This is the 21st Instalment in the Series surrounding the activities of the Murder Squad Detective Joseph Lind.
It represents the third Novella in the trilogy: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, A Home is not Necessarily a haven and this book, Without Mutual Consent.
Advocates enthuse on its positive attributes.
Detractors whisper of the evils lurking.
It has helped to topple unpopular Governments. Despots. Tyrants and Dictators. Military Juntas.
It has galvanised Protesters into action.
Found lost friends and supposedly new ones.
Helped to keep far flung families stay in touch.
Informed the Uninformed.
Located Party Scenes for Gate-Crashers drunken enjoyment.
It is the jungle through which Predators lurk unnoticed. Stealthily creeping, looking silently for the injured. The young. The unwary. The love starved. The na?ve and the innocent.
Eight glorious weeks!
That was the longest period that I had been away from my work environment for a holiday, ever. Sure, several convalescent episodes rivalled that sabbatical, but on each of those occasions, I had been chaffing at the bit to return to work as quickly as possible.
The Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam was superb. The scenery breathtaking. The history out of this World. The food and companionship? One couldn't ask for better. The accommodation, five star! The pace of travel? Just what one required to shed the worries and pressures of a busy and demanding career.
After the first three days, my Work and its problems seemed to be a distant memory. Those pangs of longing to return to my desk and to feel the comfort of my Service Revolver under my arm and my Badge giving me that sense of 'doing good for Society and humankind' surprisingly, dissipated very quickly.
In some ways that concerned me.
In planning the Motor-home tour of Great Britain for another four weeks tacked onto the back of the fifteen-day Cruise, I was concerned at how the love of my life and my partner, Estelle 'Tellie' Sanchez, would fare.
She had never shown the slightest interest in any form of holiday that didn't involve at least four-star accommodation. At worst!
My little 16'-0" 'Off-Road' van parked under the specially built Carport out in the backyard as an extension to the Garage, never pulled at her heart-strings to accompany Bill, my son and his mate Ben and I on our long weekend sojourns up and down the Coast looking for that perfect wave... or to sit for a couple of days in some National Park surrounded by the dense forest and a cacophony of bird calls.
Which was our want on occasions.
Her one concession to 'roughing it' was our frequent long weekend visits to my best mate's place down the Coast at Batemans Bay, where she was forced to sleep on a 'made up' bed on the floor of their Lounge Room. To be truthful, that had been a struggle in the beginning to get her to agree with these arrangements. In fact, she had baulked at the planned accommodation, saying that a nearby Motel was more to her liking.
That thought disappeared after the second bottle was uncorked and any thought of walking the kilometre in pouring rain bade that plan farewell.
It was never a problem after that!
So, it was with some trepidation that we commenced our 'Tour' around Great Britain in this medium sized Motor-home with its 'smallish' double bed tucked up above the driving cabin. The roof-line above the bed uncomfortably close, so I had thought. My mind concerned with what we would do if Tellie freaked out within a day or two at the 'closeness' of that roof-line as she tried to get off to sleep.
She didn't complain once, and within a week, her reticence gave way to pure joy to this gypsy life-style. She in fact, complained bitterly as the days hurriedly went by and our return flight back home to Australia crept quickly up on us.
The mysteries of the human psyche continue to amaze me, especially those from the female breed!
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: