I'd love to know if this beginning would encourage you to read on. If not, why? Thanks a million in advance. Chapter 1 From the outside, the pub looked like all the other quaint pubs in and around Loch Lomond. The wagon wheel fixed to the white facade was painted black. Potted plants and flowers adorned the eaves, path, and front lawn. But the name gave it away. The Corked Hat. I was greeted by a slack-jawed crocodile that hung from the ceiling using hooks and chains. Snakes and spiders dangled from wires attached to brackets on the walls, threatening to drop in on the unsuspecting customer. The yellow and red walls were decorated with famous Australian landmarks. The beer pumps advertised Fosters and Castlemaine XXXX, though the clientele seemed to prefer wine, cocktails, or Guinness. A koala-shaped blackboard pinned to the wall flaunted exorbitant prices in white chalk. Not the kind of pub I expected to see in a little village like Luss. Looking at the blackboard drew my attention to the stunning brunette sitting underneath it. She was wearing a red headscarf that hung loosely around her neck and shoulders. Her stilettoed shoes complimented her black minidress, allowing the ogler to admire her slender legs. The mirror behind the bar reflected a pretty face with unblemished, olive skin. Her amber eyes were displayed behind a pair of green-framed spectacles. Its arms pinned her dangling ringlets to her temples. She had left her red bag and black coat on the vacant stool next to her as if to indicate she wanted to be left alone. By the looks of things, her wish would not be honoured for very long. Three men standing at the nearest corner kept glancing over at her, sniggering and making muttered comments. One of the men was Jamie Langford and he owed Andy McLaughlin five hundred pounds. The Glasgow gangster wanted me to record the sound of Langford's kneecaps breaking if he didn't cough up the money.