Exit Wounds preview


He was losing it.
Frank Newton had slipped more than six car lengths behind the Securicor van.
Once or twice he lost sight of the fucking thing completely.
Come on. Come on.
The road ahead divided into two lanes.
If he could just overtake two of the other vehicles, slide the Corolla in closer to the Security truck.
He checked his mirrors and indicated.
The traffic was slowing again.
Just nip it in front of that fucking Astra.
He indicated, prepared to move back into the left hand lane again.
The Astra driver realized what he was doing.
He didn't intend letting him in.
Newton sucked in a breath and tried to nudge the bonnet of the Corolla into the small gap.
The Astra moved forward slightly.
A car in the right hand lane sounded its hooter.
As the traffic crept forward again, Newton judged it perfectly.
He sped into the gap ahead of the Astra.
"Fuck you," he murmured to himself, catching sight of the Astra driver's angry face in his rear view mirror.
Four car lengths from the Securicor van.
He had it in plain view.
Just take it easy now.
One more pick-up.

If the men inside the van were aware of his presence they had certainly given no indication of it.
or had they already radioed through to the Police? Told them they had spotted a car following them?
Newton tried to push the thoughts from his mind.
They had no reason to be suspicious.
He'd done it by the book.
Bottle going again?
The two-way crackled.
Newton snatched it up, his eyes never leaving the van.
"Frankie, it's Jim."
"Go on," he urged.
"We're just passing the British Museum now."
Newton looked at this watch.
"Keep coming, Jim. We're bang on."
"What about the others?"
"Coming into Tottenham Court Road. Won't be long now."
There was a heavy silence at the other end of the line.
"This lot have got one more pick-up to make."
There were traffic lights ahead.
All three vehicles between Newton and the Securicor van were signalling to turn left.
If he speeded up he'd be right behind it.
The other cars turned.
The traffic lights were coming closer.
Newton cursed as it appeared the Securicor van was speeding up.
Had they sussed him?
He swallowed hard.
The lights were on amber.
Fuck. Now what?
The van was going through. No problem.
Newton wondered if he would get through in time.
If he dare.
If the van got across he'd lose it.
If he speeded up and raced across behind it then they would see him for sure.
Come on. Think.
The lights were less than ten yards away.
Brake or keep going?
Newton tried to swallow but his throat was dry.
Those fucking lights weren't going to hold forever.
The truck shot across the junction.
Newton was no more than five yards behind it.
The lights flickered onto red.
Newton gripped the wheel.
Keep going.
They were on red when he swept through.

***

"What the fuck is this?" snarled Ray Gorman.
Tottenham Court Road was at a standstill.
Nothing was moving in either direction.
Hobbs couldn't even move the car out of Goodge Street.
He swallowed hard.
"We're fucked," Gorman said, angrily.
"Just wait," Hobbs told him, looking around, trying to see what was causing the monumental jam.
He spotted it immediately.
"The traffic lights are out," he said, gesturing ahead to the junction with Torrington Place.
"What do you mean?"
"The fucking things aren't working."
"So we're stuck here?" Gorman blurted, furiously. "We're fucking stuck."
Hobbs stroked his chin thoughtfully.
"They'll clear it," he said, his voice catching slightly.
"Who? Who's going to fucking clear it?"
He looked at his watch, his heart thudding against his ribs.
"We're not going to make it," he rasped.

© Shaun Hutson 2000