Along the banks of Moscow River… – @tim_jopling #thriller


“The characters are introduced very well, and the author has a style that engages the reader. The plot doesn’t slacken at any point. A great novel from this author. Would definitely purchase any sequel without hesitation.”

Excerpt from Underground Murmurs by Author Tim Jopling


Along the banks of Moscow River, with the famous GUM department store in the distance Akira pushed away the dead body of Martin Braga, the Head of Station R for MI6. Snow was dropping on the now lifeless form but Akira didn’t look back. Many would call him a cold-blooded killer but was he? The West had betrayed him after all. Had their failure forced him down this path? His memories of back then, in what seemed like someone else’s life were

inconsistent and only fragments came back to him from time to time. Closing his eyes, he tried to remember the finer details but instead images flashed by. Static and grainy pictures of former friends, those that should have helped him to the end, not turn their back on him in his most desperate hour. The people he had once trusted with his life had betrayed him with devastating results. He had lost his soul mate and the only person that really mattered, his beloved wife Madeline.

The more he thought about it, the greater the clarity and with it came the sounds of the machines that had been keeping Madeline alive, and the smell of the hospital room. Pain surrounded everything but Akira could still remember the faces of those he had trusted knowing they could have done more but chosen not to. In those final moments, Madeline’s voice had been so weak, her smile so faint and the chest wrenching heartbreak too much to take. Akira had been born then, but even he sometimes wondered whether his soul was still there in that hospital room waiting to take in what had happened.

In the weeks that followed amidst such grief Akira had no idea how it had come to be but somehow, the voice of Madeline lived on inside his mind and when he needed her most he would hear her. In the years after her tragic death he was convinced they had both witnessed the vision they were so committed to and in some way, she could live on and help make it a reality.

The memories still burned the remains of his heart, and a single tear ran down his face. It didn’t matter how often he thought back to those dark times, he still felt the sorrow and the heartbreak. All he had wanted was a life of happiness with Madeline. Why had they not helped him when he needed it most? How could they betray him after everything he had done for-

Do not go back to that place my love. Time has passed, and everything has changed. Our revenge starts now, do not doubt our vision of the future. They will pay the price for their betrayal.

Madeline. Whenever he needed support, she would come to him. Her voice sounded as clear as it always had. He closed his eyes and fought back more tears. ‘I just wish you were here with me. This is proving…difficult.’ His own voice broke for a moment but he regained his composure quickly.

Take control of your emotions and remember what they did to me, what they did to us! The West took away our future. They stole our happiness…

Akira nodded slowly. Every word was true, it was just proving much harder than he had imagined to start the journey alone.

The vision my love, remember the vision. What we saw would change so much, do so much good. You must stay the course. Don’t ever forget what we lost, what we could have been!

He emerged from his vision, and with it came a sense of hope and strength as if the knowledge that only himself and Madeline had witnessed it somehow brought them closer together. That day had been unforgettable and just the idea of a world without corrupt governments and their deceitful foreign policies had given him a ray of light in what had been his darkest days after the loss of his wife.

Show no mercy and do what must be done. I will always be with you.

In his mind he could feel her presence, as clearly as if she were next to him that very moment. Seconds passed until he heard no more and he rose to his feet, leaving the body behind him. Within minutes, he had leapt from the riverbank into the nearby Alexandrovsky Gardens. Every inch of it was now covered with snow and a bitterly cold wind rustled the branches of the trees. With each step, Akira made a silent promise to himself and his dead wife. His destiny was somewhere in the future and on that day, the West and its hypocritical governments would fall, and the world would change forever.

This was just the start…

 Loads of twists to keep you on your toes- each chapter uncovers a bit more to the story that you weren’t expecting and makes you want to keep reading- can’t wait for the next one!  – Kirsty A Decker