Name the title of Book 3 Steve Regan Undercover Cop and win a free $50 Amazon gift voucher and more.
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Have a go! Name the title of Book 3 Steve Regan Undercover Cop. I will choose the best and most appropriate title. The winner will receive:
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- A $50 Amazon voucher
- And a character in the book will be named after the winner
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Book 3 Steve Regan Undercover Cop
“Two long haul flights within four days?” I asked.
“Yes, Steve. It’s better and safer for you to get in to Australia, do what needs to be done, then get out again,” Graham, my boss, said.
“So, run that by me again. How come they asked for me?”
‘They’ were the Australian Federal Police in Melbourne.
“You can blame your wife for that. Orn told her old boss how good you are at undercover work. He took notice because she was also a top undercover in that outfit as you know,” Graham said.
I did know. Orn was born in Thailand but raised in Australia. Before I married Orn, I knew her from an undercover assignment in Thailand. She was so good, I didn’t know she was an Australian federal undercover agent until I got back to the DOCS HQ in London. She saved my life out there and nearly got killed herself. She did lose an eye but survived. She is still beautiful. We got married six months after I returned to the UK. Now, we work together at DOCS. Oh, and we have twins. A boy, Marco and a girl, Mae. We also have a charming, beautiful daughter, Kamon, from Orn’s previous marriage.
My thoughts focussed back to the conversation.
“But why can’t they use one of their own?” I asked.
“They need someone good who is genuinely from out of the country. Not from Australia. It’s simply too risky to insert one of their own.”
“I see. They would rather have a Pom with his neck on the chopping block?”
Graham laughed. “Probably,” is all he said.
There was more to it than that. Graham knew it. So did I. This was a politically sensitive assignment. Not for me or Graham. Not for the mob I worked for: a UK secret government department known as DOCS, or Destroy Organised Crime Syndicates to give it its full ‘christening’ name. It was sensitive for the Australian government but only if it all went tits-up.
There was a white supremacist faction in Australia with plans to assassinate a Melbourne politician. His ideas and agenda were far too liberal for the faction. They had decided to terminate him. First, they had approached some of the Melbourne mafia. There were plenty of local hitmen for hire but they had all baulked at this one – “too much heat” was the usual response. Now, they had decided to engage someone from overseas. What they didn’t know is the gang member who was going to introduce me as the Brit hitman was a paid informant.
It was the usual boring long-haul flight to Australia. I did manage to sleep a while but mostly I was thinking about what lay ahead. It was always the unknown that scared me most. Put me in place, let me do my thing and I was fine. The nerves disappeared like snow flakes in hell. You know why? I get into role, like a method actor on stage. Except I’m not acting. I really do believe I am who I say I am. Good job. If I didn’t, I’d be dead.
I was also a little worried about the covert recording device in my pocket. It was secreted inside a cigarette lighter sealed in by a laser beam. “New technology,” Jack had reassured me. Jack was our gadget man who used to work with GCHQ before joining us full-time.
When I first heard I was expected to wear a wire, I had objected. The ones I knew about were the size of half a house brick. It had to be taped to your skin to secure it. Useless, they were. You may as well have a sign on your forehead: ‘I’m a Cop.’ When Jack had showed me this new type, I thought ‘Wow!’ – that’s more like it. We tested it in the DOCS HQ a few times. It worked. All I had to do was press a small button on the base of the lighter. It was then voice-activated. All the conversations were recorded on to a small card also laser sealed inside the lighter. Damn clever, these Chinese. It was light years ahead of anything the police had. Then again DOCS was light years ahead in everything we did compared with the fuzz.
Time to buckle up. The flight will be landing in forty minutes. That’s what the announcement said, and it did with the gentlest of bumps as the wheels touched down. I had said my usual ‘Hail Mary’ on the descent, as I do on take-off since someone told me they are the two most dangerous parts of flying. The “Hail Mary’ was habit now. I hope my mother doesn’t hear me say that. Since I have known Orn, I think I am leaning towards Buddhism rather than Catholicism.
