About the book

A snowy London pub filled with strangers. A bar in Koh Samui Thailand, filled with strangers, only this time it’s 20 years on! The weird thing is, they’re the same people – odder still, they are unaware of this phenomenon.

The link will be nurse Sawa, in Nathon hospital, who comes across two comatose bodies, who appear out of nowhere on her ward. One is holding a key to box 22 of Siam Bank, which attracts the attention of Thai/English Detective Gunn, when investigating the strange occupants of… room 22!

This investigation will eventually lead Gunn to Gerry, an English politician who lives by Chaweng beach.

Gerry lives in an impressive walled Thai house called Five Palms. He’s a kingpin in the blackmail of Europe’s politicians by his “army of hookers,” who he feels are more deadly than a fully loaded military.  The objective is to relocate the European gold (which nobody has seen) to the East. The plan is working, until Gerry loses his composure, as the ghost of a redhead girl who he has buried in his secret cellar, hunts him in his corridors.

Gunn too is exposed to the supernatural in his discoveries, which he confuses with coincidence – a subject he is fascinated by.

“If it were not for coincidence, where would you be now in life?” he explains to his colleauge Tam, “Your partners,  jobs, where you live… are all due to coincidence. That’s why life is not a straight line.”   

The bizarre events that occur in Gunn’s discoveries are actually taking place in reality today. How safe are you?

The Sixth Handshake A thriller about coincidence, by Peter Snelson

1993. Lisa’s road heads East.

One evening Lisa was reflecting on her father’s death and how his body had been discovered on his yacht by the Chinese port authorities. They had found it adrift off the mainland, with her father slumped at the foot of the stairs, dead. The report said he must have fallen down the gangway during a storm, breaking his neck. Lisa didn’t believe this for one minute as the jenny (forward sail) was still unfurled with the mainsail partly reefed, which she knew was not storm rigging. So the authorities had clearly lied.

Her father was a diplomat for the British in the 80s and mentioned to her in veiled messages that something was up. He later sent her some photos of his yacht on a night sail with the moon gleaming above in a clear sky – illuminating the Jeanneau’s full white sails during a beam reach (the best point of sail with the wind giving maximum push). Her father wrote on the back that this was his fourth day at sea. Lisa thought it strange that he sent photos of the boat which didn’t even feature himself.

This, for no particular reason now played on her mind. Then suddenly she realised that something wasn’t right with the fenders, but not being able to ascertain what exactly. The fenders being out along the side of the boat in the photo was a message. Being a sailor herself she knew the first thing you do after you cast off is to take the fenders in, yet the message said this was day four at sea so why on earth were the fenders still out? For a hugely seasoned yacht master, this didn’t stack up at all and Lisa, as intended, realised this – her father must have known she would realise its irregularity. Prying eyes were unlikely to spot this deliberate mistake unless someone was of nautical stock.

Her ensuing journey to China yielded nothing which proved the point in her mind. She faced a brick wall with no one knowing anything except his secretary who mentioned that she should be wary of a man called Gerry. She took heed and left, frustrated at her lack of progress.

Lisa worked in banking, setting up high profile accounts for companies as big as BP. She worked in an office next to the OXO Tower restaurant on the Thames River embankment.  It was about half a year after she had returned from China that she stared again at the photo with the fenders. The message on the back said, Day 4 at sea, Lady M. 389 14 1.

She had never worked out what the numbers were but presumed them to be something to do with a registration or insurance number for the yacht which led to the obvious question: Why put that in?

She thought it to be a possible bank sort code which she tried to locate on the boat register, but to no avail. She then tried something different. She messed around on the computer screen by putting the alphabet underneath the numbers which meant that the number 3 came in line with the letter C. She continued and got CHIADA.

Who or what on earth was Chiada? She checked the dictionary and got nothing. She thought maybe it could be the name of a person, possibly M Chiada. She put that down as a possibility to be checked later. Still her mind told her to explore other avenues while she was at it. So she did the same process except backwards – Adaihc – then with an M. Still nothing! Just another name to check!

She got up, walked around, and made a cup of tea. As she hovered over the computer screen standing up, sipping from her cup, she suddenly realised something. It was 389 14 1. There was the number 14, not 1 and 4. She eagerly revisited the alphabet and the 14 equated to the letter ‘N’. “Bingo”, she said out loud. “China…its China.”

She typed in China 389141 and got nothing. She then typed CHINA 389141 and the screen went mad.