Orchard Close survived Caddi’s invasion, and smashed the General’s army, but was the price too
high? The Riot Squad are dead or wounded, the Army is watching from the bypass, and the
attacking gangs were beaten but not annihilated. This time they don’t even have a leader, because
Soldier Boy will be out of action for months.
At least the attackers left behind plenty of weapons, providing the Army don’t take them, and one
person is ruthless enough to use them all. Without telling even ‘Arold, the Killer Queen uses
illegal weaponry to recruit, then launches a true Blitzkrieg across the battered city. With their
enemies occupied, the Orchard Close survivors try to come to terms with the deaths, the
destruction, and a growing conviction they can never win, that the government and scroats will
The Cabal is distracted because the Reivers spring their own May Day surprise party. The Bruce
is aiming high this time, he wants to buy Scotland from the Cabal and the first payment is in
blood. As brave men and women launch their attacks or make their last stands, the foreign
mercenaries and Specials find that their own families are vulnerable, and even the Royal Navy
gets a wake-up call. While they are occupied, Bruce strikes for the real prize, a way to bring the
Cabal to the negotiating table.
Throughout the summer, as Harold heals, he begins to plan the evacuation of Orchard Close. The
gangs are finished, but when the Army withdraws from the bypass their replacements, Mart
guards, will have machine guns aiming right into the heart of Orchard Close. Even as he tries to
keep his plans secret, a rumour begins to grow, about an operation called Silent Running. It
spreads and grows, helped by a song, until even the surrounding gangs believe it; Soldier Boy is
leaving to set up a secret base. When the government finally comes for the Cities, there’ll be a
haven for those who escape and a strike force poised to disrupt the assault. By the time the
convoy is ready, even the Cabal knows about the breakout, but with all the rumours Harold hopes
that even his resident government spy is confused.
Vance Huxley Bio -ish
Vance Huxley lives out in the countryside in Lincolnshire, England. He has spent a busy life
working in many different fields – including the building and rail industries, as a workshop manager,
trouble-shooter for an engineering firm, accountancy, cafe proprietor, and graphic artist. He also
spent time in other jobs, and is proud of never being dismissed, and only once made redundant.
Eventually he found his Noeline, but unfortunately she died much too young. To help with the
aftermath, Vance tried writing though without any real structure. As an editor and beta readers
explained the difference between words and books, he tried again.
Now he tries to type as often as possible in spite of the assistance of his cats, since his legs no
work well enough to allow anything more strenuous. An avid reader of sci-fi, fantasy and adventure
novels, so his writing tends towards those genres.
Vance is a prolific writer whose other series include Fall of the Cities and Breach of Contract.