To order a personalised signed copy of The Gamer, for the rrp of £12.99, please email Matt directly.

So why The Gamer? As a young teenager Matt read Bravo Two Zero, by Andy McNab, quickly followed by The One That Got Away, by Chris Ryan. Both books about the equally disastrous Special Air Service Patrol, that penetrated deep behind Iraqi lines during the first Gulf War. From there on in he was hooked and read anything to do with the special forces. Whilst on the bus, in a shopping centre, or sometimes in a hotel while on holiday, he would imagine terrorists had struck and then play through all the scenarios in his mind of how he would fight back. It just took over twenty years to link those initial dalliances of a hostage situation, to a video gamer doing the same. Thus, the concept for The Gamer was created!

The Gamer

A beachfront hotel in Florida. Five hundred people have been taken hostage. Many of them are world leaders and government officials, including The President of the United States.

A video gamer is working in the hotel. He learnt his skills playing first person shooters. Now he uses them in a situation where bullets kill.

The police are helpless. He is the only one who can alter the hostages’ fate. The terrorists’ hidden agenda is revealed. Harry takes the fight to the terrorists and attempts to bring down the world’s most wanted man. A video gamer is working in the hotel. He learnt his skills playing first person shooters. Now he uses them in a situation where bullets kill.

The police are helpless. He is the only one who can alter the hostages’ fate. The terrorists’ hidden agenda is revealed. Harry takes the fight to the terrorists and attempts to bring down the world’s most wanted man.

Various extracts from The Gamer:

  *That was all the 911 dispatchers at the control centre were able to hear, before the caller’s voice stopped talking. Three 911 calls were received. That was all. A burst of gunfire was heard just before the one female and two male voices each went silent.

  The three dispatchers who received the calls were all female. Their ages and experience varied. Ruby Wagner was sixty five years old and had been a call handler for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for the last thirty five years. She was two months from retirement. Ruby was the most senior of the three women working the night shift. She had just returned from the kitchenette with coffee when all three phone lines lit up. She calmly sat down at her desk and slipped on her headset.

 “911. Where is your emergency?” she asked.

She began to type. The time of day was logged automatically. It was 1917.

“Okay, so your emergency is at the Atlantic Grand and what is your emergency?” she asked.

Even if the caller hadn’t been able to give the details of the Atlantic Grand, longitude and latitude would have come into play and the dispatchers would know the location of the call. An affidavit for the emergency call was automatically sent to the phone network provider. When the information came back, the owner of the phone would be known. A driver’s licence check and criminal history check could be made. More about the caller would be gleaned.

  The youngest call dispatcher at only twenty two and the second person to answer an emergency call, was Olivia Krause. Her fingers tapped the keyboard at the speed of lightning. She wasn’t able to make the caller answer any of her questions. Keywords were thrown at her. She managed to type them all onto the screen in front of her. By the time the caller’s voice stopped talking, she knew the incident that was unfolding was a mere five miles away. She also knew the incident was big. Really big.

  The third dispatcher was Helen Maples. She’d been doing the job for the last five years. The call she received sounded hideous. She could hear screaming in the background, running, falling, stumbling. Gun shots. The shouts and shrieks of men and women, screams and crying. The voice on the end of the line became breathless. She could hear the caller panting, faster and faster. They were running. The sound of gunfire lessened. A voice that sounded Mexican, or South American, shouted something. That voice was *louder and more audible. Closer this time. ‘Please. Come quickly’, were the last words Helen heard the caller urge. A burst of gunfire sounded. The last sound she heard before the line went dead was the heavy thud of a body falling down. In her head she could picture the hotel perfectly. She had been there only two weeks earlier with her future daughter in law to visit a wedding fair.


  Harry pulled with both arms and pushed with his right leg. Nothing. He was putting everything in and getting nothing back. His eyes closed and a grimace spread across his face. He eked out the last of his energy. Snap. The lock popped. Harry fell backwards and hit his head on the floor. He could see stars, but he was in.

  His head was pounding, but he caught his breath and the stars dissipated. He listened again. The voices had stopped talking. They must have heard the metal snap. He had landed on the floor with a thud, but had kept hold of the crowbar. An x-ray shouted something, but he couldn’t hear any footsteps. It was critical he didn’t make any more noise. It would rouse the interest of the terrorists and they were bound to come looking for him. The noise he made had just been a random metallic snap. Metal structures made these noises sometimes, he didn’t know why. Maybe it was to do with the expansion and contraction of metal structures on a hot day. Harry smelt cigarette smoke. That was why the x-rays were on the landing. Now access to the shaft had been granted, it was time to get moving.

  The elevator car was on the sixth floor. He had eleven floors to climb down. Harry silently pulled the door back enough to allow him entry. A shoulder’s width was all he needed. The elevator shaft was so dark he couldn’t see more than two floors below. He didn’t want to shout down, or even whisper to anyone. There was only one thing for it.

  The rifles strap had been burnt to nothing by the fireball, that was why he had put a ball of string in his pocket. Needing both hands to be free as he climbed down the elevator shaft, Harry looped the string again and again, between the two hooks on the rifle. He pulled the new strap around his chest and the AK nestled tightly against his back. Squeezing his body through the gap, he placed the crowbar on the strip of floor behind the door. Pulling the door closed to less than inch, he began his descent. If he fell, he would die. No questions. Depending on where he landed, he figured there was a 50/50 chance of killing whoever was below. The thought of either scared the shit out of him.