The jet stopped and everyone released their seat belts. I got up from my seat and retrieved my carry-on bag. I was travelling light so no suitcase for me in the hold. Then we all disembarked. It was Immigration next so I showed my passport. The one in the name of Steve Regan. That’s not my real name and neither is Ryan. Steve Ryan is the name I used in Thailand.
I’m now in hitman mode so when the immigration guy stares at my photo then at me. I’m thinking ‘stay cool.’ So, I fixed his look with one of my own. Not too long or aggressive as I don’t want to draw attention to myself.
“Business or pleasure, sir?” He said.
My back story was all set. I was there for a short ‘pleasure’ trip to see an old friend who was sick. Mr. Immigration noted my return flight was set for three days from the date of arrival.
“Quick for pleasure?” He inquired.
“Yes.” I explained the reasons as per my back story. It convinced him. He didn’t answer but stamped my passport with the arrival approval. I walked through customs unhindered.
Outside the international terminal, I mingled with the throngs. I was wearing my trademark Aviators but by prior arrangement I was also wearing a baseball cap, a Washington Redskins cap, and a sweatshirt with “GAP’ emblazoned on the front. I had on my blue faded, denim jeans and dragged my bright-red wheeled carry-on bag behind me. That’s what they were on the look-out for. Someone answering my description.
I had been waiting about five minutes and just finished a cigarette when a large black car pulled up at the kerb. The passenger window powered down and the passenger simply said. “Regan?”
“Yes,” I said. The front passenger got out and opened the rear passenger door. I got in. He took my bag and placed it into the boot. Then he returned to the front passenger seat. Turning around, he grinned and said, “Welcome to Australia. I’m Kenny and the driver is Wally.”
“Good to meet you,” I said.
“We’ll drive to the safe house and have a chat there.”
“Right.” I thought, ‘Funny how it’s called a chat. I hope it’s more than that. It’s my life at stake here.’
I had no need to worry. These guys were good. They had both been with the Aussie Feds for years. Both knew Orn and we exchanged a few pleasantries. I dismissed all thoughts of her and asked the agents not to mention her again. They understood. I was in the role or soon would be. I needed no distractions.
The safe house was a short drive from the airport in the Melbourne suburb of Tullamarine. We arrived outside of the one-storey two-bedroomed house in Gladstone Park about thirty minutes from leaving the airport. The house was at the end of a cul-de-sac meaning less neighbours, less watchers, less twitching curtain nets.
“You wanna beer?” Kenny asked.
“Good idea,” I said. Three cans of beer arrived from the kitchen refrigerator, courtesy of Kenny and the Australian federal government.
“How do you wanna play this? I mean timing and all that?” Kenny asked.
I sipped my beer and thought for a moment. I felt a bit jaded after the flight. That was a deciding factor.
“Best plan is for me to have a few beers, get some kip. Start fresh as a daisy tomorrow.”
“Okay, that’s what’ll happen then. We’ll pick you up at nine tomorrow morning. Take you to the meet with our informant then you and he go and meet the crim.” Kenny said.
“Crim?” I asked.
“Aussie for criminal, perp, or whatever you Poms call them.”
“Suspects or targets,” I replied.
I looked at my watch. It was ten in the morning. ‘Good,’ I thought. ‘Another couple of beers then shuteye.’
I woke up at six-thirty, showered, got dressed and strolled into the kitchen. There was bread, bacon and eggs in the refrigerator. There was also a coffee machine. I made coffee and found the frying pan. Twenty minutes later I was sat at the dining table tucking into my fry-up and enjoying the coffee. There was an ashtray on the side of the draining board in the kitchen, so I took out a cigarette and had a smoke. I used Jack’s lighter, checking first to see if I had the knack of pressing the slightly raised bump at the base of the lighter. That was the ‘on’ button. A voice or voices would activate the tiny recorder secreted inside. It was a long way to come to fuck up the recording. I smiled to myself.
I looked at my watch and it was dead on nine in the morning. Kenny and Wally let themselves in through the locked front door. They had a key.
“G’ day!” said Kenny.
“G’ day!” said Wally.
I imitated their clipped Strine accent and shouted back, “G’ day!”
