The Twofold Comeback

A short extract from what little exists of The Tripartite Doublecross

I haven’t yet written much of The Tripartite Doublecross, and what little I’ve written must be regarded as a first draft. However, as a taster, here is some text.


The road at last met another, a larger highway, one of the old motorways, running north and south. Here, at Madeleine’s suggestion, they stopped, and Carr changed out of his borrowed military attire into the white shirt, double-breasted suit and bright-blue silk tie he had selected from the clothes in the Daveyhulme safe house.

‘You cannot imagine,’ he said, ‘how much better that makes me feel.’

‘I probably can,’ Madeleine replied. ‘But believe it or not your state of mind isn’t the priority. Given the nature of the Doncaster house, the guards there will be expecting a man to be in charge. Women,’ she added, quietly, ‘don’t count for much there. They’re expendable.’

Carr pulled her into a hug. She resisted at first, then rested against him. ‘I have some idea of how difficult this is going to be for you,’ he said. ‘But we will destroy that place. I promise.’

‘I’ll drive from here,’ Madeleine said. ‘You’re the VIP now. A big shot from Manchester.’

‘I’ll simply exude my natural air of command.’

Their expectations were soon to be confounded. But first, they reached the sea. The road carried them up, on a vast bridge that had somehow survived from Before, and at the top of the rise Madeleine stopped the car so that they could take in the view: the river Don, below them, debouching into its estuary, and beyond that, grey-green and placid, the inland sea that covered the land from York in the north to Lincoln in the south. To their right the south bank of the Don continued eastwards, a slender finger of land extending skeletally into the waters. Along that strip lay what remained of the town of Doncaster.

Madeleine pulled the starter lever and the car’s engine coughed into life. The road took them into an area of tumbledown, and the view of the sea disappeared behind broken roofs and windowless houses overgrown with vegetation.

‘Turn left ahead,’ Carr said.

‘I know,’ Madeleine said. ‘Only one road in, only the same road out. If you’re lucky.’


The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.