The Sleep of Reason
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172 pages

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Mark Rowley is the former head of UK Counter-Terrorism and has continued involvement in the national policy debate. Mark drew on his experience of major police investigations, COBRA meetings and encounters with cabinet ministers and the PM.



Publié par
Date de parution 04 avril 2022
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781800310131
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


David Derbyshire and Mark Rowley
Legend Press Ltd, 51 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6HJ |
Contents © David Derbyshire and Mark Rowley 2022
The right of the above authors to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available.
Print ISBN 978-1-80031-0-124
Ebook ISBN 978-1-80031-0-131
Set in Times. Printing managed by Jellyfish Solutions Ltd
Cover design by Rose Cooper |
All characters, other than those clearly in the public domain, and place names, other than those well-established such as towns and cities, are fictitious and any resemblance is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.
Sir Mark Rowley s highly successful 31-year career in policing included posts as Chief Constable of Surrey; Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police; and lastly head of UK Counter Terrorism Policing. Globally recognised for his leadership expertise in national security and policing, after retiring in 2018 Sir Mark was knighted in the Queen s Birthday Honours for his exceptional contribution to national security at a time of unprecedented threat and personally providing reassuring national leadership through the attacks of 2017 .
David Derbyshire is an award-winning national newspaper journalist and has written features for The Sunday Times , The Times , the Guardian , Daily Mail , Daily Telegraph and the Observer . He was the 2004 Medical Journalist of the Year, and was joint winner of the 2008 Press Gazette Environmental Press Awards campaign of the year.
Visit David at or on Twitter @dderbyshire or Instagram @dgderbyshire
To Helena and Alison
The sleep of reason produces monsters.
Francisco Goya
Wednesday Morning
Chilton Park, Kent
The queue had paused, so Zahra took the opportunity to close her eyes and listen. It was a game she had played as a young girl, and one she turned to regularly during the moments of tedium that occupied so much of her sixteen-year-old life. She slipped her hands into the pockets of her donkey jacket and focused. The clanking of the ride machinery, as if an iron bar was being dragged along kerbstones, dominated her soundscape, but not enough to drown out the barbs of the gobby group of girls behind her taking turns to damn each of their absent friends. She listened harder and caught the burble of a blackbird staking out its territory from the clump of young silver birches and evergreen shrubs planted alongside the queue.
They d queued under the scruffy winter skies for more than an hour now, far longer than her brother Jawad had predicted, lurching forward, spreading out and then bunching up again like an immense concertina. Around them were miserable attempts to decorate the ride in fibreglass and concrete. An upturned telephone kiosk, now pink rather than poppy red, lay alongside a bored sabre-toothed tiger while, nearby, a blonde Viking stood proudly with one boot on the neck of a tentacled alien. For a theme park ride, the theme was a complete mystery, thought Zahra.
Her initial excitement at joining the queue for Notorious had quickly given way to boredom and then frustration as the skies had begun to unleash a fine but persistent drizzle. But now, finally near the front of this interminable line, the listlessness in Zahra s stomach was being pushed aside by the blossoming of nervous anticipation.
Jawad, dressed in a lumberjack jacket and black jeans, was at the front of their group with her mother and Jawad s friend Imran. Zahra was at the back, next to her closest friend Maryam.
You nervous? Maryam asked softly.
Nah. That was a lie, of course. The bravado with which she d agreed to come to the park on her school s inset day was wearing thin, but she did not want to lose face in front of her brother and particularly not in front of his friend. She sneaked a glance at Imran laughing effortlessly with her brother, with his immaculate hair and black leather jacket. And those eyes, those scintillating eyes, that always seemed to ignite when she approached.
The roller coaster screeched to a stop. A man in an emerald sweatshirt kicked at a pedal at the back of the train, releasing the restraints which flipped over the passengers heads, letting them clamber out on the opposite side from the queue. As the line surged again, Imran, Jawad and her mother walked into the stalls, ready to get on the next train. Zahra s cousins and Jawad s friends filled the rest of the stalls, leaving no space for her or Maryam.
