THE RED VIPER: A JAKE TANNER SHORT STORY
Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Jake Tanner's an everyday man - you wouldn't pick him out of a crowd. And when a routine bank visit turns sour, Jake finds himself in the midst of an armed bank robbery.
The criminals - The Crimsons. Notorious. Infamous. And yet to pull the trigger on anyone. But that doesn't mean they won't.
In this fight or flight situation, Jake must protect his girlfriend, Elizabeth, from harm at all costs.
Will The Crimsons succeed, or will Jake stand in their way? Are they about to spend their first ever bullet in Jake’s skull?
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"Very good read..."
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13 October 2006, 09:01
As Jake Tanner entered the HSBC Bank along Oxford High Street at nine that morning, he felt a wall of warm air hit his face, a welcoming change from the heavy drizzle outside.
The bank had just opened, and there were already two other people ahead of him in the queue. Elderly people. One with a walking stick, and the other dressed smartly in a shirt and tie, a regimented formality likely so engrained in his everyday life it had never been replaced.
Beside Jake was his girlfriend, Elizabeth. Her eyes were bloodshot and dark shadows hung underneath; her hastily applied make-up was unable to mask her lack of sleep the previous night.
‘I don’t know why we’re doing this so early,’ she said as they entered through another set of doors that crossed the threshold into the bank.
Jake took her hand and squeezed it tighter. ‘I’ve already told you.’
‘I still don’t see the point.’ She hesitated. ‘Could you not have done this alone?’
Jake frowned at her. ‘Buying our first car together should be something we do just like that: together.’
‘Even if it is your choice of car and your name that’s going down on the insurance and not mine?’ Elizabeth sighed.
Jake ignored the comment. He was excited. He had every right to be. An Austin Mini Cooper, the car Jake had wanted ever since he was a child and watched The Italian Job for the first time, had come up for sale on eBay. The buyer’s location: Oxford, eighty miles away from their newly rented one-bedroom flat in the south of London—the place where Jake had lived his entire life. And they were
offering a price too irresistible to miss.
Two ugly ATMs sat right in the middle of the floor, obstructing the pathway to the tills at the back of the room. Not enough technology to bury them in the wall, then? Jake mentally scoffed. On the right-hand side was a wall of offices. Floor-to-ceiling glass. Bright, harsh, fluorescent lights. A thin layer of translucent coating preventing customers outside from looking in.
The two elderly people stood in front of Jake, patiently waiting their turns. A teller arrived. Female; bobbed chestnut hair; a large wart on the bottom of her chin; visible whiskers sprouting from her upper lip. The first customer approached her and was greeted with a warm smile, much like the one that Jake had given so many times to people who insisted on being the first in the clothing shop near campus where he worked part-time during university.
Interview with the author, Jack Probyn
Q - Can Jake Tanner be compared to any other crime thriller heroes out there?
A - You know, I wouldn't say Jake Tanner is like any of the other crime thriller heroes currently out there. He’s not like the Jack Reachers’ or the Alex Cross’ of these worlds. Sure, he has some similar characteristics, but Jake Tanner is very unique. Jake is a very heavily family-centered man. Anything and everything he does is done for them. But this does, in no way, mean that he is like Alex Cross who, readers familiar with James Patterson’s star, will know is a lean, mean, fighting machine. Instead, Jake Tanner is simply an everyday man. The one you see on the train to and from work everyday. That's what makes Detective Jake Tanner different.
Q - What makes the Detective Jake Tanner series special?
A - A mix of things, I would say. When I first set out to write the series, I wanted something that would “Wow!” readers, something that is going to make them think, “What if that ever happened to me? What if I ever experienced something like that?” And so I mirrored the Jake Tanner series on something I would like to have read myself.
With this in mind, I set about making sure the Jake Tanner detective crime thriller series has a bit of everything: there are some police procedural novels in there, crime thrillers, terrorism thrillers, kidnapping thrillers, and maybe even a few serial killer thrillers to keep things interesting! But all of them feature the big question: “What if… what if that ever happened to me?” And, once you've read them, you’ll never feel the same way about certain things again.
Q - Why should readers give this book a try?
A - Because they enjoy fast-paced action, gripping crime/terror/kidnap thrillers that never stop until the very last page.
Because they don't mind spending the majority of their time highly-engrossed in these novels, eagerly awaiting the next page or next book. Because they’re avid readers that adore plot twists and turns, similar to the ones we receive in life.
Thank you, and happy reading!