Hey friends! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Retribution by Bob Bennett and I am bringing you a guest post. Enjoy!
Retribution by Bob Bennett
Published by: Clink Street Publishing
Release date: 08/04/2021
Where to find: Amazon
Summary: After a mysterious disappearance on the canal, Jock turns up in Belfast gun-running for the IRA during the ‘troubles’. He hatches a more lucrative scheme with a Palestinian and the story follows the conspiracy to divert weapons to the Black September Organisation. Helen, Jock’s erstwhile partner in a previous black market scam, is reunited with her son after a prison sentence and she fears for her safety while Jock is at large. We follow the arms shipment by road, Grand Union Canal and sea to a destination on the Suffolk coast where Jock is ultimately served his final retribution.
Five Favourite Things about My Main Protagonist
Duncan ‘Jock’ McClean is an affable Scotsman, diminutive but Suave, a real ladies’ man (or so he thinks). He knows what he wants, and he’ll stop at nothing to get it. The character is based on a real-life corporal who served in WWII although the persona is total fictional. We first meet Jock in my novel ‘Easier Than It Seems’ where he establishes his black-market racket and learns how to handle a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal One of his most endearing qualities is his irrational fear of tunnels and it’s because of this paranoia that he winds up in Belfast where he finds bed and breakfast accommodation in Donegall Road, the home of Maggie O’Rourke. The dapper little Scotsman with his Clark Gable moustache develops a relationship with his landlady. They become lovers. Maggie becomes pregnant.
Jock is not a terrorist although he does become inducted into the IRA. He’s a lapsed Catholic but sympathises with the Republican cause. He sees the ‘troubles’ as merely a means by which he can further his own interests, steal and otherwise appropriating commodities which he can add to his black-market enterprise and sell on to the highest bidder.
He’s a skilled driver. Buses, lorries, cars vans and motorcycles. When he gets promoted to the IRA’s gun runner, he hatches a scheme with a third party he takes to be an American. A significant number of the illegally imported weapons from America never make it to Belfast. They’re hived off into a stash to sell on for their own benefit. The American turns out to be a Palestinian terrorist and a member of Black September. Ripping off the IRA is the beginning of Jock’s downfall. His driving skills are put to the test when he is pursued by the Palestinian, his landlady and the IRA. With nerve and consummate skill, he causes a fatal accident. Maggie O’Rourke and her unborn child are killed. A senior IRA general is maimed for life.
Jock is a forward thinker, a meticulous planner. Having escaped from the Palestinian he no longer has to share proceeds of the sale of weaponry to Black September. He’s constantly one step ahead of the game. By shipping the guns by canal (with the help of a couple of old boatmen) and then on by sea to where they are to be collected by Black September, he manages to evade the police and the IRA, laughing all the way (except when there’s a tunnel to navigate!)
Jock reveals he has a human failing. With the weapons sold and a fortune made, he decides to reacquaint himself with the love of his life, Helen. Helen had been his unwitting partner in the original black-market scam. She served time for Jock’s crimes after he disappeared and he now wishes to make amends and settle down with her. Helen is having none of it and through an elaborate plan Jock is lured to a remote East Anglian location where the IRA successfully execute his final retribution.
To quote Helen, ‘Duncan McClean is not ‘Jack the lad’ nor is he ‘Jock the lad’, the loveable rogue he would like to think he is. He is an immoral reprobate, a common criminal and a self-confessed murderer. He is an unspeakable monster of depravity, a villain who doesn’t know right from wrong. He is nothing more or less than a conman, a liar and a thief without one single saving grace’.
Readers will love him!
Born soon after WWII Bob Bennett trained as a classical musician at Birmingham School of Music and Birmingham University. After a short period with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra he followed a freelance career as a trombonist and music teacher. For the last 20 years of his full-time working-life he was an Official of the Musicians’ Union in Birmingham, and then as the London Regional Organiser. He is now retired, lives by the sea in Suffolk and working on his third novel.