Welcome to today’s post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For each day, I’ll be sharing the opening paragraphs to a book that starts with that letter and is sitting on my shelves or my Kindle. X is one of those tough letters, so today’s book title actually ends with it instead.
The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming
"The dead man was not a dead man. He was alive but he was not alive. That was the situation."
Calvin Somers, the nurse, stopped at the edge of the towpath and looked behind him, back along the canal. He was a slight man, as stubborn and petulant as a child. Gaddis came to a halt beside him.
"Keep talking," he said.
"It was the winter of 1992, and ordinary Monday night in February." Somers took and apple from his coat pocket and bit into it, chewing over the memories. "The patient's name was Edward Crane. It said he was seventy- six on his notes, but none of us knew what was true and what wasn't. He looked midsixties to me." They started walking again, black boots pressing through the mud. "They'd obviously worked out it was best if they admitted him at night, when there were fewer people around, when the day staff had gone off shift."
"Who's 'they'?" Gaddis asked.
"The spooks." A mallard lifted off the canal, quick wings shedding water as he turned towards the sun. "Crane was brought in on a stretched, unconscious, just after ten on the evening of the third. I was ready for him. I'm always ready. He bypassed A and E and was put straight into a private room off the ward. The chart said he had no next of kin and wasn't to be resuscitated in the event of a cardiac arrest. Nothing unusual about that. Far as anyone was concerned, this was just another old man suffering from late-stage pancreatic cancer. Hours to live, liver failure, toxic. At least, that was the story MI6 was paying us to pedal."
So, what do you think? Should I read it soon or give it away?