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Beyond the Pale Cow
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-159-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fiction/Adventure/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 220 Pages
Published: July 2004



From inside the flap

Hate manifests itself in many forms. For the Irish and those linked to the IRA, hate seeps from every pore and it is directed to the British who have humiliated Ireland. Patrick O?Connor released with hundreds of other IRA prisoners still has a burning desire to harm the enemy of Ireland and he takes his plot to England to the very symbol of Britain’s greatest engineering feat, the umbilical cord that links Britain to the Europe, the Chunnel and against Andrew McCain, a police officer who killed his brother.

Peggy Jordan is a pathologist discovers the recent unexplained death of a teenager is a harbinger of a catastrophe in the British food industry and she become involved in issues of security to the health of the nation and oddly enough with the security of the Chunnel.
Andrew McCain, a retired Scotland Yard police detective is now head of security for the Chunnel and he finds himself involved with doctor who has discovered a terrible secret that endangers lives.

The novel is a strange mixture of the discover of a form of madness not just in cattle, but in man and the action packed thriller culminates under the Channel where two protagonists fight to either successfully destroy the Chunnel or protect it.


Beyond the Pale Cow (Excerpt)


BEYOND THE PALE COW



The magnetometer gave a pulse. Then it settled to its base line, as the cabin cruiser/ research vessel crossed another sector of imaginary lines. Something on the bottom of the ocean had excited it. Finding a sunken galleon was 30% luck, 50% research and 20% stupidity mixed with persistence. But Michael didn?t complain he had been bitten by the gold bug and this was the first time he had actually accompanied George Bracken who had already made him and his shareholder’s a fortune. But the Gold fever was a viable thing once you were bitten; it didn?t matter whether you were a neophyte or an experience addict. They had been out for two weeks and tomorrow or the next day they?d return for provisioning, mail, needed business on the mainland and maybe a good drunk. As yet each time they dived on a magnetometer’s blip it had turned out to be a false alarm. Oh the submersible camera had ruled out the majority of possibilities, but when they was nothing easily seen in the murky floor of the ocean then it was up to the diver and his scuba tanks and weights to find out. Every one of those had a potential of danger or even disaster. He was well aware that he was no longer a young man and physical exertion took its toll. He had been a diver for close to eight years so he knew about the dangers of the bends, sharks, barracuda and moray eels that struck out at you from hidden rocks. He had wished so much for the feeling of finding his first shipwreck or rather his first galleon. They had already discovered modern shipwrecks. The ocean it appears still was dangerous even with all the modern safety equipment.

Michael was rich yet he still wanted to earn the thrill of finding his own buried treasure. A million dollars was the cost of his investment but it meant more to him doing it himself than vicariously through others. It had not always been like that. Once nearly 15 years ago he had been in the very center of activity. Back in Ireland, back in a war he had been a follower of the Provos. He was not a listed member, but just an active sympathizer. He had been with a friend, a life long friend that was so filled with the desire of getting rid of the British that he was fought and killed. He was with Patrick when they had ambushed an army patrol. He had not actually shot the two men, but he was there and was thereby as guilty as if he had pulled the trigger himself. He had never seen a man killed in front of him before. Oh he had seen the result of the bombs to both the Catholics and the Protestants, but he hadn?t been right there. Now he had and that made him feel sick inside. Whether it was the blood or the look of helplessness in the young private that was hardly more than a teenager or the realization that killing was wrong. It mattered little that he wore an army uniform. That evening once the killing had taken place they found themselves in a firefight with another enraged army patrol. He knew he was not good at this type of life while Patrick was in his element. Maybe that was the difference between Patrick and himself. He was the planner while Patrick liked to be right in the killing zone. They ran with the army chasing them. He went through the Catholic ghetto where at least his presence would not be volunteered. Patrick had turn off and raced down another street. He heard the shooting. He knew instinctively that Patrick had been shot, killed or caught, which of the three he didn?t know until he stopped running. But he had not stopped until he was out of Ireland, Ulster or the South away. As long as it he was away from the killing and the hate. He was not helping. He could not shoot an unarmed man just because he thought that peace was more important than unification. He felt his legs and arms tremble when the bullets were flying and as for shooting down a British paratrooper just because he was trying to keep the peace was another thing he knew he could never do. So he escaped. He ran like a coward. What good was he? Unemployed for eight years with only training as a supply clerk. He booked a passage and because his name was not on a list he was allowed to go to America.

The history of the Emerald Island was not the idyllic greens that contrasted the deep blues of both the ocean and the sky. The language of the island was the Gaelic tongue which had been silenced by the invaders, those that came to Eire to use both the land, the peasants and take its wealth for their own use. No the Emerald Island had a different green. The true color that was below the surface was more the green of pile and the green of decay. Ireland was a land built on hate and strife, memories clouded any future because revenge was a stronger emotion than hope to raise a family in a land that had changed over the many recent years to a land that was becoming a power center for the European Union. Ever since the politicians in Eire changed their earlier preoccupation of looking inward and living on hates and fears, to that of outward horizons the island was now attracting trade. Even the rural economy had over a billion dollars pumped into its economy and each man woman and child for the most part was enjoying a resurgence of hope. Employment was at its greatest level ever and the many thousands of Irish youth who sought jobs in America or Europe and even in Britain were coming home to help build a new country.

