One Last War a gripping psychological nightmare neighbour novel with a twist at the end by C.G. Buswell
Tartan Noir Writer

One Last War

One Last War a gripping domestic abuse psychological nightmare neighbour thriller novel with a twist at the end by C.G. Buswell. Read part of the opening chapter:

One Last War a gripping psychological nightmare neighbour novel with a twist at the end by C.G. Buswell

Think YOU have a nightmare neighbour?

Surely no one's neighbour could be this vindictive over just a few birds?

Former special forces soldier Carl hopes to put his combat days behind him when he moves with his wife and young children to a peaceful Scottish village.

But his nightmare neighbour soon starts a battle of wits with him. Does this SAS Trooper have one more war left in him?

One Last War is an angst-ridden suspenseful novel with a wicked twist from the dark mind of C.G. Buswell.

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★★★★★"One Last War is a great read, particularly for a veteran or forces family member. For those with an interest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the role of assistance dogs, it should be required reading." Fiona MacDonald Founder and Director of military charity BRAVEHOUND.

Here's the opening chapter:

He paced his lounge like a veteran soldier from the First World War, defending his territory from an enemy attack. His windowsill was his sandbagged trench protection from his attacking foes. The net curtains were his cover from vigilant eyes, he thought that he was unseen from the outside. The carpet was well worn in the area beneath his tall windows from his constant fretting and patrolling to and fro. No furniture was permitted to be there. His defensive arcs of fire were the adjoining property grass and path. His new enemy would be coming, he sensed it as soon as the estate agents For Sale board went up, close to his four-foot walled border, by his lock-blocked front garden. No sole weed dared to intrude upon his domain, no flower of joy allowed to bloom, just as no visitor dared to open his heavy gate without prior approval. His cast iron driveway double gates were bolted and padlocked shut to keep out unwanted guests. His boundary to the council pavement had been carefully measured and was within a millimetre precision of his kingdom. His property. No-one and nothing could enter his realm without him knowing, his eight CCTV cameras strategically placed around his brick-built semi-detached house ensured that. But no amount of screen watching, seen from his bedroom and lounge monitors, could give him the assurance he so badly craved that he would be left alone and in peace; except for the infernal click-click of his wife's knitting needles and the distracting unrolling of her ball of wool as she created yet another jumper for him to wear.

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'Come away from the window Simon, you'll wear that carpet out. Stop looking out and being nosey. Come over here so that I can measure your back.'
'Away with you Millie, don't bother me now woman, I need to see them. I want to watch out for their arrival.'
Millie rose from her rocking chair with a creak. The wooden furniture made a snapping noise like brittle bones cracking with her movement. She groaned as she stood up, her arthritic knees causing her pain. She edged carefully to him, hoping that today she would not anger or annoy him, that he would not hit her. She approached him tentatively with the knitted rectangular offering held aloft as if it were a shield against his blows. She carefully placed it against his shoulders as if gently laying a blanket over a sleeping baby to ward off the cold. Millie then quickly let her unfinished knitted jumper droop beyond his back and towards his waist and mentally calculated how many more rows she needed to complete this garment that would stave off the coming winter. She knew she should have knitted her own first because she felt the chill of the unheated home more, but as always, she had to put his needs first. 'If only he would allow me to turn the heating on more often during the cold nights and days,' she thought, 'or go outside to enjoy this fine summer's day and stock up on some heat. It is so stuffy and oppressive in here.'
'Get off me woman!' shouted Simon as he shrugged off the lovingly made garment. He quickly turned around and made to push her violently back to her rocking chair. But she was too fast for him, this time. Years of abuse at his hands had taught her to be quick on her feet, despite the pain from her joints. 'Can't you see I'm busy, stupid cow! Just leave me be and get back to your infernal clicking away.' He coughed and grunted as he breathed heavily away, the exertion had been too much for his obese torso that smothered his lungs, making them work faster as if they were pumping whilst being held in a vice.
She backed away from him, all the time keeping her eyes lowered in submission, fearfully expecting the blow that would inevitably come. Never to the face. No. He was far too clever to allow the bruises, scratches, and marks to show. Outward appearances were everything to him. His reputation in the village had to be upheld. She put down her knitting work into her basket, sat down slowly and picked up her cigarette packet and lighter and lit her fifth fag of the day. It was only 11am and he was already riled. She caught a whiff of his body odour before she inhaled the reassuring smell and savoured the taste of her favourite tobacco. How she wished he would wash and maybe even put on some antiperspirant to disguise his sweat. It was almost as if he was marking his territory with his scent like a tom cat soiling in neighbouring flowerbeds. She puffed clouds of smoke and watched them drift up to the yellowing ceiling and thought ironically that they soon disappeared as if reminiscent of her life draining away, being leached by him.

Tilly turned slowly into the terrace and smoothly changed gears whilst admiring how pretty the rows of red-bricked houses looked as the late summer sun bounced off them. She caught sight of a zebra and what looked like a hedgehog on a nearby front door as she drove her family past a green and white for sale sign planted firmly in the grass. 'Ha, ha, did you see the zebra kids?' she laughed out whilst squinting ahead for the route to the harbour.
'Nooo,' yawned Gordon and Annabelle in sibling unison. They were hoping against hope that their parents weren't taking them to another stately home to look around boring paintings and vases. Or other more ancient buildings with far too many stairs for their weary little legs to climb.
'It was on the door of that house for sale that we just passed. It was on the top glass. It looked really beautiful and made a nice change from the standard flowery patterns of most front doors,' explained their mum.
Carl turned to his wife but could see no sense of mischief in her gorgeous hazel eyes. They didn't twinkle and dance with light like they did when she was pulling their legs. 'Perhaps we'll stop on the drive back kids and you can go out and feed the zebra but watch out for the needles on the hedgehog!'
His dad joke was awarded with laughter from the back seats as Tilly sighed and tutted. She followed through with an 'Och,' learnt from her Scottish grandfather years ago and retained as a nod to her Scots heritage.
'Yes, we will. Then I will be proved right. It's a bit random though, having a zebra on a front door. I wonder what that story is.'
'Mmm,' replied Carl absentmindedly, 'I can feel one of your mum's adventures coming on kids.' A low moan of disapproval grew louder from the back seats as their mum ignored her children and husband and continued to drive.
'Is it another castle?' asked six-year-old Annabelle hesitantly, whilst playing with her blonde bobbed hair and kicking her feet against the fabric of the seat support. 'My legs are still tired from climbing all the stairs of the last one. There were hundreds of them.'
'Don't exaggerate sis,' said know-it-all Gordon. 'Dad and I counted them and there were only ninety-two steps.'
Annabelle turned to her brother and quickly stuck her tongue out at him before her mother could see her in the rear-view mirror and tell her off. He was one year older than his sister and thought he had the knowledge of seniority. Annabelle thought him more of a show-off than a know-it-all.
Tilly gave an exclamation of 'Ah ha!' as she slowed for another turn. 'Can anyone guess where we are going yet?'
Carl, in on the secret trip, stayed quiet, allowing their children to play the guessing game.

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