deathly cover

Charles Carrington lays suffering from the terminal effects of cancer in an English hospice. His audience is part-time journalist Tony Mansfield, who has been researching the internal combustion ‘Discus’ engine invented by Charles in the 1970s, which is now having a renaissance in America as a potential power plant for American military drones.

Tony discovers that two Americans believed by Charles to have stolen his design have recently been shot dead in similar circumstances in two different countries. Tony suspects that Charles is somehow connected with these deaths and contacts Charles’ sister, Mary, for permission to visit him. During Tony’s visits Charles gradually reveals the secrets of his past and the ingenuity behind them.

Almost by accident Tony becomes the possessor of dangerous knowledge; he seeks to discover why Charles did the things he did and why he has been chosen as the holder of the secrets. But did Charles’ murderous tendencies start with the theft of his engine design or has he had sinister tendencies since childhood? And how much does Mary really know? 

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ISBN: 978-1-922229-31-1  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 182
Genre: Fiction

Cover: Lewis Horne

Author: Christopher Masterman
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2014
Language: English


About the author

Christopher Masterman was born in London in 1942. After leaving university Christopher served for 16 years as an engineering officer in the British Air Force (RAF) where he worked on a number of highly classified projects. On leaving the RAF he managed aerospace projects in Austria before emigrating to Canada, becoming a Canadian citizen and taking up positions in the Canadian aerospace industry. His last Canadian employer was the Bombardier Company of Montreal where he was a vice president of military aircraft programs. In 1990 Bombardier moved him to their subsidiary aircraft company, Short Brothers, in Belfast. Later, still in Europe, he diversified away from purely aerospace-related work to an eclectic mix of projects ranging from nuclear engineering to light rail projects.

In the last years of his working life, Christopher returned to Canada where he ran his own business consultancy from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

In 2006 Christopher married an Australian, Elizabeth, and moved to Western Australia. There he runs a small olive farm, nurtures a collection of classic motor cars and maintains his flying proficiency. He also writes: his first book ‘An Average Pilot?’ was published in 2010 and received excellent reviews. A second book ‘Travelling to Tincup’ – a Cold War spy novel was published by Zeus in 2012. Descriptions of both of these books can be found at his website:

Chapter 1 - sample chapter


Do you find it fascinating to look into the face of death? Do I fascinate you?” he asked, thereby indicating that pleasantries – if such they had been – were over.

I didn’t know how to reply. I hadn’t expected the word ‘death’ to occur so soon in our acquaintance, which even now was no more than 10 minutes old. I must have looked blank.

“Not my death, you fool, that’s a given; I’d hardly be here if it were. No, I am – have been – the Face of Death to others. But did you know that already? I believe that you think you know what I did. There is no other reason for a journalist, especially one as obscure as you, to want to take up my time in the last few weeks of my life.” He was looking at the business card that I had just handed to him – ‘Tony Mansfield: Aviation Journalist’. His hands seemed no more than bones and blood vessels covered in thin white parchment liberally marked with liver spots and bruises. His voice was weak, wheezy and breathless but, nevertheless, there was a certain defiance – even pride – in his tone.

And he was right. When I first came into his room in the Saint Theresa’s Hospice I had thought that I might be meeting a criminal, someone who had been mixed up in two murders. Now, it seemed, with no effort on my part, he was about to admit it to me.

But he didn’t, not during my first visit on 22nd May 2010. He was willing to talk a little about his business life: confirming some episodes with which I was already familiar, being devious about some others, and refusing to talk at all about the remainder.

After about 40 minutes he was clearly tiring. I had overstayed the half hour that the nurse had allowed me with him. I said my goodbyes and was about to ask if I could visit again when the nurse came into the little room. As much for her benefit as mine, I thought, he called out, “Come again in a few days. Be better prepared and I’ll talk more.”

My interest in him was barely a week old; I had not had time to research him properly although what I did know – or thought I knew or had my suspicions of – was scarcely credible.

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