A front-line game of cat and mouse between cops as tough and cunning as the conspirators – a murderous satanic cabal intent on influencing the 2014 Scottish referendum. Kertamen is a fast-paced thriller involving recurrent darkness, some moral dilemma and portal-stepping into Jerusalem in 30AD. Seen primarily through the eyes of Detective Inspector Chuck Kean of the Drug Squad. Kean is running a deniable investigation into a masonic cabal among the Edinburgh establishment, who are allegedly linked to child abuse. His team soon experience various unanticipated twists including the discovery that the background on the faction is an intricate one with links to Rosslyn Chapel and a migrant Templar, Adam de Gordon.The clandestine investigation quickly becomes entangled within the foundation roots of a much bigger political conspiracy encased within the 2014 Scottish Referendum. Martone resurrects the political climate, passions and concerns of the voters, whilst cannily revealing a conspiracy akin to that of Dallas in 1963, lurking within the shadows. Connections to the oil and the arms industries, whose peripheral strategies are somehow aligned with the cabal, develop while Kean discovers that he is involved in an age old supernatural struggle between seraphs and fallen angels. One angel – Dai, mentors Kean in what develops into his own moral quest, after revealing to him that the referendum, along with other events around the globe, are all the chess games of the divine.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-75
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had noticed that there were many people on social media who felt that one way or another, the Scottish Independence Referendum may have been rigged. At the same time I also wondered what it might be like to interview a seraph. I think that these were the motives for me beginning to start thinking about Kertamen.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I thought of the story as I wrote it down and moulded the players into the game, as it were. I wrote about the personalities and nature of the characters before then applying mannerisms and appearances from a combination of randoms and people who I had come across in my forty odd years of life.
Bruno noticed that the old rope which held the entry gate shut was tied in an angelic knot. Humans would be quite unable to untie it, as Alexander the Great had learned at Gordian back in the day. He now swiftly untied it, entered the orchard, then shut the gate and retied it again. As he did so he noticed a woman approaching down the bridge with a Rottweiler at her heel that was eagerly onto the scent of something. Eventually, it jerked its master off her footing for a brief second, but she recovered and pulled the dog back into line quite well, noted Bruno.
“What is it, Alfie?” the frizzy redhead inquired of her hound, but the dog was more interested in the scent it had caught and began to growl – softly initially, in the manner that some dogs do when they look through a window and spy a cat passing in the garden. Perhaps they know through painful experience that they can’t reach the intruder and that if they bark, the master will shout at them to be quiet. So, a quiet growl at first then.
Bruno noted that the dog was looking over the walkway embankment and down into the little orchard. He turned to see what it was staring at and spotted a smiling man in a long grey cashmere overcoat who wore a similar grey fedora hat. The dog’s growl became louder now, as if it was sizing up the possibility of a jump down the 4 ft. embankment and over the fence. Thankfully, its owner was experienced enough to lead it away at a trot, verbally doing so at the double, like a drill sergeant.
The dog turned to look back at the orchard a couple of times and had its collar jerked for its trouble. Bruno smiled at the beast as it passed him and it lowered its gaze. He had always appreciated their loyalty and faith in their masters’ leadership, but it was their hatred for the fallen which earned them the friendship of his choir.
“Suicidal instinct, which once again proves the imperfection of the current seeds occupying this world,” one of the fallen had once been heard saying to some angels who had learned about its fight with two dogs which had been protecting a child. The fallen one had tried to take the child, but both dogs had attacked him with ferocity. The dogs both died but the child was saved, and the fallen one had felt the hounds’ teeth tearing at his flesh before he managed to slay them. The problem was that despite being capable of wounding a fallen angel, dogs would inevitably always die when they attacked one.
As Bruno entered deeper into the orchard, he uttered a basic spell in his own tongue, creating an unseen barrier which would discourage humans from climbing over the fence. This needed to be a completely undisturbed parley.
He approached the man in grey, who was sitting up on one of the wooden picnic tables with his feet on the bench. He was flicking a pound coin up in the air and catching it again, smiling at Bruno as he approached. The man was dressed in the 1930's style, but the fine cut of his clothes was clearly modern. He wore black brogues with grey-knitted socks which, Bruno noticed, had small red devils embroidered upon them. A neat little detail.
The face was that of a handsome man, pale and cleanly-shaved.
