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It’s our plan now to winter in Los Angeles, every year. We’ll hire tutors for the kids to keep their education up to scratch, but I will not be parted from my family, ever. Where I go they go, and my schedule will be arranged to ‘make it so’, as Captain Picard always said.

I am now consumed by the need to be there to protect Susie all the time. It would be seen by others, if they knew about it, as quite manic. But that’s the way it is. The curse of being my wife is real and only I can keep it at bay by being around her wherever she is. As a result I’ve begun to acquire a reputation in the business for being very choosy about the projects I accept. Interestingly, that doesn’t bother Roscoe Brown at all: he says it makes directors all the more anxious to cast me, whatever my price.

Five months have gone by since all that stuff happened.

Prim’s body is still missing, but okay, so is Jimmy Hoffa’s.

Miles and I accelerated the Blue Star Falling project, and we’ve just finished shooting on a sound stage in Hollywood. The part involving a Chinese girl was changed to Caucasian: we hired an emerging pop starlet to play it. I had fun being Benny Luker’s alter ego; it was eerie but I enjoyed it. And, after all, who was better qualified to play him?

Incidentally, there was a reason for our haste. When Benedict Luker’s will was read, it was discovered that the bastard had named me as his executor, and that he had left all his growing wealth and contractual rights to the mother of a deceased Scottish policeman, one Detective Inspector Michael Dylan.

I’d just viewed the rushes of the final scenes in the movie, a couple of days ago, when Conrad and Audrey Kent came back from a fortnight’s well-earned holiday. They’d been to the part of Thailand that wasn’t wrecked by the tsunami. It was a bonus from me, in addition to a substantial sum deposited for them in a Swiss bank account.

As he went to dump his case in their quarters, Conrad passed by my office. ‘There’s the newspaper you asked for, sir,’ he said, laying it on my desk.

It was a copy of the Straits Times, three days old, and one story filled half of the front page. I glanced at it.

Singapore is in a state of shock [it began] in the aftermath of the assassination of the island’s security chief, Superintendent of Police ‘Jimmy’ Tan Keng Seng.

Mr Tan (57) was gunned down with his daughter, Tan May Wee (25), in the bungalow they shared. She was a promising actress who used the stage name Marie Lin. Two men, believed to have been bodyguards, were also found dead at the scene.

In a statement, the Police Minister, a long-time friend of Mr Tan, said that the killings were clearly the work of terrorists. He vowed that Singapore would not be intimidated.

And so on, and so on; those fundamentalists are everybloody-where, are they not?

I tossed the paper aside.

All knowledge is power, especially when the other guy isn’t in on it. Isn’t that right, Primavera?

The end?

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