Jon Galnia is a husband, a father, a Mafia Don, a man who believes that Fate and Destiny are two sides of the same fickle coin. Rich beyond his wildest dreams, his inherited empire expands beyond America, far beyond the streets of his bloody playground, currently far beyond the reach of the authorities desperate to pin even a traffic violation on him.
Fate is about to intervene.
Plucked from the sky by those who hate him, or perhaps by those who want what he has, Jon’s private jet crashes in central India, sabotaged by fate, though, perhaps, guided by destiny.
Unbeknownst to him, Jon is about to play a daring hand in an even bigger power struggle, one that will shock the world and, perhaps more importantly, the self-centred, ruthless Don.
A tale of corruption, of adventure and heroism, The Last Tiger is a thrilling tale of one man’s quest for survival and his uncertain hand on the pages of history.
The flames leaping out of the jet’s engines were raging wildly now, forcing the light aircraft to pitch and drop rapidly through the dark cloud cover as it dived towards the earth thirty thousand feet below.
What had started out as a promising day for Jon Galnia was rapidly going downhill now, and as he dug what nails he had left into the arms of the black leather seat, he struggled to keep down his lunch. Anything not belted up or stowed away flew about the luxurious cabin, crashing into seats, windows and everything that got in the way.
The jet dropped again, sending Jon’s stomach back into his mouth as he choked on his own fear and ducked down into his seat to avoid the whisky glass that zipped past his head to smash on the door of the cockpit, several metres away from him. Crystal glasses were easily replaced – it was the loss of the fifteen-year-old bottle of Dalwhinnie that pissed him off. Despite his predicament, he managed to scowl at the broken screen of the large tv, from where the rich amber liquid now dripped enticingly. He had plenty of bottles in his cellar at home, but he hated to waste a good single malt.
As if to remind Jon of the immediate danger, the captain’s voice broke worriedly over the klaxon that sounded its warning inside the jet.
“We have lost both engines, Mr. Galnia,” he apologised, his English accent trying to retain some composure. “It is inexplicable! Our engineers checked the jet over as normal before we took off from Moscow.”
Jon fumbled for the communications button on the seat’s left console and flicked at it. “I don’t want excuses as to why and how – just fucking land us safely.”
“Yes, Mr. Galnia.”
Jon swore furiously and punched the switch off as he heard the co-pilot beginning to mutter something. He couldn’t believe this was happening to him. Everything had been going so perfectly for him recently, since his lawyers had managed to get the IRS off his back. Using his father’s old contacts, he had destroyed the paper-trail that led the Feds to his door and framed one of his competitors. It was amazing what a couple of million dollars could do when you wafted it under the nose of an unscrupulous lawyer; and if you could follow that up with a few threats to the families of the investigators who were getting too close to the truth, your problems just seemed to disappear.
Despite the new regime’s softening on immigration, the American authorities were still paranoid about attacks on their home soil, so much so that it was embarrassingly easy to make it look like his main competitor – an Egyptian – was laundering money to help fund and set up terrorist training camps in Arizona. All too easy! Finger a few lesser players for being involved, and Jon’s Guardian Angels had managed to kill quite a few birds with one very expensive stone.
Six months of legitimate business dealings with his electronics trading company ‘Galnia Global Industries’ whilst channelling his dirty money through shell companies, had also managed to alleviate some of the heat and suspicion that was still floating around. Nobody was stupid enough to think that Jon, the only heir to the fortune and power of the notorious Giovanni Galnia was clean. It was just that nobody had been clever enough, so far, to prove anything to the contrary.
Jon was in no doubt, however, that he had got lucky this time and because of this, he had decided to turn his attentions to his Russian operations whilst he allowed his wife, Maria, to run the electronics company; carrying on with its legitimate trade from China and Taiwan.
Whilst he kept out of the heat, it was time, Jon had thought, to make some serious money out of the old Soviet Union and the business empire he had set up there over the last two decades, following his father’s death.
Usually happy for things to run on the ground without him, Jon had enjoyed several months of distance governance, getting used to the taste of the Soviet streets again, finding the thrill of the game that he had not enjoyed playing stateside, the last few years.
But that extra dedication had brought with it unwanted attention, and after only a couple of months he had been forced to fly out to Moscow personally and placate those he had somehow managed to piss off without even being there.