Zahra s mother turned to face her. An effervescent woman, always quick to laugh, she seemed somehow even more radiant surrounded by her family and their friends.
Sorry, love, she mouthed, you get the next ride, we ll wait at the exit.
Zahra nodded. That was fine. She didn t want her mum - or Imran - on the same ride anyway. She wasn t convinced her language would be appropriate for her mother, and she was terrified that Imran would see her being sick.
On the platform, Gareth Fletcher flattened his oily hair and gave a thumbs up to the woman in the control cabin. At her command, the eight cars rolled out of the platform to be yanked up the slope to the first drop. Fletcher slipped his left hand into his trouser pocket to rest his fingers around the metal that lay invitingly inside.
Notorious had two trains running at once and Fletcher had ten seconds before the other rolled into the station. A gust of pine disinfectant filled his nostrils and his gaze fell upon a splatter of vomit next to the rail which the cleaners had overlooked. It wasn t worth reporting, but it irritated him. Why couldn t people do their jobs properly? Lazy bastards. Lazy black bastards , he added to himself, like a reflex.
He glanced down the track as the other train began to creep into the station and he slid his hand into his pocket again. The train was seven seconds away. Maybe this was the time. Then, as he surveyed the queue, he spotted a middle-aged Asian woman with a group of seven or eight young men and teenage girls. His heart leapt. The men were full of bravado, laughing and pushing each other, showing off in front of the girls. He kept watching. Indian? Maybe Pakistani or Bangladeshi? From the head coverings on the woman and two girls, they were probably Muslims, he thought. Fletcher watched for a few moments, then glanced around the other passengers waiting to board. No little kiddies. That was good. No coppers. No squaddies. No heroes.
And then the fire raged again, erupting from the pit of his stomach, ripping through his chest and into his head. He could feel his brain pushing out against the inside of his skull. Too many thoughts, and so much disgust. And this fire, that made him alive and sterilised his doubts and fears, it would soon start to purify the world.
The coaster rolled alongside the platform and juddered to a rest. Once the passengers were out of the carriage and through the exit gate, he pressed the button on the wall to open the stalls, allowing the next passengers to get into their seats. The Asian group were laughing as they settled down. The middle-aged woman couldn t reach her restraint, so Fletcher tugged it into place for her. She thanked him and smiled. He smiled back. Nice eyes , he thought.
The fire was burning still, not as rampant as a moment ago, but still streaming through his arms and fingers. He d never felt so vital. He had ultimate control over these people, over who would live and who would die. And after it was all over, he would take his place in history, one of the growing army of warriors who had stood up and fought to secure an existence for his people and a future for white children.
He watched the woman settle into the seat. Not now. Not until they d been round one time. One last time.
The ride was so much worse than Zahra had imagined. The restraint was too tight, her back hurt and now it was pelting down.
As the car began the steep ascent, she screwed her eyes tight and was aware of nothing but the blast of bitter, wet air on her cheeks. The clanking stopped and Zahra knew she was at the top but resisted the urge to peek. Then her body was slammed into the seat and her stomach entered her head as she plummeted. She battled to hold her head still as the train looped and twisted and rolled, and then panicked as she realised she was momentarily upside down and only the restraint was stopping her from popping out of the car like a cork from a bottle.
And then it slowed and stopped with a jolt, and it was over.
She swore quietly. And again loudly. Maryam laughed.
Your face. Brilliant. Wish I had my phone.
Zahra wiped away the beads of perspiration on her forehead and self-consciously adjusted her hijab. The coaster had come to a rest ten metres before the station on a flat section of track. The train in front - the one with her mother and brother and his mates - appeared to have stopped in the station, but passengers were still in their seats. Zahra s eyes darted along the train to find Imran, but its headrests made it impossible to see the occupants clearly.
The guy in the emerald shirt was ambling up the platform alongside the train in front, bending over every few seconds. It looked like he was fiddling with something, Zahra thought. She squinted. The man had something in his hand.
And then someone screamed. It could have been Maryam. It could have been Zahra. Now that her senses had begun

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