Yet every since just after the First World War when 26 counties had been given their freedom from the yoke of Britain, history and memory were never far from everyone’s lives. Too many years of oppression, eight centuries of being treated like serfs in their own country had altered the mind of the average Irishman to the point that some might consider it damaged or flawed. Those that looked to the future rather than back to the past might in time grow as its population was growing. Now it had the fastest growing population in Western Europe with over half of its 4 million were under 25 years of age. Yes as the later part of the 20th century drew to a close Ireland had a strong future.

But a thorn in the side of each Irishman was the northern counties, six counties that fought to remain part of British. That thorn was always drawing blood. Riots between the Protestants and the Catholics and the British army that came to enforce some sort of peace were not just an aberration. The history of fighting dated back so many generations that few could really understand except for the interpretations that were used to spark fear, confirm the hate and intensive the slaughter. Since the late 60’s just in a decade or more 2,000 men, woman and children had been murdered all for the sake of ’showing them?. Over a billion dollars in property damage with nearly 18,000 people being injured was just the facts of what a madness created. Those that lived in Europe and the rest of the Western world just couldn?t understand the mentality. Yet each year hotheads still tried to march through the Catholic sections of Belfast rubbing the Catholic’s noses in the celebration of the Battle of the Boyne in 1712 where William of Orange defeated King James the second in a feeble and hardly significant military battle. But that battle had emphasized the division then and the division now. Ulster feared their assimilation into the Catholic south and decried the papal attachments. No Northern Ireland was Protestant or the majority was. Hadn?t over 5,000 Ulster volunteers died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Wasn?t that a declaration of their loyalty to the crown?

The police force in Northern Ireland was the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) 7,000 professionals tried to maintain the peace. But peace had been costly. Over 130 officers had been killed and 3,750 injured. Again this was the cost of a bitter history.

One young officer had learned as much as he could about the history of Ireland. If he could understand the mind of those that wouldn?t accept that the world was changing and politician barriers and nationalities were becoming more and more flexible. Then he might be able to predict or prevent the continued battle the IRA was fighting to prove that they could kill and maim and terrorize. The time had long since passed when war gained independence. It had worked in 1920 but Europe, Britain had just gone through the bloodiest war in living history and people wanted avoid more bloodshed and to settle it. That gave Ireland its independence and left the island partitioned into the south and the north. So he had spend his holidays in Ireland. No one knew he was a police officer. In some areas if they had he would have been killed. But he tramped the south. Marveled at the scenic beauty of the stone walls of Artan Islands, at the Giant’s Causeway to the ancient castles steeped in history of destruction. He too had read the history of Ireland not just from the British version but from the Irish perspective as well. He had discovered terms like Beyond the Pale. The Pale was a small area outside Dublin which the British controlled centuries before. They only controlled the land they stood on. Beyond the Pale, Irish lived with their religion, their language and their culture. He understood how precarious England’s claim to controlling Ireland was then and was now. So as he gained more knowledge he might not have gained respect for the IRA but he learned that even with their numbers dwindling down to 250 active souls they couldn?t be ignored. An economy that was motoring along had few people unemployed. Unemployment gave men and youth the time to dwell on the past and time to blame others. So maybe the cure for the troubles was a land that was successful, where people could live their lives with modern conveniences, a car and have holiday to the sea with a family where children could once again have a future. Maybe that’s why he felt so uncomfortable. Something was wrong! Just like a mother learned that when a baby is silent it is up to something and that something might be catastrophic.

The security teams had already taken their time and had gone through the rooms and the conference rooms with both Sniffer dogs, and their own elaborate electronic equipment. One thing they knew and knew for a fact that the Iron Lady would brook no eaves dropping. If they found a bug that was able to listen into the private and top secret discussions then each one of them would be walking a beat in some ghetto. So they did their job professionally and left nothing to chance. All the arrangements had been made months ago. The caterers where screened as were their employees. The didn?t want a Trojan horse with IRA leaning to grin like a Chester cat at the good fortune allowed them to make a forceful blow for their cause.

All round the buildings there were roads cut off and roadblock set up. But everyone knew they had done their job. If something was missed then they deserved a dressing down. Each member of the cabinet and all his support staff had been body searched. Even some of the secretaries were humiliated when they were asked to undergo a body search. But attractive women were as dangerous as angry men were. It was just the allure of a beautiful female than made a man often give them the benefit of the doubt. That doubt might cost lives. So despite complaints they followed orders and these orders were under the direct signature of the PM. Now no one went to the trouble of frisking her. No one dared. No one wanted to feel her wrath or any other part of her.