Jon scowled as he thought about the events that had led him to this moment, and, as it appeared, his impending death. It felt like no matter what he tried to do these days, he always seemed to piss somebody off somewhere…
Sucking in a breath, he tried to calm himself, something he was never any good at. Despite his predicament, he caught himself thinking of the meeting he had been summoned to, and the woman he had met there to flesh out a deal that would placate those in the Russian Mafia he had offended with the territory he had acquired over the last few years without their consent.
Licking his lips, Jon closed his eyes, still seeing her face, still smelling her perfume…
The jet shuddered again as it dropped down through the grey clouds, jolting Jon back to the present and the immediate danger that faced him. Fighting against his own fear, his anger and the G-forces at work inside the cabin, he held on to anything that could keep him in his seat and swore loudly as the jet protested again and slammed his head against the headrest.
John watched the chaos rage around him for a few moments, regaining his senses as hatches fell open before him and oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling around the cabin, twitching madly on their cords like the condemned from a gibbet.
He reached out vainly to grab at the oxygen mask spinning wildly about in the air before him. Behind him he heard a shriek as his long-serving cabin attendant Sara gave in to her fear. Straining to look over his shoulder, he could see the dark-haired Mexican, who had worked faithfully for him for eight years now, ashen-faced and struggling to stay in her seat at the rear of the jet. Their eyes met briefly through the billowing curtains, and he tried to convey his sympathy and lend her some of his own waning strength. Again, the elements flung him forward in his seat, and he grabbed hold of the oxygen mask as it hit him in the face.
Jon flicked at the communications button again. “Where are we, Robert?” Tugging down on the cords, he placed it over his mouth and nose and sucked gratefully on the air within for a few breaths.
“We are over Indian airspace, sir. Madhya Pradesh region, in central India!”
“Can–” Jon’s question was cut short as the Jet dropped several thousand feet again, buffeted and brutalised by fierce turbulence. “For fuck’s sake!” he swore.
“We have lost all outside external communications, sir,” the pilot reported. “I fear someone has compromised us!”
“No shit!” Jon cursed, as he fumbled for his cellphone. Tapping in a code at the third attempt, he thumbed through his contacts, searching for Maria. Mumbling angrily to himself to distract the terror creeping into his bones, he sucked in another lungful of oxygen from the mask as he called his wife.
It appeared that the Solntsevskaya Brotherhood, the Mafioso he had pissed off in Mother-Russia, had decided to take over his interests after all, rather than having the perverse slice of the offered Galnia pie. They must have paid someone off in his ground crew at Vnukovo International to sabotage the jet, or further afield at Bahrain, when they stopped there to refuel.
If he got out of this in one piece, Jon was determined he was going to find out who had done this to him and make the bastards suffer. As he listened, almost patiently, to his wife’s voice mail message, he wished that he had not agreed to ‘drop’ in on their interests in Taipei for her.
“…get back to you sooner rather than later!”
“Maria, it’s me!” Jon said urgently, after the beep. “We are over central India – the jet’s been compromised and we are in the shit. It seems the meeting didn’t go quite as well as we were led to believe, honey.”
The plane plummeted again and Jon nearly dropped the phone. “I don’t know how I am going to get out of this one, but you need to get onto the Indian authorities and let them know we are going down.” The realisation of what was happening suddenly hit home and Jon lost his train of thought. “I-I love you, Mari! Look after my son for me.”
He locked the phone bitterly and placed it in his shirt pocket. Blue sky came suddenly racing into view through the cloud cover outside the jet’s tiny windows, and bright sunlight spread throughout the cabin.
“Brace yourselves – we are coming down fast!” the pilot’s voice ordered them, as he finally dispensed with any formalities.
Jon snapped a quick look out the window to his right, the blue sky lost in flames and trailing, thick black smoke. He caught the briefest glimpse of high, wooded hills on the horizon, before he put his head between his legs and tried to suck his dick.
Behind him, Sara Gonzales screamed. Before them, the earth reached up and plucked them from the sky.
Since reading The Lord of the Rings at an early age, and later, the works of his favourite author, David Gemmell, Anthony has been inspired to write his own stories. When he is not forging tales and filling blank pages, Anthony spends his time working in his local library, reading, board gaming and enjoying adventures of his own.
Anthony lives in Wales with his wife, Amy, and their cat, Mertle. He is currently working on ‘Rise of Eagles,’ his fifth novel.You can keep up-to-date with his news here: