The Cynic by Pao / #Extract #BlogTour @LoveBooksGroup @CynicPao


Based on real events 2002-2010

Everything changed in an instant. One terrible decision sealed his fate. Trouble is stalking him.

Dink, a gregarious Australian doctor, flees Qatari prison after a drink driving charge. Escaping to Dubai, a body is discovered in his hotel. Danny Zur’s Mossad spies have killed a Hamas commander. False identities and Australian passports were used. Dink, Danny’s neighbour a decade ago, is drawn into the web of international espionage.

Travelling to the Sedois Islands, an Indian Ocean paradise, the Israelis monitor Dink, and the upcoming Presidential Election. Ajay, a charismatic young Sedois local, introduces Dink to the exotic delights of his island home. And the problems. The real fabric of life in this remote community is laid bare.

Betraying his family and friends, Ajay’s father plots to rig the election. Along with Ajay and the other islanders, Dink prepares to fight for their democratic rights. He has been preparing for this moment all his life.




They sat on hefty wooden furniture hewn from a hardwood black bean tree and looked outwards over the expansive sea. Secreted within the spacious interior of the waterfront bar, they were alone in the cool midday dimness. Felix was the owner of the bar and Soval knew him, but he and Lee were still cautious not to be overheard with such important information. The time and place afforded the desired privacy, and, without undue haste, they sipped their beers. Lee clinked his bottle with Soval’s to salute their promised success. Normally they drank whisky but there was much to discuss.

“To friends and partners.” Lee smiled brightly at the thought of what was to come.

“Cheers, Lee,” Soval responded. “It’s a strong plan.”

Lee was the smaller man in stature, but it was clear that he was the boss. A remnant crown of close-cropped dark hair skirted a large forehead. His brown eyes appeared intuitive and kind and were magnified by his characteristic large, light-framed glasses. Despite angled and uneven teeth, he could manufacture a perfectly disarming smile that captured the essence of ‘peace and goodwill to all men’. The façade of a consummate politician. He was a canny businessman who had made his fortune as the owner of the dominant tuna fishing operation in the Sedois Islands. Lee still controlled the company but more at arm’s length than previously. He also had a large construction company on La Premiere with a smaller La Bajan subsidiary. Lee had cultivated powerful friends both locally and abroad, and this scheme would, finally, allow him to achieve his lofty political aspirations. He felt ready to take control. And his time was now.

Soval was his long-time friend and legal advisor, and Lee felt comfortable with the advice that although their plan was not legitimate, it would be almost impossible to challenge any alleged manipulation of the election result. It was critical not to have a paper trail and, thus, face-to-face meetings were preferred. Either way, they reckoned, by the time anyone questioned the process Lee would already be president.

Lee was cautious that nothing should interfere with their careful planning. He knew how to keep secrets, the dark kind, that most would avoid. He was aware that secrets could create and hold immense power but could also be fatally destructive. He had learnt from bitter experience.

Born as Guang Li in Beijing in the austere winter of 1954, he had adopted the moniker ‘Lee’ when he arrived in the Sedois Islands. The second son of a noted artist and scholar, his fabled family dynasty could be traced back to the Song and Mongol empires. Lee’s forebears had been advisors to Kublai Khan, and his family were part of the wealthy elite. His father had connections in government and was respected as a calm intellectual and wise strategist. Unfortunately, times were changing in China, and being an intellectual was a definite liability. Lee’s family faced tough times during the Cultural Revolution; their finances and fortunes suffered, but they managed to survive largely due to his family’s longstanding connections.

During this difficult period, Lee was encouraged by his father to work hard and continue his education. This consisted mostly of reading forbidden tomes in clandestine libraries. Ultimately, as restrictions lessened, he was successful in gaining admission to a tertiary institution. In the mid-1970s Lee attended the University of Peking studying political science and, given the recent state upheavals, the irony was not lost on him.

Thank you, Pao and Love Books Group


About the Author

The author is a doctor based in Sydney, Australia. He has a diverse range of interests including; current affairs, politics, philosophy, and travel. This is his first novel and is inspired by a series of real events.


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