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Authors: Nick Oldham

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The Last Big Job

BOOK: The Last Big Job
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The Last Big Job

By Nick Oldham


Published by Nick Oldham at Smashwords


Copyright 1999 Nick Oldham


Smashwords Edition License Statement

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This
ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you
would like to share this book with another person, please purchase
an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book
and did not purchase it, or it was purchased for your use only,
then please return to and purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely
coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s
imagination and used fictitiously



Cover photography/design: Belinda Cookson








To Steve Bromilow for giving me an insight into the world of
the undercover cop.

To Alan Shepherd and Nick Berry for putting up with my
questions about firearms - and willingly sharing their vast
knowledge with me.

To Chris Eccles: thank you for the music, the guitar bashes
and the real ale.

To Robin Howard: thanks for accompanying me to the beaches. It
was an unforgettable experience.

About the Author



Nick Oldham is the author of the ‘Henry Christie’ series of
crime novels set in the northwest of England. He was born in April
1956 in a house in the tiny village of Belthorn – mums were very
hardy in those days – up on the moors high above Blackburn,
Lancashire. After leaving college then spending a depressing year
in a bank, he joined Lancashire Constabulary at the age of nineteen
in 1975 and served in many operational postings around the county.
Most of his service was spent in uniform, but the final ten years
were spent as a trainer and a manager in police training. He
retired in 2005 at the rank of inspector.

He lives with his partner, Belinda, on the outskirts of


THE LAST BIG JOB is the fourth of Nick Oldham’s gritty, fast
paced, highly acclaimed and well reviewed thrillers set in the
northwest of England, featuring Henry Christie and is now available
for the first time in e-format.



For more information about Nick and his books visit
‘Nick Oldham Books’ on Facebook



An ex-KGB hit-man out to kill ... a caged lion with a taste
for human flesh ... a careless drugs courier ... a vindictive
ex-con ... a cop with ambition, whatever the cost ... a heist worth
millions ... a terrifying encounter with a Black and Decker
workmate ... and Henry Christie trying to hold his life

Blackburn on a Friday night at the beginning of summer is
always a policing headache. But for the officers of Blackburn
police station it’s about to become a nightmare.

When three police cars explode in quick succession in the
station car park, it seems as if a spectacular terrorist campaign
is underway. But as Blackburn’s finest get ready to do battle with
the IRA, the real action is going down elsewhere – a building
society heist that is about to go badly wrong and which will have
consequences for the whole force.

Consequences which will ultimately involve an ex-KGB hit-man,
an undercover cop in danger from his own side as much as the
villains he’s trying to nail, and a spectacular attempt to relieve
the Royal Mint of £50m.

THE LAST BIG JOB is Nick Oldham’s tough and authentic story of
the men and women who put their lives on the line in the course of


Gritty and Precise’ –

Chilling authenticity ... a gripping tale’ –
Manchester Evening News

Like everything good in life, a fast-paced, old fashioned
shoot ‘em up is hard to find. Fortunately we have Oldham’s latest
novel to remind us what it’s all about’ –
Publisher’s Weekly

Oldham, a real-life copper, offers a story full of dark
menace, gritty realism ... add head spinning action and surprising
plot-twists and the result is a gripping, gut-wrenching thriller’



Also available by Nick Oldham at Smashwords as e-books in the
‘Henry Christie’ series:

A Time for Justice

Nightmare City

One Dead Witness



Part One
- Hard Penetration










Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Part Two -
Terminal Ballistics

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One



Blackburn, Lancashire,


They moved into action at midnight.

Billy Crane checked his watch, eyed his two companions in the
darkness and nodded sharply. The three men were sitting in a stolen
Ford Sierra Cosworth fitted with clean number plates. It was the
preferred getaway car of the moment - a big, powerful brute of a
car which usually stuck two fingers up at the cops.

They pulled on their nylon Balaclavas, obliterating their
faces with the exception of their eyes and mouths. Next they each
eased on a pair of tight surgical gloves and over them, another
pair of thin woollen gloves. Crane wasn’t too bothered about
fingerprints being left in the Cosworth because within four hours
of the job being done, it would be comprehensively destroyed; first
by gutting it with fire and then dropping in into a crusher in the
scrap yard owned by one of his questionable friends. From there it
would be spewed out as a twisted metal box the size of a
policeman’s helmet.

Crane climbed out of the Cosworth, his companions close
behind. They went to the boot and grabbed their equipment for the
job ahead. Then, tooled up and laden down, they moved cautiously
through darkened alleyways until they reached the rear of a terrace
of shops and offices at the edge of town.

By then it was 12.10 a.m.

Crane dropped to his haunches, as did the other two behind

We wait,’ he hissed, looking at his watch again. ‘Five



The same Friday night-Saturday morning.


Over any given year, Blackburn - statistically - is the
busiest town in Lancashire from a policing point of view. Blackpool
may have horrendously hectic summers, but in winter it can be a
ghost town from Monday to Friday each week; Preston may not lag far
behind, but Blackburn consistently puts them both in the shade in
terms of officer deployments and public demand.

And weekends are always busy, even when they are

The only thing that made that particular Friday night any
different was that it was the first night of the year warm enough
for officers to turn out in shirt-sleeve order.

Since the night shift came on duty at ten, the few officers
out on the streets had been run ragged. Sixteen people had been
locked up over a two-hour period; sixty jobs been logged in the
Comms Room. The town was heaving. Situation normal. However, things
were about to take on a new dimension.

The first call which was out of the ordinary was logged at
12.16 a.m. At that exact moment a young policewoman called Danielle
Furness was storming angrily through the underground cell complex
at Blackburn police station. Scurrying sheepishly behind her was a
male colleague, much the same age, but barely out of his

Both of them were dishevelled - owing to the fact that fifteen
minutes earlier they had been rolling around on the ground,
fighting. Not each other, but with a crowd of drunken youths who
had taken it upon themselves to give the two officers a good

When Danny had paraded on duty at ten o’clock with the rest of
her shift, she had been partnered up with the less experienced man
and given the keys for one of the patrol cars. The younger officer
had yet to earn a permit to drive police cars, having recently
failed a standard driving course; in fact, having narrowly scraped
through his probationary period by the skin of his teeth, he was
fortunate even to have a job.

Rupert Davison had that certain knack of getting himself, and
others, into trouble. Consequently, nobody wanted to work with

And yet, when Danny drew the short straw that night and found
herself working with him, at first she did not mind. Blackburn is a
tough Northern town, and night duty is always potentially
dangerous. Bobbies needed partners for safety’s sake.

Danny received several comments about Davison and was told to
watch her back. The guy was dangerous.

He can’t be that bad,’ she responded.

Oh he is, he fucking is,’ she was assured.

The first hour and a half or so of the tour had gone well.
Danny was pleasantly surprised. She hated people who prejudged
others and always tried to avoid doing it herself This was the
first time she had ever gone out on patrol with Rupert, and
contrary to reports, she found him amiable – charming - almost good
company and pretty competent. If she had started off believing all
the crap about him, she knew she would have struggled to remain
positive. As it happened, they were busy, going from job to job,
and Rupert had done his whack without any problems. Danny got to
thinking that everybody was completely wrong about him. . . give a
dog a bad name and all that. . . she was quite

Just before midnight, they were cruising along Darwen Street,
one of Blackburn’s busiest thoroughfares, night or day.

What I really want is to get involved in cracking some
serious crime. International stuff, if you know what I mean,’
Rupert was saying, revealing his pipe dreams. ‘I’m going to get on
the Fast Track and I really want to be an ACPO officer. . .’ As he
talked he spotted a couple of youths urinating in a shop doorway.
‘Stop!’ he shouted to Danny. ‘I want a word with those guys. Dirty

Danny slammed on the brakes, reversed back up the street.
‘Just warn them,’ she told Rupert. ‘We can’t afford to get involved
in trivia tonight.’

He either chose not to hear, or genuinely did not. He jumped
out of the car and strode authoritatively to the offending pissers,
both of whom were completely drunk.

Danny remained behind the wheel, watching Rupert deal with the
incident. It all seemed to be going well. There were a few smiles,
nods and the typical drunken behaviour of wanting to shake hands.
Then suddenly it all went banana-shaped.

Rupert began prodding one of the lads in the chest with a very
attitude-filled forefinger, backing him up against a shop window.
The drunk swung a punch and Rupert’s flat cap went flying through
the air like a Frisbee. Rupert grabbed the lad’s lapels and then
the second youth leapt on to the young PC’s back, trying to
strangle and punch him in the head and face.

BOOK: The Last Big Job
3.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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