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Book Jacket

0954280911
Mass Paperback
320 pages
Aug 2004
Victor Newman Books

Air Rage

by Sam Yarney

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Excerpt:

    It was the rays of the rising sun that woke Liddy.  Cyrus was still fast asleep.  She gently eased herself out of bed and went on to the balcony.  “Beautiful,” she whispered to herself as she watched the shimmering azure water below, glinting and sparking in the early morning light all the way to the island of St. John.  They had arrived the previous evening after catching a connecting flight in Miami.  The journey itself had been comfortable.  The highlight had been a man at Miami airport who had walked up to Cyrus and shaken his hand.  “Loving seeing you on TV,” he had said.  Cyrus had looked slightly embarrassed by the encounter, but h ad joked to Liddy about the downside of being a rising TV personality.  “You become everyone’s friend,” he said.  They picked up a hire car on their arrival and drove to the hotel.  Too exhausted to have a proper dinner, they grabbed a quick snack and collapsed into bed.

        She padded back into the room at nibbled at Cyrus; ear.  “Fancy an early morning dip?”  

        Cyrus tried to catch an extra few minutes of sleep, but Liddy would have none of that.  Half an hour later, they were in the pool.

        It was later on in the afternoon, after a sightseeing trip to Charlotte Amalie that Cyrus made a phone call to Pauline O’Farrell.  Her answering machine came on.  Cyrus left no message.  He managed to speak to her after sharing an enjoyable dinner with Liddy.  Pauline O’Farrell would join them for breakfast the following morning.  

        The next morning, Pauline O’Farrel, dressed in the brightest offerings from the season’s Versace collection and fingers sparking with an array of expensive gems, joined Cyrus and Liddy for breakfast at eight.  The Andersons were casually dressed to the point of slovenliness.  Cyrus jokingly apologized to Pauline for their extreme vacation look.  Picking at their fruit salad and muesli, both parties made small-talk, sizing each other up.  Pauline O’Farrell spoke with a broad English accent, tinged from time to time with an American twang.  The Anderson’s soon came to the conclusion that she was a smart cookie and not the brash-looking airhead they had assumed her to be when they had first met.  She did not appear in the least bit perturbed that her husband was missing, presumed dead—commenting, interestingly, that Andy had not been a fresh-scrubbed choirboy.  She revealed that she was financially set for life and that she and their two girls were doing fine.  They discovered that she ran successful jewelry shops on St. Thomas and Grand Cayman and was thoroughly enjoying the venture.

        Before she left, she removed a thin, sealed envelope from her Gucci handbag and passed it to Cyrus.  “Andy maintained a safe-deposit box in a local bank.  We had a prior arrangement that allowed me access in the event of something happening.  Inside the box were instructions for this envelope to be given to you.”

        She rose from the table.  “Why don’t you come over to The Cajun Eaterie for dinner this evening?”

        Cyrus looked at Liddy, his eyes asking permission from his “missus”.  Liddy nodded.  “It will be a pleasure.”

        “How about eight?”  Pauline asked.

        Cyrus and Liddy nodded.  “One last thin,” Cyrus said conspiratorially to Pauline.  “How were you able to identify me as the caller to your home a few days ago?”

        Pauline winked.  “I’ll tell you this evening.”  Scribbling quick direction on a napkin, she strolled away like a catwalk model.

        “She might have a heart of gold,” Liddy observed wryly.  “But there is no way I would have allowed you to fly here alone  with that one on the loose.”

        “What!  Do I sense some jealousy here, Mrs. Anderson?”

        Liddy smiled.  “Just a joke.  It’s a woman thing.  Who knows?  We might even end up being the best of friends.”

        Cyrus and Liddy sat side-by-side on the bed in their hotel room and stared at the single sheet of paper they had taken from the envelope.

        For the eyes of Cyrus Anderson alone.

        Cyrus dug Liddy gently in the ribs.  “Time to close your eyes,” he joked.  

 

    Dear Mr. Anderson,

    If you are reading this then, most probably, I am dead.  Also dead are Dominique Faye-Hannegan and Tom Ludwig, a New York PI whom I hired to infiltrate the clinic where Dominique was living long-term.  Dominique is the source of the enigmatic French poem.  I put the contests of this document together on my return to St. Thomas after giving you an envelope in Hinchingbrooke Park in Huntingdon.  I suspected that you might not call me immediately or that I would meet an unfortunate end before you called.  What I have detailed in this document might prove invaluable to you in the near future.  The downside is that you will have to travel to Grand Cayman with my wife Pauline.  You are to go to the Maritime and Commerce Bank of the Caribbean and ask for Mr. Lundy.  After he inspects your ID he will take you to a safety deposit box that I keep at the bank.  Inside it is an envelope with your name on it.  Follow the instructions in the envelope meticulously.  Pauline will give you every assistance you ask of her, without prying.  She knows next to nothing about this matter, but is aware that her survival might depend on your success.  Irrespective of the outcome of your quest, please look her up from time to time.  I have instructed her to contact you if at any time she or the girls are in grave danger.  That’s the least you can do for a dead man’s family.

    Andy