I offered coffee. They got mugs from the kitchen and poured coffee for themselves and topped up mine. They were both relaxed. I liked that. Relaxed in manner and dress. Both wore loud Hawaiian-style shirts and blue jeans. Both sported tans befitting any true-blue Aussie. They didn’t look or act like cops. I was now also relaxed. I knew I was with good guys, professionals.
“You got the recording device?” Kenny spoke again.
“Yes and it’s working,” I said.
“Just one thing,” said Wally.
“What’s that? I asked.
“You think it best if you are tooled up when you meet this guy?” Wally said.
“Yeah, I do. For two reasons. One, I’m a hitman. Two, I got insurance if it all goes to shit,” I said.
Wally handed me a 9mm semi-automatic. I checked it out. There was thirteen in the clip and nothing in the chamber. I slipped the safety on and stuck it into the shoulder holster Wally gave me.
“Okay.” I said, “I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Let’s do it.”
Wally drove once more with Kenny as front passenger. I sat in the rear. He drove for about twenty minutes to a large sports stadium. He parked on the huge but empty car park.
We waited. I had a sudden thought.
“Does this fucking informant know who I am?”
“He has no idea. He doesn’t even know we are cops. That’s how we know he’s a top-class reliable informant. He reports back to his handler talking about us two as bad guys.”
“Cool!” I said.
A six-foot five-inches giant strode toward the car. “That’s him,” Wally said. I was happy I was tooled-up. This guy could be a handful if it all went down the pan.
The giant rapped on Kenny’s window with knuckles the size of golf balls. I saw the swastika tattoo on the back of his hand. Kenny hit the power button and the window slid down silently.
The giant spoke, “Let’s talk over there.” He pointed towards an old trestle table and some plastic chairs probably left there by someone who had set up a hotdog stall on the car park.
The four of us sat down. Wally spoke first, “Brad, this is the guy I was telling you about. He’s a pro and out-of-town.”
Brad looked at me and said, “Got a name?”
“I got one, thanks. All you need to know is I’m Mr. Smith. You can call me John.”
Brad said, “John Smith?”
“Yeah. You have a problem with that?”
“No, not so far.”
Brad paused before saying, “I got to check you over. Make sure you’re not wearing a wire. Okay?”
“Please yourself,” I said. Brad patted me down, checked the small of my back then said, “Drop yer pants.”
I unfastened my belt, unzipped my jeans and dropped them to my knees. “Satisfied?”
“Yeah. Can’t be too sure these days. Feds everywhere.” It was hard not to smile.
Brad spoke again, “Right, you come with me. I’ll introduce you to the man who’s going to fund the contract. You two can disappear now. Thanks for bringing him here.”
Kenny and Wally walked over to the car and drove off leaving Brad and me alone on the car park. ‘This is where the fun starts,’ I thought. I was right.
No sooner had Kenny and Wally driven off, a blue pick-up truck drove on to the car park and stopped next to us. Two skinheads jumped out. One pinned my arms back and the other shoved a bag over my head. It was black and made of cloth. It stunk of petrol. I couldn’t see a thing. Both skinheads bundled me into the rear seat of the truck. I could feel the gun removed from the holster I was wearing. I sat and didn’t make a sound. I heard someone say, “Get this fucking ute moving. Let’s go!” I knew a ‘ute’ was Strine for a utility vehicle or pick-up truck.
I reckon it was twenty minutes before we pulled up and the driver turned off the engine. I heard the rear passenger door open and I was pulled out of the truck. I still couldn’t see a thing. I heard a door opened. It sounded like a big door on industrial or retail premises unlike a house door. I heard it close behind me with a clang confirming I wasn’t in someone’s home. I could feel a hand in the small of my back; it pushed me, propelling me a few yards until I felt hands on my shoulders. They twisted me so I had to walk in a new direction. This all reminded me of the game we used to play as kids, blindman’s bluff, but this was no game. I could smell cigarette smoke. I stumbled over something and the hands pushed me down. I was now sat on the chair that I had stumbled on a few seconds earlier. Then I could see. The black cloth bag had been whipped from my head.
I saw him sat behind a large desk. The desk was between the two of us. I guess Brad and the skinheads were stood behind me somewhere. I couldn’t see anyone except the man behind the desk. He spoke.
“Do you know who I am?” He asked.
“No idea,” I replied.
“Good. I’m told you can get rid of someone for us.”
“I can get rid of anyone you want if the price is right. That’s what I do.”
“You can call me Pat,” said the man behind the desk. He was about forty years old. He was either bald or had shaved off all his hair. It was difficult to tell which. He had a full beard that ran down to his chest but no moustache. He shaved above his upper lip. I noticed more than anything his cold, blue eyes. Pat stubbed out a cigarette into a large metal ashtray perched on top of the desk. It was next to a telephone. ‘That reminds me.’ I thought.
“Mind if I smoke?”
Pat nodded. I was relieved. I got out one cigarette from my pack and pulled out ‘Jack’s’ lighter. I pressed the small button on the base and ignited the lighter. I lighted my cigarette.
This is the conversation recorded and later transcribed for evidential purposes:
Pat: “You were saying. So what’s the right price?”
Pat: “On what”
Me: “Is the target high or low profile?”
Pat: ‘He’s high profile. A politician here we must eliminate before our country is ruined.”
Me: “I don’t care about politics. It’s just work to me. But it presents more risks if he’s a politician. More risks to me, that is.”
Pat: “How much then?”
Me: “Twenty plus expenses.”
Pat: “That’s three months’ profits from our grow.”
Me: “It’s up to you. You’re hiring. Not me.”
Pat: “You’re a cool dude.”
Me: “It’s what keeps me alive.”
Pat: “How would you do it?”
Me: “I don’t know yet who you want hit.”
Pat: “Paul Carter.”
Pat: “And what?”
Me. Who is he exactly?”
Pat: “A government minister, a high-up.”
Me: “I’ll need to scope him. Get to know his movements, even when he takes a dump. Only then will I know the best way to rub him out. I take it you do want him dead?”
Pat: “Sure do. Him and all the other mother-fuckers too. They are all too soft on abbos, Vietnamese, all the other coloured immigrants. This is a white country and will always be white if we’ve got anything to do with it. White is might. White is right.”
I felt myself shudder but it didn’t show. I said, “Right. We have a deal.”
“Twenty thousand and five expenses.”
Me: “ Yeah, five. Business class return, good hotel to lie low, sundry expenses. All paid by wire to my offshore account. Fifty percent down and the rest when the job’s done.”
Pat: “So that’s twenty-five total. Twelve and a half up front?”
Me: “That’s right. Here’s my card with my bank details. Get rid of it after you have paid me in full.”
Pat looked at the business card.
Pat: “John Smith?”
Me: “Yes, that’s me. If we’re finished, which we are, then maybe one of your helpers can drop me off in the city?”
Pat: “No problem. Brad, you heard the man.”
Me: “One more thing. Gun please.”
Pat handed the gun back to me and I slid it back in the shoulder holster.
Brad dropped me in the middle of Melbourne. I made sure it was in a one-way street. I watched him drive away. There was no chance he could turn around but in case, I went into anti-surveillance routine. I hailed a cab, told the driver to head for the airport. Halfway there I made an excuse and demanded he take me back to where he had picked me up.
On the way back to the city, I spoke to him again, “Ask no questions and there’s an extra fifty dollars in it for you.” That got his attention. He did as told. Three times. He drove round three roundabouts, three times each roundabout, before continuing towards the city. I checked. There was no one following. All the time, I was caressing the lighter in my pocket – Jack’s lighter.
I had him drop me at a taxi rank. I walked to the front of the queue to the first taxi waiting in line. “Gladstone Park,” I said. He drove me to the entrance to the estate and that’s where I told him to drop me. I paid him and walked to the safe house.
Kenny and Wally were waiting for me. I handed over Jack’s lighter and said, “It’s all there. You have enough to arrest and convict him for conspiracy to murder. Now, if you don’t mind. I need some sleep.”
If you have never worked undercover, you can have no idea how tiring it can be. You are living on your wits. One false move or word can mean certain death. It’s a high and after a high there’s a low. That’s when sleep is needed. It had only been about three hours between Kenny and Wally leaving me on the stadium car park and arriving back at the safe house. But, boy, I was knackered.
