Extract from the forthcoming Route of Evil – to be released 15th September
Desai took the guards with him down to the riverside terrace to have a much-needed quiet lunch, he hadn’t eaten properly in a day or so and she had been in his ear for much of it.
The guards did not join him but took a nearby table. In this way he could spread out the thin international newspaper and the promo material he had picked up in the lobby. While waiting for his meal he read through the blurb for the hotel spa. He might book in for some cosseting, a proper massage, not like the ones offered over in Pot Pong; perhaps he would go for a Thai sandwich later?
He had positioned himself so he could watch the busy stretch of river, he found the bustle of it was somehow calming. Courtesy boats were transporting guests to and from the Skytrain and a nearby mall, or to the hotel’s traditional Thai restaurant on the opposite bank. Other tourist and business boats were burbling and snorting both ways along the Chao Phraya River.
He watched the hotel’s landing stage just below the terrace as clients were hurried on and off the canopied boats. There was a regular routine with the boats stacking up-river as they waited for a slot, then using the water’s momentum to arrow in smoothly onto station.
The river also teemed with a large number of long-tailed boats, driven by what looked like a motorcycle engine mounted on a long stalk that drove the screw held just below the water-line. He watched one of these curiously as it seemed to jostle for position with the waiting hotel boats.