"VENDETTA" is my latest novel and was first published on Smashwords in May 2018.
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BH2PFK9
Total length: 95,000 words.
The paperback was released on June 1st and is available directly from me.
Eccentric, untidy Oxford University Professor “Eddie” Higgins has become the ‘scientific adviser’ to a local cosmetics company run by its new and vivacious chief executive, Isobel Johnson. It doesn’t begin well. “Yours is an industry dogged by exaggerated claims, impossible claims and false claims,” he tells her. Can they work together and so expose the Russian and Chinese gang exploiting cosmetics companies for counterfeiting, money-laundering and drug smuggling? With the investigation moving between the UK, Thailand and Malaysia it is the relationship between the passionately ant-cosmetics and unkempt Professor Higgins and the vivacious professional business woman Isobel Johnson, that forms a backdrop to the story. With “Eddie” strongly believing that vanity is a human weakness and to exploit ii for profit is in itself a crime, can the two ever work together, accept each other’s views and turn the company around?
Vendetta is the third in the Asher & Asher international crime series with a new, younger face, joining the team.
"AN HONOURABLE FAKE"
First published via Smashwords in February 2017
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/704401
Amazon Kindle link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06X6KD8T3
The paper back was released on July 21st 2017 and is available from me.
Total length 103,000 words
Some comments from readers:
"...a rare sort of political thriller - a black African hero!"
"...accomplished and knowledgeable - a class follow up to Whistleblower."
"...I lent it to a friend, who has now read all your books ....great story line."
And some background to writing the novel:
I haven't been to Nigeria for a while. It's a country I used to know very well and I still follow all its news. I love the people but the country itself worries me deeply. It has so much potential but so many problems - overpopulation, the economy, poverty, corruption, terrorism. Studying it is like holding up a mirror to the future for us all.
I feel it's too big, too diverse and too unmanageable but there are other even bigger countries (India for instance) that will, no doubt, become a 'super power' in the not too distant future, so I might be wrong.
But I am hopeful for President Muhammadu Buhari. He is an outspoken man who understands the problems and is desperate for change, but a huge burden lies on his ageing shoulders. I wish him well.
The main character in this story (which is based just a few years into the future) is a charismatic 'fake pastor' risen from the Makoko slums of Lagos, a hero to some for his views on terrorism, poverty, fraud and corruption but an enemy to others who see him as a threat to their own power and lifestyle.
I like to write about things that could, quite feasibly, be true but that's not always easy when news unfolds and things change on a daily basis.
I'd like to think that this novel might also strike a note among younger Nigerians, after all the future of their country is very much in their hands.
At age fourteen Femi Akindele, an orphaned street-boy from the Makoko slum in Lagos decided to call himself Pastor Gabriel Joshua. Unqualified and self-taught and now in his mid-forties Gabriel has become a highly acclaimed international speaker on African affairs, economics, terrorism, corruption, fraud and the widespread poverty and economic migration that results.
But Gabriel soon discovers that popularity never guarantees solutions or support for change. Together with his loyal, boyhood friend Tunde Oyedepo who, aged thirteen, became Solomon, Gabriel’s long ambition has been to create an alternative society funded by private donations and profits from their own company, Solomon Trading. But the area he has chosen for his economic experiment lies on the poverty ridden but dangerous northern borders of Nigeria and, if he is to achieve anything and attract investment, it’ll need defending from the ongoing terrorism that still plagues the area. With the US, UK and other Western powers still unwilling to help, Gabriel again decides to do it himself with a small, private army run by an ex British SAS soldier.
But then Gabriel receives notice of an international arrest warrant falsely alleging fraud, corruption and money-laundering by Solomon Trading in connection with a big Nigerian government contract. This is followed by the murder of Solomon Trading’s London-based manager.
In an attempt to understand what is going on and who is behind it, they employ the services of London-based international commercial crime investigators Asher & Asher.
What Mark Dobson from A & A uncovers is a mixture of corporate politics – Russian and French – and a highly-organised group of wealthy and corrupt individuals already financing a terrorist operation (the COK) with one purpose in mind – the overthrow of the democratically elected Nigerian President and the establishment of a vast, new West African state. What stands in their way is the widespread popularity of Gabriel Joshua, the recently elected Nigerian President Hamed Massoud Azazi. and the newly appointed head of the Nigerian State Security Service, Colonel Martin Abisola.
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/491873
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00QCGP3H6
Link to Amazon hard copy (American version with a different cover):
The UK paperback with the cover shown here is available direct from me.ng
Total length: 120,000 words
The further I got into writing this novel, the more I grew to like and respect Jim Smith the main character. Beard apart I suppose he's a bit like me - a man with basic needs who believes money doesn't guarantee happiness and that it doesn't make sense to stay quiet when you believe something's wrong.
REVIEWS & COMMENTS:
"..This book has the sort of political intrigue that captivates viewers of shows like "House of Cards," but the main man is actually a decent person in "Whistle blower." As someone who prefers protagonists on the correct moral side of the spectrum, it made the book that much more enjoyable. (AMAZON)
".."Whistleblower", by Terry Morgan, is an international thriller that stretches from England to Thailand with many stops in between. The plot centers around the timely topic of international aid money and the criminals who feed on it. The hero, the story's whistleblower, is British ex-politician Jim Smith, and the story follows him around the globe as he seeks to put a stop to the corruption. Morgan, a world traveller who now resides in Thailand, knows his locations well. Cities in Italy and Africa come alive, and Jim Smith's home in off-the-beaten-path Thailand is wonderfully described, allowing readers to feel like they're there--this is no easy thing to do, and the authenticity of the various settings is a real strength of the book. Another strength includes the protagonist. Smith is not a typical hero. He's older and lacks the suaveness and action-hero credentials of a James Bond or Jason Bourne, but he more than makes up for it with his intelligence and depth--a big pleasure in the book is being invited into this man's life as he tries to pick up the pieces after an underhanded campaign aimed at ruining him. The plot moves along briskly, and the technology, players (politicians, intelligence agencies, criminals), and small details about the finance industry all add up to a novel rich in credibility and intrigue. Anyone interested in seeing the world from the comfort of a good armchair should read Morgan's book." (AMAZON)
"........brilliant. The best one so far!"
"....Great pace, but I really would have appreciated it being longer, because I enjoyed it so much!"
"Fast moving with an International backdrop. An outspoken British MP on a mission to untangle a fraudulent network, siphoning off millions of taxpayers aid money right under the noses of European institutions. Threats, blackmail and cyber crime. A creaking, self serving, bureaucratic system, run by committee, gives perfect cover to the powerful and corrupt. In a world of light touch regulation and automated checks and balances, the story offers credible glimpses of how these institutions are run. Ultimately, it takes American involvement to hone the efforts of rooting out the endemic corruption. Great stuff."
"An engrossing read written with knowledge, skill and great sensitivity."
After making public accusations that high level government bureaucrats and politicians were involved in criminality through organised theft of International Aid money, ex businessman and newly elected Independent Member of the UK Parliament, James (Jim) Smith, rapidly becomes a political outsider.
Hounded and ridiculed by other politicians and sections of the press for naivety, for making accusations without proof, for his lack of political finesse, untidy appearance and blunt, no-nonsense style, he then endures a deliberate campaign of harassment clearly intended to silence him.
Sure the campaign to stop him is being orchestrated and funded from somewhere, he flees abroad to escape the stress and publicity and ponder on what to do.
For three years, he lives alone in a remote part of Thailand struggling to come to terms with his bitter incursion into politics while devoting himself to painting and Buddhism. But he is also determined to renew his campaign and, with help from an English businessman, Jonathan Walton, a Dutch 'mole', Jan Kerkman and an ex Irish newspaper reporter, Tom Hanrahan they uncover evidence of massive fraud netting millions of Dollars and Euros from charities and international aid funds at the heart of the political establishment. The mastermind is a strange and elusive Italian calling himself Guido who uses threats, blackmail and computer hacking technology to run the vast, fraudulent network.
With the danger to Kerkman and Walton increasing, Smith secretly returns home but knowing they will face the same problem as before. As he explains at a secret meeting in Amsterdam, "We are asking a complicated political and bureaucratic system designed to protect itself from self investigation to do just that - to investigate itself, prove the existence of massive internal fraud and then act."
But it is the US Government's intervention and determination to deal with fraud associated with its own US Aid programme that provides the manpower and resources that Smith and his colleagues need.
With a US Senator, Colin Stafford, driving the political agenda and the FBI providing resources, more evidence is gathered and the international law enforcement agencies and Interpol are finally involved.
"All I ever wanted was to say something about the distribution of wealth and the worship of money as the answer to human happiness," Jim Smith explains to Senator Stafford. "Money has never meant much to me other than as a measure of my contribution to society. But it is wrong that people in positions of power and trust abuse their positions and steal vast sums from the public purse. But make no mistake, they are powerful. They already have money and resources but they are out to make even more. Security is what keeps them out of sight. Politics and bribery is what shuts mouths. Threats and fear of repercussion is what keeps people in their place. Finding those at the top might not be difficult but they are protected by a reputation of dignity and status that has been deliberately constructed to make any accusations from outside look absurd and inconceivable. I tried the accusations route and I was the one made to look absurd. That's why I went away but I always planned to return to renew my campaign. We will probably show the whole system is at fault and whether we can do anything about it in our own small way I don't know, but I'm damned sure the millions of honest, hard-working tax payers out there would support us in anything we do. That is where our strength lies."
Arrests begin, but as Kerkman and Hanrahan close in on Guido at a villa on Lake Como the Italian provides yet one more surprise.
This realistic thriller covering events in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia is also a sensitive portrayal of a stubborn and talented man steadfastly refusing to fit into the stereotype of a successful businessman and a modern politician.
EXCERPT FROM THE PROLOGUE:
Jim Smith talking to US Senator Colin Stafford and FBI Legal Attache, Stephen Lockhart, at the US Embassy, London.
"Make no mistake, these are powerful people. They already have money and resources but they are out to make even more. Security is what keeps them out of sight. Politics and bribery is what shuts mouths. Threats and fears of repercussions are what keeps people in their place. That is the power they think they have over everyone.
They depend on ordinary people only interested in holding onto ordinary jobs by doing ordinary things - things they are told to do, day-to-day. But they'll use anyone - politicians, big and small businesses, the press, PR consultants, magazine and newspaper editors, TV, the radio - they'll pay anyone for a story or a piece of news or comment to counter suggestions that things are not as clean as they appear. They'll hack phones and they'll record conversations. And if all that doesn't work then they'll bring in the really nasty elements - underworld characters who know nothing of what is going on but who'll do anything for the promise of big money.
It is a sort of white collar mafia who have learned to specialise in this form of crime. With just a few sitting at the very top there is a structure of lesser fraudsters beneath, all kept in order by threats, blackmail, bribes and promises of money.
Finding those at the top might not be as difficult as we think, but they will be protected by a reputation of dignity, professionalism and status that has been deliberately constructed to make any accusations from outside look absurd and totally inconceivable. I tried the accusations route and I was the one made to look absurd.
And they are using technology, software, the internet - anything that will help to conceal what they are doing. As for their helpers - the lesser fraudsters - they will want to keep them in charge of the day to day operations because they still need them. They need all the systems to appear to be working normally and efficiently, because they might one day need to explain away security and bureaucratic weaknesses they have been ruling over for years and to find plausible excuses for the vast sums of tax payers money they have lost and stolen. That is when the complete innocents and the lesser fraudsters will suddenly find fingers being pointed directly at them. They will become the dispensable, sacrificial offerings to muddy the waters and divert attention.
I know all this because it happened to me. That's why I stayed out of sight for a while, but I always planned to come back to renew my campaign.
So be aware. Those fraudsters sitting at the top will not look like criminals. As they go about their public lives they will look and appear calm and normal because they feel untouchable.
And even if massive fraud was proven, would they automatically lose their freedom, their jobs, their status, their pensions? No, not necessarily. Because the entire system is designed to automatically cover up such activity and if it ever came to public enquiries - which is unlikely - they would point fingers at each other and then hide without fear of prosecution behind the complexity of the organisation. Things like that would take years, if ever, to come to Court.
So we will probably show that the whole system is at fault here. Whether we can do anything about it in our own small way I really don't know, but I'm damned sure the millions of hard-working, honest, tax payers out there would support us in anything we do. That is where our strength lies.""
'An Old Spy Story'
First published as a paper back in UK (available direct from me)
Smashwords version: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/319948
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005CX8RFA
'An Old Spy Story' was my first full length novel. Drafted mostly whilst I was travelling on
business, it was first published in 2012 as a paper back and then online with Smashwords.
This story came direct from my heart & I challenge anyone to write a book like this without having travelled alone, worldwide, on business, and done the sort of things that the main character, Ollie Thomas, has done.
Several characters in the book are based around people I've actually met but dear old Ollie became a real close friend to me during the six years or so it took to write the book and develop his character. Ollie made me laugh and he made me cry. He was eighty six years old in the story and I like to think he's still going strong though I hope he's given up on the whisky.
The old spy in “An Old Spy Story” is eighty-six years old Oliver (“Ollie”) Thomas.
Still wracked by guilt and anger over his past, Ollie makes one last attempt to settle unfinished business. During a long career struggling to make an honest living with his own export company, Ollie carried out parallel assignments in Africa and the Middle East connected to British Intelligence. Through the use of threats and blackmail from his controller, Major Alex Donaldson, Ollie became embroiled in Donaldson's private money making schemes including assassination, money laundering in Africa and arms shipments to the IRA through Libya. Now, recently widowed and alone, Ollie goes on one, last assignment - to deal with Donaldson.
REVIEWS & COMMENTS:
"...a masterful tale by someone who knows exactly what he's writing about..........John Le Carre? Watch out....."
"This is no ordinary espionage story and if you only read the chapter on 'Sarah' you'll see why. This chapter is so good it made me cry and few books have ever managed to do that.........."
"...Having been in business for myself and traveled well, I loved this plot. Linking the Cotswolds with international trade, bribery, corruption and the murky workings of British Intelligence. The depiction of the many fixers and middle men ring so true, as do the dubious business practices. Gritty descriptions of far flung cities and their low budget hotels give a convincing portrayal of how much import-export business used to be done - maybe it still is! Easy reading."
"...Plenty of action and a compelling read, the writers description of the death of Olly's elderly wife, is very moving. Very good read, and a pretty accurate description of that kind of business!"
"...just read it. A wonderful and moving love story from an elderly man's perspective is beautifully woven into it and the ending is masterful"
"...I enjoyed it, exciting, endlessly beguiling and fun."
"...an excellent portrayal of a third rate spook - not officially on the books - who operates outside diplomatic channels and without any proper protection. Always in a danger zone our aged hero gets the job done despite his wife's death and his growing addiction to booze. This is a very compelling read from a 'knowledgeable' author."
"...thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. A remarkable book from a new writer who has quite clearly been there and done it - easy reading."
"When I read it, John le Carre kept coming to mind, but you know what? - I found it easier to read! Nice work."
The original paperback cover is shown below:
THE MALTHUS PANDEMIC”
First published on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/390988
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Q0WPNSG
The paper back version is available direct from me.
This was the first in the Asher & Asher international crime novels. It is a thriller that moves around some countries I know well and I've let the politics inside me come out. It's about a high flying virologist deciding it was time to do something about uncontrolled population growth because, as he says, over-population is too sensitive a subject for politicians and they won't discuss it. And yet it is the basic cause of most of the world's problems: poverty, environmental destruction, conflict and mass migration.
In the story the virologist teams up with a rogue organisation to spread a designer virus he has created - an extreme action, maybe, but all very feasible. I trained as a biologist before going in to business and human over-population is a subject I feel very strongly about. For every downloaded e-book, I contribute £1 to 'Population Matters.'
Daniel Capelli is a private investigator of international commercial crime.
Armed with an unusually vague remit from a new client, an American biotechnology company, to investigate the theft of valuable research material but motivated largely by a private desire to see a Thai girlfriend, Anna, he travels to Bangkok for an infectious diseases conference. Here, he discovers that several virologists have also disappeared. One of them, David Solomon, is known for extreme views on the need for direct action to reduce the world's population.
As the investigation deepens he rapidly uncovers a sinister plot to deliberately spread a deadly new virus, the Malthus A virus, specifically created by Solomon. But Solomon needs funds and help to spread it.
With sporadic outbreaks of the disease already in Thailand, Nigeria and Kenya, Capelli finds two other characters - Doctor Larry Brown, an American doctor working at the USA Embassy in Nigeria, and Kevin Parker, an academic and expert on the history and economics of population control who have also arrived at similar conclusions but from different angles.
Calling on help from another close friend, Colin Asher - a London based private investigator - it soon becomes clear that Solomon is being supported by a rich American with a history of fraud, embezzlement and murder and a secretive Arab healthcare company with a ready-made international distribution network. Their plan: To help spread the Malthus A virus and make huge profits by marketing ineffective or counterfeit drugs.
But with his cover blown by the murder of another colleague, the charismatic Kenyan detective Jimmy Banda, and with increasing fears that the virus is about to be released Capelli, Anna and his colleagues face another problem - persuading UK and USA politicians and the international agencies responsible for bioterrorism and commercial crime, to believe them and respond in time.
REVIEWS & COMMENTS
SMASHWORDS - July 07, 2014 : "What a fantastic plot! I enjoyed the reading"
'A well researched and realistic thriller that combines bio-terrorism, international commercial crime and the politics surrounding population control and terrorism. A good and easy read.'
"Anchored firmly in the present, no high tech Bond style gadgets, just good old fashioned detective work. Gritty descriptions of the international locations, compelling plot and poignant rants about the inadequacy of democratic institutions and persuasive insight on the inner workings of the global establishment. Easy reading and difficult to put down once started. Enjoyable read."
"The Malthus Pandemic" was published online in January 2013.
It is available in various e-formats at smashwords.com/books/view/390988 & KOBO
From Amazon Kindle at $2.99 Ref: ASIN: B00Q0WPNSG
Or in paperback format: Price £5.00 or $6.50 + mailing costs.
For paperback orders contact me at email@example.com.
"How does a million deaths from a SARS-like virus in the USA sound?" Larry asked the US Ambassador to Nigeria.
"Let me describe a scenario to you. Imagine, if you will, a country that deliberately spreads a virus, like SARS, with no known cure with the intention of wiping out hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of people in a neighboring country. Would you call it war using biological weapons, sir? And if it was carried out inside their own country against an ethnic minority for instance it would be called ethnic cleansing or genocide, right?
"Yes, I suppose so," said the Ambassador, "But....."
Larry gave him no chance to interrupt.
"But if it is a private company releasing the virus because they had a treatment or a vaccine ready to launch to make huge profits from, what would you call that, sir? Good business practice?"
"I'd call that very unethical, Larry."
"Yes, and what would you say if some of the scientists behind creating that virus and developing the drug or vaccine not only had a commercial interest in it but held some very extreme political views about the need to reduce the world's population for a hundred reasons that they would, if needed to, site as indisputable evidence for their actions?"
"But that's ridiculous, Larry. They wouldn't be allowed to get away with it with all the checks and balances in place on research of that sort."
"Are you sure there are any proper checks and balances? Because I'm not and I've looked. There are no international policing systems in place. Any rogue scientist could team up with any rogue businessman with a history of fraud or malpractice and hell bent on making even more money - and what's there to stop it?"
First published on Smashwords in 2014: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452003
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Q2AVUBU
The paperback version is available direct from me.
A shorter novel but, yes, it's politics again - this time with an imaginative look at a time a few years into the future when human migration, population growth and scarcity of resources is starting to bite into the fabric of society.
'THE CAGE' is a hard hitting, but controversial short novel (17,000 words) based around the year 2050 when overpopulation in Western cities is causing food and energy shortages, mass unemployment, increasing social tensions and civil conflict.
An ex politician and Professor of Biology, renowned for warnings and predictions about the effects of overpopulation is being held in an open prison. He is visited by his grandson unable to cope with life in the overcrowded city. The Professor' listens sympathetically, but, after a lifetime spent forecasting what would happen if world population went unchecked, admits he is unable to offer a solution. Past warnings, he says, went unheeded due to politicians' fears about human sensitivities about population control. 'That is not leadership,' he says, 'But world politicians and religious leaders were weak, scientifically illiterate stage performers, constantly shedding tears of compassion about suffering and poverty just for short term popularity and political advantage.'
As a qualified biologist myself (MRSB, CBiol) I admit to strong opinions about the effects of unchecked, human population growth. If you agree then have a look at joining Population Matters: www.populationmatters.org
REVIEWS & COMMENTS:
"Hardship, struggle and resources. Population, migration and human rights. The world teeters on the edge. This is a relevant, yet uncomfortable, glimpse into the future. Questioning some of the most fundamental principles and rights in the modern world." SMASHWORDS REVIEW 29th August 2014:
'Not a novel for a light-hearted reader!'
"The Cage does not make for comfortable reading. It is challenging, but I strongly encourage people to read it.
You may not agree with all that is written, but Terry Morgan is not frightened of making us sit up and take our heads out of the sand. Powerful read."
".....VERY thought provoking.....reading about where things are leading was disturbing.....too close for comfort."
"......I keep remembering phrases from this book - politicians should read it."
One of the great pleasures of living in rural Thailand is the countryside, my Thai family, the local people and the strong Buddhist culture.
Buddhism suits me rather well, I suppose because it has no strict doctrines to adhere to like other religions. Yes, there are traditions, customs and simple ceremonies, the candles, the merit-giving, the chanting in Pali, which, as someone born into a Western way of life, takes some getting used to, but pure Buddhism is a way of living your life and understanding and appreciating life, and death, itself. Surrounded by a fast moving, impatient, have-it-all, expect-it-all world where individual rights override collective responsibility I feel very comfortable with it.
"LEARNER" is a shorter novel I drafted during 2014/2015 but put aside as I got side-tracked with finishing "Whistleblower" and, more recently, by 'An Honourable Fake'.
Just like "The Cage", there are only two characters: A young, modern Western man on holiday but in a dead-end job back home and no idea what he wants from life, and a Buddhist monk not much older than himself who he meets by chance.
What's it about? Well you'd need to read it but I've still not published it because whenever I read it through I add bits and change things around. I'm aiming to release an e-version sometime soon, but.....no rush, life goes on.
PS. In response to a query, the draft cover was created by me from two photos taken in the garden