Jeff Dawson

When a stranger, Gabe, offers Max and Nancy $100,000 for sixty seconds of their time, a series of events unfolds which could alter the fabric of the universe.



By Jeff Dawson


Sunday morning, Tarzana – Standing in a suburban living room, a dishevelled Nancy wears a black cocktail dress and waves a gleaming .45 at an elderly man, demanding he surrender his car – "It's a matter of life or death!” She has been put through the wringer, she explains, in a desperate race against the clock. She has half an hour to save boyfriend Max’s life.  


Wind back 24 hours and we find Max and Nancy sitting in a Santa Monica diner, contemplating (for Max) a dull morning's shopping. Events take a turn when they are joined by out-of-towner Gabe, a middle-aged charmer who persuades them to hear out his sixty-second spiel. 


The deal goes like this… He will give them $100,000 if Nancy goes to the diner payphone and takes a message from an incoming call, no questions asked. He shows them the money. There's no catch, he assures. Max is against the idea, but Nancy accepts the proposal.


On return to their table, however, task completed, Nancy finds that Gabe and Max have vanished. All she knows now is that, via a note left on her windshield, she must complete three outlandish tasks within 24 hours… Or Max will die.


In Downtown LA, meanwhile, special detectives Doug Lord and Jeanie Lopez turn over a body in an alleyway. Just days off retirement, it’s been Lord’s life's work to bring Gabe to book. He's so close now, he can smell him. 


Via a corrupt senator, a suitcase full of cocaine, a filthy-rich Sultan, a street hooker, a suburban vacuum salesman, an overweight shelf stacker and the first black man on the moon, they all find they are pawns in a much bigger game.


The Writer

JEFF DAWSON is a journalist, writer and author. A longstanding contributor to The Sunday Times (UK), he has, amongst other things, written the comedy feature Melvin Smarty, scripted for the BBC and penned commercial work for the likes of IKEA.  His first novel, No Ordinary Killing, was an Amazon/Kindle bestseller. The Cold North Sea, the second in the historical crime series, has just been published.