Kenny said, “Great news. Just one thing though. Our boss has taken the liberty of changing your ticket to fly back tomorrow instead of the day after. The only ticket he could arrange was first class. Is that okay?”
“Okay? Okay?” I said. “That’s fucking ace!” Within one hour I was sleeping. Sleeping and dreaming of being at home with Orn and my kids.
Graham is my boss. He is head of DOCS, Destroy Organised Crime Syndicates – a top secret British government department. I found it amusing to discover his first and last name were the same: Graham Graham.
Graham had been a Detective Chief Superintendent in London’s Metropolitan Police, the MPS. That was before he received the green light to set up DOCS. That department was his brainchild. It was a senior government minister who had given the green light. Its brief was to combat any serious crime organization that posed a threat to the security of the United Kingdom or its close allies. It mattered not where they operated. If it threatened the Brits, they were targeted. Graham cut an imposing figure. He had close-cropped grey hair. He was over six feet tall and lean for a man of fifty-two years. His voice and aura commanded attention. Some said he looked like the actor Lee Marvin. They weren’t wrong.
It was unusual for all the DOCS operatives to be gathered in the same place. The original operatives of me, my long-time undercover buddy, Red, and ex-SAS John Barnard, had been supplemented by Orn Chanahan, my wife and former Australian undercover agent. She had retired from field operations since losing an eye in an undercover operation with me in Thailand. She was, however, a valuable member of the team in her role as an intelligence analyst. The in-house intelligence team was also boosted by the man known only as Jack. Jack had worked alongside DOCS from its inception but was originally an employee of GCHQ at Cheltenham, the UK’s ‘spy-in the sky’ facility. He had now come to work full time with DOCS.
Other new operatives were in the conference room at DOCS’ secretive suburban headquarters set in south-west London. They included Ali, Faisal, and Nobby. They had one thing in common. Ali and Faisal had been detectives in the MPS subjected to racial abuse simply because they were of Asian ethnicity. It was the same for Nobby but his roots lay two generations back in the Caribbean. All three were British born. They were fine detectives and found DOCS as a place to work where they were treated as equals. The team also included Robert, Joe, and Mary. Robert and Joe were like John Barnard. They were seasoned SAS veterans now out of ‘the Regiment’, recruited by DOCS for any duties or raids that called for their specialised talents, including killing. Mary was a former Military Intelligence undercover agent – one of their best.
Graham entered the conference room and called all present to order. The room hushed. “Has the room been swept?’ He asked. Jack was the gadget man. “Yes, twice.” Jack said.
“Good. If there were any bugs in this room, it would negate what I need to say to you all.” Graham sounded serious.
He continued, “Every single one of you, man and woman, has been vetted. I trust each one of you. This department can only function if what we do or about to do remains a secret.” Graham paused to sip some water.
“We have some projects looming that are highly sensitive. More so than usual. It’s imperative there are no leaks from within.”
I was curious. “What kind of projects?” I said.
“Steve, I knew you would be the first to ask,” Graham said, smiling.
“You know me,” I said, smiling back.
“One of them you won’t like. It’s a rubber heel job,” Graham said.
“Where?” I asked.
“The MPS, the Met.”
I groaned but Nobby chirped up, “Guvnor, I thought they had their own Professional Standards investigators? You know, like the Yanks’ internal affairs.”
Graham sighed before speaking, “First off, Nobby, we don’t have ranks. Just names will suffice. No guvnor, no boss, no sirs. The problem is some of them are as bent as the cops they are investigating. That’s why the government has asked us to bail them out before the proverbial hits the fan.”
All in the room nodded an understanding. They were all aware of the corruption in the Met and aware that their department was so secret that Graham reported only to a high-ranking government minister.
“So have you got anyone in mind for this Met jobby?” I asked.
I groaned again. I hate rubber-heel jobs. Just don’t like investigating and infiltrating other cops.
“I know you hate them, Steve, but I need my most experienced man on the job. No disrespect, Red. No disrespect to anyone.”
I shrugged a shrug of acceptance.
“Okay. Team. Meeting over. You all have work to do.”
