my pocket torch and shone it on the boy. He was unconscious and looked terrible. Cyanosis had set in. He was drawing short and shallow breaths, too far apart, and sounded like a broken harmonica. A light went on in my head.
"Where....where was he bitten?” I demanded.
"I....I don't know," moaned the giant.
I had expected a more helpful answer.
"You don't know? Didn't you look? Did you see the snake? What was it like?"
"No, we don’t see it. The bastard is too quick. One minute my boy is eating his meal, next minute he is on the ground."
I tore the boy’s clothes off, looking for puncture marks, but I already had a hunch that I wouldn't find any.
"Scoop him up in your arms," I told the giant. "Hold him with his head hanging backwards, over one arm. Hurry, for Christ's sake!"
Dashing the tears off his massive moon face, the man reached forward with great, paw-like hands which made his son look like a rag doll. When the child's head was lolling right back I placed my fingers on either side of his jaw to force his mouth open. He was almost gone. I hadn't seen him draw another breath for very long. It was going to be touch and go.
I reached into his mouth and pressed his tongue down to see into his throat with my torch.
 Yes, my hunch had been right.
"Hold him tight. Don't let him move," I ordered. But I needn't have worried. When I thrust my hand into the little mouth and sent my fingers gently probing down his throat, he never moved a muscle. Luck was with us. I made contact with the bone almost immediately. Clutching it firmly between the sides of my forefinger and middle finger, I carefully drew it out in a mess of blood, mucus and saliva. "Put him down flat." The giant laid the limp form on its back. I made some rapid compressions to the boy's chest, intending to follow up with some mouth to mouth resuscitation, but just as I was lowering my head towards his little face, he gasped. A huge, gobbling intake of breath, as if he had emerged from under water. Once more. And again, and again. I sat back as the boy's chest began moving of its own accord. "You really should be more careful when you feed your child chicken," I told the giant as I held up the splintered chicken bone in the torchlight.
Relief creased the big man's fleshy face into deep folds.
"It was my wife. I will beat her when I get home," he replied with feeling. He spread his hands and looked up at the night sky. "May you be blessed for saving my son's life."
By then the boy had opened his eyes and was looking around in a daze. His colour was almost back to normal.
The big man was still regarding me intently.
I don't know exactly what it was. His military uniform? The small dark eyes that seemed to look straight into my soul? It was as if he expected more. Even though he was still looking suitably grateful, the dynamics had changed. It was I who was becoming in awe of him again.
"Doctor, who are you?" he said. "I must know your name. We are brothers now. You have saved the life of my son, my blood." I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out a damp business card. The big man seemed to squint at it for a long time, his lips moving soundlessly. Admittedly the ambient light was poor, even with the headlights of both vehicles still on. But there were not that many words on my card. "Dr Callum Mackenzie," he finally said. A big smile broke out across his face. "You are welcome. Scotland people are good," he held out a hand big enough to squeeze my head like an over-ripe watermelon. "I am Captain Idi Amin, King's African rifles," he added as he shook my hand while placing my business card securely in his own shirt pocket.

You can read any book in The Dictator Thriller Series first. Which one will you choose? Do you prefer a kindle edition or a paperback? The choice is yours. Here are their links to Amazon: