As the Crow Flies Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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R. Royce traveled around the U.S. looking at specific, privately-owned, classic European driving machines, principally Porsche 911's from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. personally inspecting each one himself, test-driving the sports cars in much better than average running condition. He believes in putting them through their paces, over a grueling race-course of hills, valleys, and curves. He likes driving them fast, swerving around the turns, especially the stealthy, deceptively lightening-fast Lamborghinis.
"How many have you purchased so far?" inquired Cornelius Korn, his good friend and long-time business associate, calling long-distance on a cellular telephone.
"Two more to go," said Royce. "The others are securely located at our rendezvous point, ready for immediate pick-up and transport."
"One of the car-haulers is en route as we speak. He should arrive at the storage units in Springfield by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. He can load and transport half a dozen of the sports cars onto his rig," replied Korn.
"Sounds like a sure-bet winner," said Royce. "You have the green light to go ahead with the plan. Raquel and Alexis Sue should make arrangements to move the vehicles pronto."
"How soon on the remaining two cars?" asked Korn.
"They'll both be in storage units there by Wednesday afternoon," said Royce. "Barring unforeseen circumstances."
"Be careful on the road! The last two cars are extra special," said Korn. "Brand spanking new, high performance racing engines were installed in them only a few of months ago. The vehicles purr like kittens in town, but they roar like lions when you go speeding down the highway."
"I have first dibs on the British racing green crown jewel," said Royce, adamantly.
Meanwhile at the storage facility in Springfield, Raquel Remington was in the process of inspecting the merchandise, when the first car-hauler pulled up. "Hello, Mr. Pfleuger," said Raquel. "Are you ready to take possession of your vehicles?" He was another business associate and a close friend of the team.
"Of course. Most certainly. That's exactly why I'm here," he said excitedly, but professionally all the same. Alexis Sue Shell had already lined up three of the vehicles in the parking lot for loading onto the car-hauler.
"Here are the keys to the peachy yellow Porsche," said Raquel.
"It goes on the top front," said Pfleuger. "I'll load them in the order that you have them parked." In no time at all, he had the three vehicles loaded onto the transporter. By the time he was finished, Alexis Sue had parked three more in close proximity.
"That's all for now folks," said Alexis Sue. Mr. Pfleuger proceeded to load the final three to complete the load.
"Here are the transportation documents," said Raquel, handing him a bundle of folders containing copies of the pertinent six car titles, with their corresponding bills of sale and plates.
"We'll see you soon in Denver," said Alexis Sue.
On Wednesday, Royce dropped off the final Porsche sports car at the Springfield storage facility. After a quick bite to eat at a nearby Denny's Restaurant, he strolled back to the storage facility. "Been waiting long?" he asked the lingering transporters.
"Arrived ten minutes ago," said Korn. "Are you about ready to get this show on the road?"
"Naturally," said Royce, wagging an index finger and pointing off to the distance. "As you may have noticed, I have three cars already queued up for loading."
"This is Mr. Henry Dobbs," said Korn. "He will be loading the vehicles onto the car-hauler and moving them onward to their final destination." He is new.
"Pleased to meet you," said Royce. They shook hands enthusiastically. He handed Cornelius a set of car keys. "I'll go and remove the final three cars from their storage units now and have them ready for loading aboard the car-hauler, pronto." The loading operation went as smooth as silk. He handed the long-haul driver six document packages. He drove away contentedly, seemingly without a care in the world.
"This is the easy part," said Korn. He was referring to moving a dozen classic sports cars in pristine condition to Colorado for detailing and re-sale.
"The hard part was moving the horde of treasure we'd recently discovered and discreetly recovered from the sunken Spanish galleon we found in the Caribbean onto dry land in Georgia, concealing the treasure from prying eyes, and then transporting it to our out-of-the-way little mine, hidden in a nondescript location, somewhere in the Rocky Mountains," said Royce.
"Our own private Fort Knox," exclaimed Korn. "The best part of all was when we transported the vast wealth of treasure concealed under the backseats and inside the trunks of ordinary clunkers and junkers, which we acquired through classified ads and later sold at a discount to interested aficionados, enthusiasts, and other classic car restorers, after having first judiciously removed all of the gold bullion and doubloons, the silver ingots and coins, and carefully placed them into a secure storage-locker facility."
"Because you made such a tidy profit in our last venture, we want you to have really nice sports cars of your own as a personal reward and a token of our appreciation and esteem," said Raquel, most eloquently.
"We know how much you enjoy traveling in style," said Alexis Sue.
"It's true that we can flash the cash whenever it becomes necessary," said Korn. "And you know very well that we'll do whatever it takes to keep up appearances."
"But most of all, we're lovable and cuddly, eager to please," said Royce, amicably.
"Teddy bears," said Raquel, affectionately.
"All ribbons and curls," said Alexis Sue. They were the best girlfriends anyone could ever hope for. They enjoyed life to the fullest with relish. They loved their treasure-hunting, sports-car-driving, paint-balling boyfriends. They believed in them completely and trusted them inherently. Predictably, it would all work out according to plan.
"Incidentally, have you located any more sunken Spanish galleons?" inquired Royce.
"Lately, I've been thinking about buying thoroughbred horses," said Korn, dismissively. Up until this point, he'd been preparing himself for a long, well-deserved period of rest and recreation, rather than tackling a new enterprise. The Kentucky Derby was a done deal, as far as he was concerned. Royce was getting psyched for adventure.
One of the most interesting aspects of the book was that the author told the "same" events through the eyes of the different players. Their perspectives gave the story more depth and interest. (It has always amazed me to hear two antagonists tell their interpretation of certain events and ascribe motivations to the other that were wild stretches.)
I found myself reading longer than I might normally intend simply because I was anxious to find out what happens next.
Very enjoyable book.
Top international reviews
Although Jeffery is unaware, he is responsible for literally saving mine and a few other lives!
In conversation or from a speech, I regret I am too old to remember which, he mentioned that when he checked into an Hotel, he always paced out the distance from his room to the fire escape.
I was awoken from sleep at the Oyster Bay Hotel in Dar-es-Salaam by what turned out to be the roof tiles crashing onto my bedroom ceiling. Upon opening my french windows, I discovered a MAJOR fire engulfing the complex.
Fortunately, there were few guests in residence at the time and they were close to my room and we evacuated as per the lesson Jeffery had taught me.
I have no doubt that this fire was an Insurance Fraud!
Hotel owner left during the day of the night fire and it was established that the fire started in the owner's suite.
First time in 4 years of intermittent but regular stays at Oyster Bay that there was no security at reception and I had to climb over reception area to obtain my room key.
When I suggested 'ARSON' to the Insurers, my previously disputed small claim for camera equipment was immediately settled!
Jeffery tells the best stories you are ever likely to encounter!!!!
I always look forward to a new book from him as I know it is going to be special. The last night of reading I was awake until 3 o clock and after finishing I still couldn't sleep as the character, storyline and the finish was so clever. He seems to build a book like a building starting with the foundations, then building the walls as characters then adding all of the refinements to make it work. Do I like it - absolutely YES!
Do I believe a Charlie Trumper ever existed? Yes,of course, but why? Because most people want to reach a point in life where they have nothing to prove to anyone, but how many of us do? So consider this little ryme.
They say I couldn't, I say I could.
They say I shouldn't, I say I should.
They say.You wouldn't, I say I would.
Whatever the say that fact is still.
If I want to, I B....Y well will.
Well done Jeffrey and Charlie.
Charlie Trumper, selling fruit and veg from his barrow in the Eastend, with visions of glory. It's all here: heartache and happiness, plot and intrigue, money and mystery (lots), tragedy and triumph, frustration and perseverance.
A pleasure to read and sorry the book came to an end.
The narrative starts during Charlie's adolescence, through army service in the First World War, to his rise in the business world. Throughout, the story is enriched by the details of his personal life. The book is divided into sections where the passage of his life is chronicled through his own voice and through those of his family, friends, business associates and enemies. Each section not only moves time on, but also gives a different perspective of the story as experienced by the different characters and at the same time helps the reader to imagine and empathize (or not) with them.
In addition to the rags to riches element of the story there's a cracking good mystery over the identity of Cathy's parents that leads the plot to and from Australia onto nail-biting scenes in lawyer's offices. Great stuff!
Overall,I enjoyed it. I liked how the plot developed, and how the story was told through different viewpoints.
However, I did feel let down at some points, because it looked like the story was going to develop in one direction, and then something happened to stop that thread. Also, some bits felt unfinished, for example, you never found out who actually killed the soldier at the beginning, and yet that was an important part of the story. Also,d there was some lucky coincidences or occurrences in the book.
So,overall, I did enjoy the book, but just felt that at times, there were some weak moments in it.