Strange Tales – Jack Shortman

A collection of five interconnected tales of
intrigue, mystery and death

> A bereaved man whose brother knew deadly secrets in Dusty Death.
> In Terminal a hit-man himself becomes the target of a hit.
> A kidnapping is more than it appears in Revenge is not Sweet.
> Family matters could be deadly for The Red-Headed Girl.
> And Sin of the Father reveals a parent’s confession.

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About the Author

Jack Shortman was born in Shropshire, England in 1937 and was brought up by an uncle and aunt.

At 18 he enlisted in the Household Cavalry as a National Serviceman.  After his de-mob he met and married his wife, Mary.  In 1960 he re-enlisted in his regiment and, after serving two years in Knightsbridge, he re-joined his mechanized regiment in Windsor and served in Cyprus, completed two tours of Germany and a tour in Canada.  After his final de-mob in 1978 he worked in the MOD as an administration officer until he was medically discharged.

Jack’s family persuaded him to write a book about his army career which he self-published under the title Memoirs of a Soldier in the Household Cavalry.  This was well received and, finding that he enjoyed writing very much, Jack went on to pen Strange Tales.

Now a widower, Jack lives alone in Shropshire surrounded by his family and spends much of his time horse and carriage driving.

Excerpt from The Red-Headed Girl

The rain was lashing down as I drove into town after having delivered a wayward daughter back to her very rich parent.  My name is Jack Spead, Private Investigator – at least that’s what is says on my office door.  I was on a high as a very fat cheque nestled in my wallet, so I decided to celebrate at my local.  I parked the car, locked it and made my way to the pub entrance.  Even with my trench coat and felt hat on I could feel the rain trickling down my neck.  I entered the bar; it was unusually empty except for a couple in the far corner and a lone girl sitting at the bar.  The couple didn’t even look up as I entered and the girl only just glanced up then resumed her vigil with the glass in front of her.  I ordered a large whisky and took a large gulp which seemed to do wonders for the damp feeling I had.  The girl at the end of the bar downed her drink and waved the barman for a refill.  Ted, the barman, shook his head, “I think you have had enough lady, besides you can’t pay, you had the last one on the house.”

“If I can’t have a drink can I stay till closing, maybe the rain will have stopped?”

Ted nodded, “OK, but only till I shout last orders.”

Ted came over to me and shook his head.  “She’s been here since I opened, and she’s had too much.”

I grinned.  “Don’t give me your excuses, Ted, you’re just a softy really.”

He grinned back, “Well perhaps I am.”

We were interrupted by the door opening and a rush of cold damp air rushed in.  The man that entered was tall and beefy and somehow oozed power.   He was expensively dressed in a dark lounge suit and matching tie under his tip coat.  He sported a thin black moustache and his hair was slicked down with a greasy looking gel.  He glanced around until he spotted the redhead.  He walked over and grabbed her by the arm.

“Well now, you are hard to find young lady!  Now the old lady wants to see you pronto.”

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