Atticus Crayle: The accidental spy book cover

Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy – Free on Kindle for a limited time

FREE on Kindle til Friday 8th November 2019. FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy is a YA action thriller adventure.

Teenager Atticus Crayle sets off on holiday with some new friends – only to be attacked by gunmen and drawn into a deadly kidnapping plot. Atticus finds himself in an explosive car chase, a perilous train journey and one hail of bullets after another. He’s caught in a dangerous world of spies and organised crime. But Atticus Crayle is no ordinary teenage genius.

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Gone

I lulled myself into a false sense of security. I’d convinced myself we were safe.

I lumbered downstairs for breakfast one morning – to find Six was gone. He’d left a go bag on the kitchen table with a note:

“Be ready.”

That was it. No explanation. No saying where he was going or when he was coming back – even if he was coming back. He was just gone.

It threw me. I saw in a daze for a few hours, then something fired up inside me and I got myself ready. Six had been the careful one – checking our security systems, scrolling through camera footage, occasionally patrolling the perimeter, which meant wandering out with a football at random times of day looking like a normal kid and seeing what he could find. But there’d been nothing.

The only strange thing that happened recently was the last time we’d driven into town, which we’d done a few times. He’d been kind of spaced out in the car. I’d turned the radio on and sung along to a few classic tunes and he’d sat there in a daze. Then, in town, he’d vanished suddenly, only to meet up with me back at the car. He never told me why or what he’d done.

Now this.

I’d gone out for the odd wander anyway, mainly to get some air and exercise, but I’d always been careful and kept my eyes open for anything unusual. But I had Six for backup. Now it was all down to me.

I went through everything he’d shown me, making sure all cameras and motion sensors were working, which I could do from the computer upstairs. I scrolled through the last few hours of security camera footage. It all seemed fine.

No. Wait. Something nagged at the back of my brain.

I checked it again.

No one appeared twice. Two kids kicking a football one time. A married couple strolling past. Apart from that it was the residents of the streets – and we’d identified them, their vehicles and any regular visitors ages ago.

I found it. One car passing by slowly – four times. You don’t just pass our house unless you have somewhere to go. It didn’t stop anywhere. Within minutes each time, it passed traffic and security cameras on a main street nearby, which Six had hacked into. Even pausing on the car and zooming in, there was no way of making out who was inside. I was pretty sure it slowed right down as it passed the house, but no one ever got out. I grabbed a pen and paper to make a note of the number plate – but it was spattered with mud – just enough to make reading it impossible.

“Do you know where Six is?” I texted Silas.

“No,” came the instant reply.

How do you tell if someone is lying on a text? Well, the answer was too quick and only one word. Silas knew more than I did. And there was no way of getting it out of him.

“I’m in more danger now he’s gone.”

“You’re fine.”

Another short answer. What the hell was going on?

That night, after checking and double-checking doors, windows and the security system, I headed out for a walk. I wandered along the road in front of the house, turned right down a pathway bordered by wooden fences, vaulted over one at the end to double back on myself, this time approaching the house from the wooded area behind the back garden.

No one around.

Then I saw something that made an icy chill shoot up my spine.

The windows of the house were dark. And I’d left the lights on.

The Hidden Venue

ShadowAspect melted through a couple of walls and emerged in a small electronics shop that had been closed hours ago. Heavy shutters hid what was happening inside.

The two men with guns lingered out of sight by the door. Their boss followed a woman dressed like a shop assistant to a door marked “Private”, then through a stockroom to a large bookcase covered in boxes set against the back wall.

Slinking behind them, ShadowAspect had already seen seven tiny security cameras. They had all been turned off – apart from the one in the bookcase.

The bookcase swung aside. They stepped inside and it shut behind them.

After waiting a few seconds, a heavy security door opened. The man made his way in alone and strode down a dimly lit corridor with impressionist paintings on the wall. Most were fake, but some were originals. The corridor opened out into a bright café with marble floor and walls.

A waiter with a Glock 17 strapped under his apron greeted him and showed him to a table under a rooflight. A glance around the room told the new arrival that everyone there was armed – in one way or another. And they were all watching him.

The Bulletproof woman

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The flyer couldn’t deflect our bullets himself. He had to stay behind the shimmering cloud to make sure he didn’t get shot.

Six and I turned and ran. Six looked over his shoulder every few steps and fired another shot. Then he reloaded so quickly I almost missed it.

We were getting away.

A second figure leapt in front of the flyer. I could tell it was a woman. Like the flyer, she wore a mask and was dressed in all black. The shimmering air burst out from between her hands. As she moved in front of the flyer, the shimmering air enveloped them both like a shield. Once they were both protected, she ran at us, the flyer hovering behind her.

Six gave up trying to shoot them and we ran for it. We reached the last rows of graves. I glanced over my shoulder. They were still right behind us. The one wielding the bulletproof shield pushed her hands together, making a bright burst of power. She flung a blast out of her shield. The force hit me in the shoulder and blew me off my feet.

The Figure in the Graveyard

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The car was stuck. Six gave up stamping on the accelerator and scowled. My shoulder and ribs sang from where the seatbelt had dug into them.

“How the hell did that happen?” he grated.

My phone vibrated.

“What happened?”Silas texted. “Why did you stop?”

“Something took control of the car and crashed it. We’re fine.”

“Get out of the car now. Take what you need and run. Leave files and computer – I have copies of everything. Check the boot.”

I hated leaving my laptop and manuscripts, but I knew I couldn’t run with them. Six found guns, ammo and night vision goggles in the boot. With out night vision goggles on, we left the car and ran over the field we had crashed into, which rose up towards the silhouette of a church at the top of a small hill.

I reached the church gasping for breath and leaned against the wall before my legs gave way. Looking back towards the car, I could see three figures skulking around it. They were searching for us.

Six and I crept around to a graveyard at the back. It was like an army of stones standing to attention. Beyond the graveyard was a meadow leading a mass of buildings that was the farm.

We picked our way through the gravestones, staying close to the biggest ones. Then Six stopped and pointed. I froze. Across the graveyard someone was moving. I couldn’t tell if we’d been seen or not. It looked like a man in a balaclava.

He stopped and lifted his face into the air like he was listening for something. What happened next was so unreal, I don’t think I would believe it now – if Six hadn’t been there and seen it too.

The man in the graveyard spread his arms. He lifted slowly into the air and flew right at us.

Six’s Driving Skills

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Bullets bombarded the windscreen and the bodywork of the Audi Six was driving.

They clanged and bounced off the car like it was bulletproof. The muzzle flashed. But Six ignored it and drove straight at the SUV. The gunman’s eyes widened in alarm, he ducked back in the SUV.

“Hang on,” Six uttered.

He accelerated. Then he heaved up the handbrake and hauled the steering wheel to the right. The car spun around. I clung on. As the SUV was about to hit us, the front of our Audi swung out of reach.

Then I was facing the opposite direction.

The car and the van had skidded to a halt behind us. It looked like they had just avoided crashing into each other. Then they turned around and set off after us.

We kept spinning until we faced the front again. The SUV screeched to a halt. It had just missed us.

Six accelerated and we sped away. My stomach lurched back into my spne. But for now, I was still alive.

Six Takes the Wheel

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I stared in wide-eyed horror at the van tearing right at us. The car behind moved right up until it was almost touching the back bumper. We were heading for a collision. The bars on the front of the van would crush us inside the car.

Gripping the wheel, I froze. I didn’t know what to do.

“Move over.”

Six grabbed the wheel. Before I knew it, he was driving and I was scrambling into the passenger seat.

He slowed right down. The car behind bumped into the back of us. Six swung left. The driver behind followed. The van altered its trajectory to charge right at us.

Then Six jammed his foot down and accelerated.

Danger on the Road

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Looking in my mirror, I couldn’t see who was driving. I slowed right down, hoping they would overtake and I would realise I was just being paranoid.

But the car slowed and drove just behind me.

I put my foot down and accelerated.

The car sped up.

It was the middle of the night. There were no other cars around. If anything happned to us now, there would be no one else to see it.

“You want me to take over?” Six offered.

“No. Just takes one passing police car and that’s our adventure over.”

“And Mondial have been known to pay off cops,” Six agreed. “I heard they have hundreds on their payroll.”

The headlights of another vehicle were heading our way. As it came closer, I could see it was a van – with a metal grid on the front.

Suddenly it veered across the road and sped right at us.

Ten-Digit Code

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The iron gate was floor to ceiling, stretching across the entrance and exit. There was no way of climbing over or breaking in.

“Now what?” Six demanded.

I stared helplessly at the gate. Did Silas think it would be open – or did he have some way to get us in?

My phone vibrated. A text from Silas.

“You’ll be needing this.”

His next text was a ten-digit number.

What was that for?

Then Six pointed to a keypad set in the wall. I typed in the number Silas had sent and the iron gate slid back.

I led the way inside the carpark, suddenly realising I had no idea what I was looking for. The text came.

“You’re looking for a grey Audi S3.”