“How are you, Brother?” the fallen one removed a black leather glove and offered a pale white hand for Bruno to shake, which was ignored.
“I’m very well, and I’ll join you at this table if you do not object,” Bruno smiled back at him.
“Somewhat parky today, old chap,” the old demon mused in a clipped Ox-bridge accent, as he replaced his glove and commenced flicking the coin again.
“Precisely. Appreciate it while you can, then,” grinned Bruno, which caused the fallen one to beam in appreciation at the apparent wit.
To a casual observer, the two of them would have looked like any other pair of middle-aged men, chatting away while their dogs exercised freely in the secure compound, except that there were no dogs in the orchard and these beings were quite alone together.
One of them, perhaps the blonde well dressed demon with the pale face and piercing green eyes, which reflected so much resent and fury, attracted the interest of other random dogs beyond the fence who were not deterred by Bruno’s spell. Other than that, however, both entities would remain undisturbed for as long as they chose to.
They had chosen to meet in the appearance of men. This had been a tradition between the factions for some time now, though other forms were not entirely uncommon either. Bruno found this beast’s human appearance to be friendly enough on this occasion; though there was no mistaking his mischievous air. Both soon relaxed slightly. Neither would abuse a parley meeting; there were rules and traditions after all. They had simply agreed to talk today, and Bruno had suggested the location.
Both of them sat and stared out at the humans struggling by the fence, in the wind. They seemed oblivious to the two men in the orchard, who could see and hear everything within a one mile radius if they chose.
“It’s the dogs I feel sorry for, brother,” smirked the other. Bruno found himself chuckling at this and both of them turned to smile at each other in genuine amusement.
“Some humans buy them coats,” Bruno replied delicately in the hope of more banter from this old Warlock, but the attempt proved futile.
“If only they treated each other with such affection, you and I would be redundant,” sighed the other, the smile disappearing from his features.
The cue had arrived sooner than desired, but Bruno was on to it sharply enough, despite his disappointment.
“Well, let’s get down to it then, shall we?” he sighed.
“Capital, let’s,” the grin was back on the demon, but it was obviously forced now.
“You are warned to refrain from any further involvement in the Scottish Referendum.” Bruno continued to look straight ahead at the people passing by the orchard fence, rather than turning to face him. He let this sink in for a moment,
“Furthermore, I am authorised to tell you that the Lord wants them to think for themselves at this stage of the game,” he added. The other remained silent a moment however.
“Thought he objected to that?” teased the other in Aramaic finally.
“You must leave here and concentrate on whatever other poison you lot are brewing elsewhere,” Bruno pressed the point regardless.
The other shook his head, then looked at Bruno and their eyes met; the cheerfulness in his sharp green eyes undercut by both anguish and anger. Man couldn’t read their eyes – he had given that right up in Eden when he had also lost his understanding of the languages of the animals, but Bruno could see deep into them now easily enough.
“Rum notion old boy, but our other brews are not quite boiled yet. We have the US economy close to the brink and Syria is turning out just fabulously you know; however, it’s here where we desire to make things easier for Russia when the time comes,” the other shook his head once again.
Bruno stared hard at him now.
“Anyway, is it not their ability to think freely, or the lack of it rather, that is the very nature of our little game?” whispered the fallen one sarcastically.
“This is a commandment, and that’s that!” Bruno maintained the hard glare before adding, “I have had it straight from the top and there is to be no deviation from it!”
“Then why the fuck is it that you’re telling me this, Bruno, and not my commander?”
“That could easily be arranged – shall I report that you refused to accept? I’m sure your puppet master will appreciate being forced to command you himself, whilst giving you a slap in the process.”
“Just tell me, why the late demands? Are you afraid of yet another defeat?”
“It is what it is. I am simply an enforcer of the commandment,” Bruno sighed again.
“Ah… the proverbial cop-out,” groaned the other one mischievously. “Once again, the goalposts have moved and it is non negotiable? This is a concerning pattern that renders the game uneven, and thus unjust, Bruno.”
The first-time Bruno had ever encountered this being had been from a distance, behind the bobbing heads of several old men in ancient Sparta, where he was protecting the Athenian fugitive general Alcibiades. Although Bruno had been there with other seraphs for an entirely separate reason, their eyes had met. It had been clear to him that this old Warlock held influence over some nobles who were being asked by Alcibiades to involve themselves in another war with Athens.
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