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Better Beginning – The Synopsis

11/11/2015

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Better Beginning is a contemporary thriller of 113,195 words, told in the first person, relating the story of Gary Dunne. Dunne is a former soldier in the Army Ranger Wing, the Irish equivalent of the SAS, now an Irish civil servant working for Europol.

The 1995 Srebrenica massacre by Serb soldiers and militias of thousands of Bosnians still reverberates in 2009. The US has engaged the perpetrators in their War on Terror, while Europe wants to put them on trial as war criminals. The Serbs refuse to go quietly and turn on the Europol investigators.

Two are murdered and an attempt is made on Dunne’s life, but his wife is killed instead. Dunne deals with the actual killers, but attempts to catch the leaders run into a dead end. Dunne retires to become a lotus eater on Spain’s Costa del Sol, living alone in the apartment in Marbella that he and his wife bought for their retirement.

However, in May 2012, the case comes alive and Paul Bulmer, Dunne’s former boss in the Department of Justice, arrives in Marbella to ask him to collect a package in Morocco and deliver it to the Europol investigation unit in Athens. Though reluctant to get involved, Dunne is swayed by the possibility of bringing his wife’s killers to justice. Briefed in Gibraltar by Ailish O’Connell, an MI-5 officer with whom he worked during the Falkland’s War, he travels by motorbike to Casablanca, where he meets Maria Taslova, a journalist who is following a story in relation to a CIA team in Morocco.

Over dinner in Rick’s Café, he meets Angela Murphy, the former love of his life, who is working for the Americans. The next day he drives the motorbike to Chichaoua, a town in the Moroccan desert, and collects the package.

On his way back to Spain, Dunne fights off violent attempts by both CIA and Serbs to retrieve the package. These events bring Dunne and Angela together and introduce Dunne to a son he never knew he had. Both Dunne and Angela realise that it may be possible to re-build their relationship, but only after Dunne has completed his task. The chase continues through Berlin to Athens, where Dunne discovers that the US is applying political pressure on the EU. The EU directs that the investigation be closed down.

At this point, the Serbs are cut loose by the Americans, but capture their CIA handler and his travelling companion in order to negotiate a severance deal with the Americans. Dunne discovers that the travelling companion is Angela and that both are being held prisoner by the Serbs on the Greek island of Milos. When the governments of Europe refuse to help him rescue Angela, he is obliged to go elsewhere for assistance.

He travels to Jerusalem, where he contacts a Shabak officer he knew from a couple of years earlier. He meets with her and her boss and raises the issue of war crimes dating back to World War Two, and one man in particular who is being sought by the Israelis. Dunne manages to convince them to become involved and together they launch an attack on the Serbs on Milos. This results in Angela being rescued, but she still seems unsure about Dunne. Nonetheless, as they part at the airport in Athens, it is suggested that Stevens may prevail over her doubts.

From → Better Beginning

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