Meet Aidan Neary Invalided out of the army, ex-Platoon Sergeant Aidan Neary is a man increasingly at odds with the world, the more so when five hundred kilos of choice Colombian cocaine, destined for the streets of south London, goes missing. Guilty by association, for Neary it becomes a descent into a contemporary London underworld of fight clubs and women's boxing, night time 'ghost singers' and new casinos, sweaty old men's gyms and asceptic fitness centres, new London and old 'Yard'. And foolishly, or otherwise, there seem to be just too many characters who simply want to get in his way in finding out the truth, or otherwise, of the drug shipment that never was !
'Full eye-contact defiance,' intoned the stipendiary magistrate. 'Not the most elegant of phrases, I suppose, but to the point. That must tell the court something about you. Even in your present wretched state.'
All that now stopped Neary's full eye-contact defiance of the legal establishment was that his head ached. It was raw pain. It was stress. And it was dehydration. He was running on empty. It pained him so much that he could hardly open his right eye.
Massaging his right temple he let his other fingers absently explore what remained of his once long and tangled hair which had been cropped back to allow five stitches, cobbled cold, to crust beneath a plaster. He still wore the torn biker's leathers that he had been arrested in. And it would take more than a soapy-sponge to put life back into the one-piece suit that had taken months to mould to his body.
The memory was as jagged as the pain in his head. The black cab had cut him up in the one-way system at The Fridge bar and club, bottom of Brixton Hill, sent his bike under the wheels of a bus and him hard into the kerb. Bastard knew he'd done it. He'd braked, his tail lights had shown that, he'd stopped long enough to look, saw him moving then accelerated straight into traffic snarled up on the Brixton Road as far down as the Academy and the Stockwell Road.
I was at his side-window and wanted him out. Centrally-locked the doors and he thought he was safe. And then he smiled at me, or laughed, couldn't say which, but he'd nearly killed me. I hurt. I really hurt. And he had to know, to know it was wrong. Wouldn't open the window so I put my fist through it, kept it going in, fist and glass straight into his smiling face. And again, and again …