New Book, Wasted Resource by Steven Preece


Lantern Swinger
Well, I've finally finished the damn thing. Its been driving me around the twist for 3 solid years now.
Many of you have read my previous books. This is a novel I've wrote called Wasted Resource. Have a look via the link below and double click on the Book image as it allows you to read the first chapter.


It will be on Amazon too, soon, but is currently hot of the press.

Four former soldiers, who are brought together by fate, realise their military skills have become a wasted resource. They form as a team, utilising their specialist skills to steal a vast sum of money, previously recovered by the police and guarded by the RAF Regiment. The task is initially deemed impossible, but a stroke of luck changes this.
Two illegal immigrants on the run from their own country, enter the UK via the Channel Tunnel. They plan the same heist without knowledge of the other team, carrying out a raid on one of two heavily guarded security vans.
The money is stolen, leaving one group empty handed and pursuing the other; resulting in kidnapping, torture and death. Eventually, the captors are led to a hidden weapons cache in Northern Ireland, where the money is stashed.
Newly promoted, Detective Sergeant Dave Watson is assigned by the police as lead investigator and highlights the likelihood that the robbers have military skills and backgrounds. CCTV film footage is acquired from the channel tunnel and motorway cameras and is scrutinized, identifying the team and also two Kurds as known hardened criminals
Meanwhile, M.I.6 express an interest in recruiting the former soldiers, wanting to setup a covert operations group and cover up their part in the robbery. However, changed plans alter this course and the team are double-crossed, leaving them to attempt to getaway!



War Hero
Review Editor
Book Reviewer

drop me a PM and I will arrange a 'neutral' reviewer. Write to me on the back of a (aka several) £50 notes and I may just get you an honest reviewer! :)

Seriously, get in touch and we can get this sorted.



Lantern Swinger
Hmmm: Who would be the best person to review this book. Please give me a credible answer; and I'll gladly contemplate sending a copy in.



War Hero
Review Editor
Book Reviewer
Now just to keep the confusion going and here I will blame my advanced years and claim a CRAFT moment, but this book is not going to WD now but to another reviewer from ARRSE. Still, I usually get there in the end, just don't know where there is!



Lantern Swinger
There are some real world issues that former service personnel experience, that I've highlighted through this novel, such as homlessness, PTSD, Alcoholism, difficulties transitioning into civvy street and the waste of specialist resource, that often becomes redundant on demob.

I hope the reviewer enjoys the read.

Best Regards

Wasted Resource? The paper, ink and anyones time spent publishing it. That's a good start.

Credibility rears it's ugly head in GDs synopsis. The RAF Reg trusted with anything but a barrier gate and gucci landrovers that never leave the Air Base stretches even my limited imagination.


Lantern Swinger
Decided to take the plunge, just down loaded it for my tablet. So far it seems like a decent read.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. I really enjoyed writing this. I believe there's a part of all of us inside the main characters.

AG: How's my reviewer getting on? Has he started reading it yet?



Lantern Swinger
Guys: Here's the Prologue and First Chapter. Sorry if the formatting is all over the page. Also: I've watered down the odd swear work so it does not offend anybody.


Trained soldiers have a repertoire of fighting skills and specialist
training that they use in dangerous and hostile situations. When
they leave the armed forces, these skills are no longer of value to
society and become a ‘wasted resource.’
Some former service personnel experience problems when moving
on from life in the military, such as homelessness, alcoholism,
PTSD, depression and even misuse of their specialist military skills
within organised crime and terrorist activities.
This story portrays some of those issues and the harsh reality of
the adaptation to civvy-street of four former soldiers, with their
specialist skills being used to the detriment of society, rather than
to continue to protect it!

Chapter One

Moonlight pierced through an overcast sky, splaying shadows
around the gloomy entrance of a derelict building in Liverpool.
Gusts of wind were rattling the secured doors and blowing rain
down onto several homeless people sheltering there.
Spike’s stubbly face poked out from his tattered, wet
sleeping bag. He was flushed and desperately in need of warmth.
He hunched his broad shoulders and squeezed the material tightly
around his neck, unintentionally forcing water to seep through onto
his clothing. He rolled his eyes and gazed up at the damaged
canopy overhanging the entrance to the building.

‘It’s going to be a long cold night,’ he rasped to a frail old man lying next to him.

The man was weak and suffering from hypothermia. He
frowned and nodded his head as the rain bounced off his face. He
shook uncontrollably in the unforgiving cold and quietly closed his eyes. His body fell limp and his final breath dissipated into the freezing air, as his tormented spirit was set free.
It was an arduous life living on the streets amongst
strangers. Keeping warm and dry was as tough a challenge as
finding food, but ironically, alcohol was never too difficult to comeby.

Spike had heard all kinds of reasons why people ended up
living like this. Yet some preferred it, choosing to cut away from a normal everyday lifestyle. He sighed heavily, tucking his head down out of the elements. Spike did not know the dead man and was unflustered by his death. It was a sight he had seen many times before when serving as a Royal Marine Commando during the second Gulf war in 2002. He was an Assault Engineer then, highly skilled and experienced in the handling and use of explosives. Two years after the war he had completed nine years service and chose to leave. Sadly, his move into civvy-street had not worked out for him. His once-muscular body was almost skeletal and his short, brown hair was shoulder length and matted with grease and dirt. His memory had deteriorated too, leaving him uncertain as to how he had ended up living this way.
His sleeping bag succumbed to the torrential rain,rendering it useless.

‘Balls to this,’ he said aloud. ‘I am going to find somewhere warm to sleep tonight.’

He pushed his head up out of his partially unzipped bag and set
eyes on a man dressed in a black padded jacket and woollen hat.
He was rifling through the old man’s clothing.

‘Hey! Leave him alone. Take your hands out of his pockets now!’
he snarled at the stranger, whilst struggling to get his arms free from the inside of his own soggy bag.

‘Pish off and mind your own business!’ the tall thief snarled,
counting the money he held in his hand. ‘He’s dead. It’s of no use to him.’

Spike struggled to free himself. ‘Put it back you thieving
bastard!’ he growled.

‘I said pish off and mind your own business!’ The thief
punched Spike hard in the face.

The blow made a heavy thudding noise; his nose crunching under
the man’s fist. Blood dripped from his nostrils into his mouth. He scrunched his face up and recoiled in fury. His fiery temper
exploded as his arms finally tore free. Spike lunged at the thief but stumbled clumsily onto the floor with his feet still entangled in the bag.

The stranger made his exit turning and running off into the
distance. He fiddled with his pocket, pushing some money inside
and securing it.

Spike picked himself up and gave chase along a deserted
road away from the suburb. He sprinted fast and was soon closing
right behind him, struggling to maintain the pace. His lungs were
almost bursting and a growing tightness in his diaphragm forced
him to stop. He held his chest with both hands, gasping for air. He paced around with his hands on his hips, dressed in a green parka with a shoelace hanging down from his waist securing his soaked jeans. He could feel his heart pounding and concentrated on steadying his breathing. Blood continued to trickle down his face and dripped onto his black trainers. He gripped his bleeding nose and threw a clot down, landing on his shoe. He kicked out flicking it onto the nearby waste ground.
The blustery rain had eased and a damaged street light
afforded improved visibility. Spike heard someone behind him and
spun around. The thief lunged at him with a broken floorboard, but Spike slipped the blow and used the momentum gained to grab his adversary by the throat. The man twisted around, seized Spike’s wrist and effortlessly threw him to the ground. Spike twisted free and expertly reversed the position to regain his feet. The man rolled forward breaking Spike’s hold and equally found his footing in one fluid movement.

‘Shi?!’ Spike gasped. ‘Are you some sort of martial arts

The thief stood in a boxing stance, readying himself. He
paused. ‘No. I’m an ex-marine; mate and I know how to handle
myself. If you want some more, come and get it.’

‘No, wait!’ Spike panted. ‘I’m a marine too. I really am. I’m
an ex Boot Neck the same as you?’

‘Are you serious or is this just bullshit to get me to drop my

‘I’m deadly serious, mate. My name’s Spike. What’s

‘Bungy. My name is Bungy.’

Spike recognized the name from his service days. Bungy
was a nickname given to marines who had a surname of Williams.
The two men relaxed and moved closer. Spike held his hand out
and they shook hands, lightly at first and then more sincere.
Bungy then removed his hat and ran his fingers through his short,
dark hair, brushing it across his forehead in a parting. A nearby
street lamp allowed them to see they were of similar age, late

‘Why did you steal the old man’s money?’ Spike asked,
still seething about it.

‘He was dead,’ Bungy coughed, clearing his throat. ‘The
money was no good to him any more. I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten
anything for days. You know what it’s like living on the streets.
We have to scavenge to survive.’

‘Yes, I suppose that’s fair enough,’ Spike conceded.
Rain started to teem down heavily again and a gusty wind
made them shiver, mercilessly penetrating their saturated clothing.

‘Come on Spike; let’s find somewhere warm to sleep
tonight. I’m bloody freezing. I feel like shit and my body is shaking with this damn rain and cold.’

‘Okay, mate,’ Spike answered. ‘Have you got a sleeping

‘Yes, it’s in a doorway just a short distance from yours.’

‘Okay, let’s go and get them and shelter somewhere.’

Both men returned to the area where they had previously
met and noticed that an ambulance had arrived. Its rotating blue
light illuminated the doorway whilst the medical crew were busy
lifting the corpse onto a stretcher. A police officer gave them a lift to a drop-in centre and wished them well.

‘This is better than being outside in the cold all the time,’
Bungy said, holding a hot soup.

‘Bloody is,’ Spike nodded. His cane chair creaking as he
leaned back gazing at the bare light bulb suspended from the
ceiling in the refuge. ‘It’s bizarre now, but after I left the marines I told myself that I would never willingly be cold again. Thinking about it now I feel like a hypocrite.’

‘Which Commando Unit did you serve with, Spike?’ Bungy
asked, sticking to the common subject.

‘42 Commando and I specialized in explosives as an
Assault Engineer. What about you?’

Bungy’s bushy eyebrows lifted. His sunken cheeks were
glowing red, along with an angry looking scar spanning the width of his dimpled chin. He managed a smile.

‘I was a Mountain Leader and worked mainly as a sniper during
both Gulf wars. I killed more than my fair share of people. Many
of them just fell like puppets with their strings cut.’ His smile
widened as his thoughts drifted off recalling how content he was
with his life then. ‘I wish I could turn the clock back. I absolutely loved being a marine.’

‘Yes me too,’ Spike beamed. ‘I need a drink. How much
money did you take from the old man’s pockets?’

‘I’ve got eighty pounds and twenty pence.’

‘Bloody hell! The old codger told me he was broke!’ Spike
grinned. ‘That’ll buy us a few bottles of plonk to share.’

Bungy’s face twisted and he shrugged his shoulders. ‘No.
Let’s keep it and use it to get ourselves out of the gutter.’

‘Why should we?’ Spike sneered, his eyes widening in
disapproval. He craved alcohol and pondered about purchasing
some. His thoughts turned to the hot soup. Its warmth comforted
him. I really need a drink, he thought. But maybe Bungy is right.
Perhaps it would be good to get off the streets. I could get a good wash and a haircut too.

‘Yes, okay,’ he nodded. ‘Let’s buy a couple of beers and drink to it!


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