The Quiet Way

Cover for The Quiet Way

Author: Robin Melhuish

Genre: Suspense and Thriller

Age Range: General - Teen to Adult

Word Count: 131,000

Draft #1

Unique Downloads: 0



A 21st Century current affairs faction thriller

By Robin Melhuish

Contact Details:

Robin Melhuish

e-mail facebook The Quiet Way

Postal contact address is:

Flat 34 Abbotswood

34 Station Road


BN16 3BJ


Alan Hanks at nearly fifty, a disillusioned senior detective sent to the North West of England to trace and capture an elusive member of an al Qaida terror cell who dropped out of sight in in London in March 2010. After weeks of hard work and frustration, things suddenly change; from the potential breakthrough of finding their man by tracing tax records, Hanks and his team are thrown into a race to save the world from a catastrophe; only he has no idea what the real threat is, germ warfare or a bomb, nor does he know how much time he has. 

Hanks, on the verge of early retirement is thrust into a case by happenstance, as a series of apparently unrelated events and developments leads Him and his partner into a web of international terrorism threatening the very fabric of society. 

An attack by animal rights activists in a medical facility sets an incalculable chain of events in motion. After taking a hostage in order to force the government to change legislation for the rights of animals, Hanks discovers this man to be the al Qaida sleeper he was tasked to search for, the man that placed him is a senior al-Qaida operative, who has been in Britain for years placing sleepers in strategic locations. Masoud Baitullah a 45 year old Saudi citizen is a loose cannon. His predilection for sexual violence and murder of women, is legend in the ranks of his organisation, but he tolerated for his efficiency in planning and carrying out attacks. A link through a chance meeting with a beautiful out of work Biochemist, Claire Grigson, wh has just run out on her husband part of a sham marriage for a visa, triggers mixed emotions in the detective as he battles with his feelings about his late-wife and this new, much younger, star in his life. After running out on her husband she flees to the safety of her sister’s in Chester where she meets our hero in the bar of a hotel one evening. Her involvement in a ring of prostitution, and the villain’s obsession to defile and kill her, prove to be a major factor in his capture.

Hundreds of infected lab animals have, in the meantime, escaped into the population, a threat, which is at first is not taken seriously. The identification of a virus changed by contamination in a kindergarten leads to a new type of flu, the ‘K’ virus (Kindergarten virus). Due to the shortage of qualified staff after the break-in, the out of work Claire joins the team at Brinkley’s Medical through her sister who already works there. Andy Voss the head of Brinkley’s Medical is at the forefront of infectious disease control and an eminent virologist running a company manufacturing vaccines for viral diseases. His acumen and drive allow the twin discoveries of not only the K virus but also the vaccine/antidote in exceptionally fast time. 

The Chief Superintendent of Cheshire Constabulay, being unwilling to accept that the crisis exists procrastinates to the point of lunacy, until his hand is forced by DCI Hanks as the identity of the hostage from the animal rights break-in is a revealed. As people start to fall ill and die, an epidemic threatens to become a pandemic. The government crisis unit COBRA sets up quarantine barriers in North West England, placing enormous stress on the armed forces and emergency services in the UK, but the virus is seemingly unstoppable. The K virus epidemic spreads, a phenomenon hidden buy the simultaneous outbreak of the annual seasonal flu. The lab virus evolves in into a genetically specific strain, which seems to affect people with differing levels of severity. Some die, some are almost immune against it. There is no discernible pattern at first until Hanks makes a surprise deduction that the disease may be racially specific. 

Communication intercepts by the CIA and GCHQ from the other side of the planet suggest a planned attack in the UK vague hints based on internet searches from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, suggest that an industrial accident in 1946 in Germany involving an explosion of a tanker full of diethyl-ether on the London Underground is the basis for the plot, but Hanks is in the dark as to exactly when and where the attack will take place. The government's complacency and unwillingness to take unpopular measures in the run up to a General Election are just minor irritations in Hanks's battle to stop the unthinkable as he is left to fight terrorism with the hurdles of politically correct legislation and a false assessment of the realities. The plot twists between pandemic and panic, punishment and justice.

The head of the al-Qaida operation in Pakistan is eliminated in a drone strike, leaving two 'masterminds' on the loose in the UK. An analyst in Hanks's team highlights the telephone intercepts between the terrorists, which allows the investigators to manipulate communications between them and identify where they are.

However, hindered by the cuts in government spending and the vote winning intransigence of the regime, he is unable to prevent the unthinkable. A tanker full of ether explodes at Bank Station. The financial heart of the City of London is ripped out with over 5,000 dead and hundreds injured in the London Rush Hour. Only clever action by Hanks in creating an accidental power cut on the London Underground on the morning of the explosion prevents the death toll being significantly greater. (some 20,000 lives are saved).

Apprehending the perpetrators then becomes a deadly game of hide and seek, against a background of severe race riots and practical civil war, fueled by the twin forces of the Government’s wish to blame Radical Muslims for something they never did, and the sensationalism of the mass media.

Baitullah’s right hand, a British National is apprehended shortly after the explosion. Clever work by the intelligence services and the local police under Hanks’s direction trap the man in a Southall (SW London) park. His infection with the K virus engineered by Hanks, is the start of an interrogation process under narcotherapy, which leads to the revelation that Abbotobad is something the man will not talk about.

Meanwhile Baitullah, who is forced to wait for new travel documents being supplied by the Yemeni embassy, is hell bent on killing Claire, who he perceives (rightly or wrongly) to be the root of the disaster facing him.

Frustrated by the above, detectives, in a secret (unofficial) plan, contrive to allow Baitullah to escape at the last minute, but not before he has been infected by the racially specific virus, in order for him to spread the disease in the terrorist nests, wherever they are. Their plan fails as chance takes a hand, and the heroine gets her revenge. The Quiet Way, a way to fight terrorism, instead of fighting ideas with tanks and bombs. A novel that will make you wonder where the next flu epidemic really came from.

review copies available on request.

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