Axel's Turn
Doyle Matthews


In 1980 diplomat Axel Trink, assigned to the American Embassy in Bangkok, falls for a beautiful terrorist involved in a coup d’etat plot against Thai Prime Minister Kriangsak. Axel enlists the femme fatale in his revenge plan against his boss, who had used him to jump start her Foreign Service career. When the terrorists abduct a diplomat alias DEA agent it provides a smoke screen for Axel to abscond with C-4 explosive for his revenge. Although the plan fails, Axel prevents the coup d’etat, saves the undeserving diplomats, and escapes with a fortune in terrorists' drugs.

Ref. No. 602013ot
Length 78,000 words

From The Book

October 21, 1973


Final leg of TWA Flight 742


Cairo—Larnaca (Cypress)—Tel Aviv

Axel Trink—at 33,000 feet—set his drink down on the tray table and clasped his hands together as if to pray; it was a ritual he hoped would ward off the arthritis that had invaded his mother’s extremities and threatened his dream of becoming an artisan. Meanwhile he had other fish to fry. Before leaving Cairo, he had transferred over three thousand dollars to his U.S. bank account, profits from the sale of some embassy refrigerators on the black market. The general services officer, responsible for household goods at Am Embassy Cairo, hadn't even known the refrigerators existed.


“What’s so funny, Axel?” Jacques Robinson asked. The State Department security officer stretched out his long legs in the first class seat next to him.


Of course Axel couldn’t mention his “refrigerator sale.” Instead he leaned back in his broad seat; his feet inches from the floor. “Hey, Jacques, did you hear the one about the soul-sister security officer who climbed the Foreign Service ladder of success, wrong by wrong?”


Jacques laughed, but his long face adjusted. “Axel, please. Jokes don’t age like fine wine. You know my assistant works hard; she deserves better.”


Axel knew the arrangement. “You've been romancing your assistant, haven’t you, Jacques? And you helped her get promoted.”


Jacques lifted his head as if he were about to address a controversial matter at a conference. “I don’t know what you mean by ‘romancing,’ but I think my assistant is a handsome young woman. I would compare her to Beaujolais: dark full body, just a touch of sweetness, not too dry. A good companion for dinner.”


Axel chuckled. Jacques, the consummate Foreign Service security officer, wore silk slacks, a blue Oxford shirt, and a red silk tie. For him, sooner or later, everything came down to wine.


Jacques’ trimmed copper hair reminded Axel that he had better get a haircut and shave when the plane landed in Tel Aviv. His hair grew around the sides of his head now and tended to stick out like an Afro, though Axel, at twenty-nine years old, would never be mistaken for anyone other than a plain-faced Caucasian.


Jacques’ bushy eyebrows rose, an indication that he either wanted another drink or had a comment about the human condition.


“Axel, are you suggesting that you should have gotten promoted instead of Roxanne?” Jacques readjusted his six-foot four-inch frame in the Trans World Airlines seat.


The girl’s promotion meant nothing to Axel. She spread her legs for Jacques in the Office of Security while he slaved for no one in the Office of Communications. “You want another scotch and water?” Axel asked. “That cute stewardess is headed our way. Maybe she’ll brush her hip beside my face again.”


Jacques looked at his empty glass. “Let’s see. We land in about thirty minutes. That leaves us—give or take—four hours until the security briefing at the Hilton. We’ll land before Dr. K. fastens his seat belt on Air Force One.”


Axel shrugged. “Does that mean you'd like another drink?”


“But, of course, Axel. Now tell me why you believe you should have gotten promoted instead of Roxanne.”


“Well, for starters, I have a few more years of seniority.” He had expected at least a shot glass of sympathy from Jacques. His reply, he realized, lacked substance.


The security officer, six years his senior, gave him a paternal look and patted him on the shoulder. “Axel, quite frankly, I believe that incident last year held your promotion up.”


Axel detested Jacques’ condescension but managed a smile. “Small potatoes. I shipped some video tapes through the diplomatic pouch.”


“Axel, they were pornographic tapes,” Jacques said, his voice soft and reflective, as if the father had discovered that his son had removed twenty dollars from his wallet. “And you used the diplomatic pouch to smuggle them in-country. What were you thinking, Ax?”


He needn’t explain to Jacques that he had smuggled only two porno tapes; the other nine tapes all dealt with his artistic endeavor— the carving of wood. “Well, I had to have something to keep me occupied in that desolate place. Jacques, tell me you never drooled over Linda Lovelace.”


Jacques’ warm red face hatched a conspiratorial grin. “Not in a Shiite Arab country.”

About The Author
Doyle Matthews

Mr. Matthews served as a Foreign Service officer during the 1970s. His engineering career has led him to over sixty countries. “Axel’s Turn” is a work of realistic fiction to be followed by international tales that incorporate mystery, adventure and romance, within settings that are historically and geographically accurate.

Copyright 2006-2007, Doyle Matthews