“Steve, Orn, come see me in my office please. Two minutes, okay,” Graham said. I looked at Orn. We were as puzzled as each other, judging by the expression on her face. Simultaneously we said, “Yes. sure.”
Graham offered coffee to me and Orn. Both of us declined. We were trying to cut down on the caffeine intake.
Graham started the conversation.
“Feedback from Melbourne, Steve. They have the full admission from your target on the tape secreted in the lighter. It’s been transcribed and they have executed federal warrants to arrest the target and search his home and business premises. He’s singing like the proverbial canary and wants to do a deal. So, congratulations are in order.”
I said, “That’s good to hear but what kind of a deal?”
“To be honest, I’m not too concerned as to any deal. That’s a matter for them. It’s their turf, their rules. What is of interest, to put it mildly, is the information he has passed over to your former colleagues, Orn.”
“Which is?” Orn asked.
“It’s dynamite so listen carefully.” Graham said before continuing, “We all know this Pat guy was leader of an Aussie racist group, a far-right organisation. That’s why he wanted that liberal politician rubbed out. What he told them though was a surprise.”
I said, “Please give.”
“As part of the deal he’s been offered, he’s told the Aussie Feds he and his group are part of a larger white supremacist fascist outfit. They are worldwide and have branches in the States as well as here in the UK.”
Orn said, “Does this organisation have a name?”
Orn nodded and said, “Yes. I have heard stuff about them since I have been doing this intelligence work. They fund themselves by growing acres of high-yield, highly potent marijuana.”
“That fits in with what he said about it being three-months profits. He called it ‘grow profits.’ That’s when I was discussing my prices with him. You know, how much it would cost to hire me as a hitman.”
Graham nodded his head and said, “The real scary thing is he’s told us about some of the members being part of the Met right here in London.”
“Now that doesn’t surprise me,” I said.
“Right, but what will surprise you is this group of Met detectives murdered a woman then covered it up.” Graham tapped his fingers on a dossier and added, “this contains all the file papers. What I want you to do, Orn, is go through them, get to know the case inside out so you can brief your husband. He’s the one who will infiltrate this band of dirty cops.”
My eyes shot up to heaven. It was a natural reaction. I hate these jobs, having to infiltrate your own kind even if they are bent.
“When you have done that, all three of us will meet again and decide how best to tackle this task.”
Orn said, “Yes.”
I said, “Don’t suppose there’s a chance of me persuading you to use someone else. Is there?” Graham ignored that question. I knew it was going to be a difficult assignment and no one was more experienced than me.
Graham did add, “Two things. That dossier is highly sensitive. Keep it under lock and key at all times. Do you still have the safe at home?”
Orn again simply said, “Yes.”
I said, “What’s the other thing?”
“I can’t emphasise how sensitive this thing is. Not just the murder and coverup but this crowd aim to overthrow the UK government in their own good time.” On hearing Graham’s words, I whistled. I didn’t see that coming.
Want a flavour of Dilemma and the series? This is a review from an Amazon UK Top 500 Reviewer:
TOP 500 REVIEWER
5.0 out of 5 stars He still doesn’t know who the F*** he is.
20 August 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Steve Regan, now known as Ryan, is undercover in Thailand, looking for a Texan named Les Watkins, the biggest drug smuggler in Thailand.
He is using himself as bait to score $500,000 worth of drugs from the Thai Mafia and to get closer to Watkins.
He becomes involved with Fon, a beautiful Thai woman and they both get involved in the dangerous operation.
Meanwhile, Carlos Vitale and Regan/Ryan’s nemesis is in Thailand fleeing from the US after ordering the death of the heads of 3 crime families.
When in mortal danger will he choose his new life or another alternative?
Regan is BACK!
I am so pleased Stephen Bentley has written another Regan story, I LOVE him!!
The first book ‘Who the F*** am I?’ was brilliant and I wasn’t disappointed with this one. Regan is still risking his life and wondering why he is doing it. The story is strong as are the characters. It made me laugh, cry and cringe (some scenes are wickedly descriptive).
The author keeps the story short and sweet with no padding and unwanted descriptions of the scenery; it is pure action and thrills.
I recommend this book and indeed the Regan series they are excellent and a real joy to read.
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of this book to review
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