  There were horizontal bars inside the shaft like rungs on a ladder. Although this particular ladder wasn’t like something you could buy at Home Depot, the gaps between bars weren’t a uniform distance apart, nor were they easy to climb. Harry didn’t know what the distance between rungs on a ladder were meant to be, but he knew this ladder didn’t have them. The darkness also made his descent nigh on impossible.

  He had been on a school outdoor pursuits week in the mountains of Wales and had done relatively well the day his class went rock climbing. This wasn’t anything like that. It was much harder. He didn’t have a safety harness, safety rope, or helmet. This was different to any climbing he had done before. His legs and arms were forced to reach far beyond their limits, as he struggled to find the next hand or foothold. Harry’s foot slipped. The force it placed on his other foot caused that to slip too. Only the tight grip he maintained kept him from falling. He smashed his face against a steel girder. His breathing was frantic. He hung by his arms, his feet flailing as they tried to find a new foothold. By the time he found new purchase, he was trembling with fear. Scared to move another inch. He wanted to climb back to safety, but he couldn’t. Harry composed himself. His breathing found a steady rhythm. He looked down. He still couldn’t see anything. Looking up he could just see a slither of light from the barely open concertina door. That light was virtually non-existent and he knew it was only going to get smaller. He began his descent once more.

  Harry realised the irregularly spaced bars and handholes were the in same position on each floor. After descending two more floors, he got a little more sure of where the rungs would be and he remembered the foothold that had caused him to slip. He avoided it. In the centre of the shaft hung the two thick metal cables, the cables that pulled the elevator car up or down. They could aid his progress, he would be able to use the thick metal wire like army ropes, the same as he used in SAS: We Dare We Win. They were the fast ropes that the elite troops used when they needed to quickly exfil from a helicopter. He didn’t have any gloves to prevent rope burns, so he wouldn’t move as rapidly as them. Even if he was slower, it would be quicker and safer than climbing down the elevator shaft.

  He took hold of the cable with one hand, then the other. His feet were still planted on the steel frame. With great care he moved a foot across to the cable. He hooked his leg around the thick metal wire, so the vamp of his trainer was pushing on the cable. When he moved his other leg, his foot would sit opposite, his lower legs would be crossed and when pressed together, they would act as a brake. He had to get the balls together and just go for it. He took a deep breath and found the bottle. Harry readied himself for a fall, to see the last seconds of his life flash by. His hands gripped tightly and he removed his foot. Nothing happened. He stayed where he was. Harry breathed out. He had to get a shift on. If any of the x-rays saw the partially open concertina door, they would know it was him. He would be a dead man.

  His body was pulled tight against the cables. He shuffled his hands down, an inch at a time until they were lower than his chest. His feet and body moved down until his arms were above his head. He repeated the movement, getting quicker and moving down a metre each time.


  The terrorists knew they were after a child, but the child had already inflicted serious damage. El chico had skills. Christian knew he was more than a match for the kid, but the two Colombians weren’t. That had already been proven. Their mate lay dead inside the elevator. Christian wanted to be the man who ended the life of the stone in his boss’s shoe. El chico could not be allowed to live. Screw what Bothrops had said about bringing him in alive. He was a slippery little shit and Christian knew the only way was to shoot him on sight. Now they were getting close to achieving that goal. El chico was cornering himself. On the twentieth floor he would die. Christian planned on pulling the trigger. They saw him running down a corridor to the back of the hotel. He was running away. All the x-rays fired.

  Harry knew they were behind him, he could hear them giving chase. He ducked into an alcove to check his weapon over. Bullets zipped past him. He pulled the magazine free of the rifle and pressed on the top projectile. The 7.62mm round pushed halfway into the mag. He knew he only had fifteen rounds remaining, sixteen at best. He had to give the hunters a final burst of fire to keep their heads down. He would be given a few seconds’ advantage. He pulled the trigger. Then a second time. Three rounds went left. Three rounds went right. The hunters’ position at the end of the corridor was peppered with projectiles. About eight 7.62 rounds remained. 

  Harry gave it legs and ran down the last of the corridor towards corner three. Sixty feet from the end and the hunters’ heads were no longer down. Rounds were ripping past him. They were getting closer. He could hear the hunters, the German shouting in Spanish, ‘Moverse’. If he turned left at the end of the passageway he would run towards a large suite on the twentieth floor. Thirty feet to go. Turning right would send him down another corridor. Towards corner four. More bursts of fire from the x-rays. ‘Moverse. Moverse’. Wallpaper was torn as rounds embedded themselves in the walls. Plaster fell from the ceiling. Harry’s surroundings were decimated. A light fitting ahead exploded as it was struck by a 7.62 round. 

  Harry gasped and grimaced as he inhaled. He could feel a searing pain on the right of his torso. A round had clipped him just below the ribs. It hurt like fuck. A lucky shot, not an aimed shot. The only problem with luck was that it attracted more luck. He knew the Colombian’s aim wouldn’t be effective at their current distance, but they might get lucky again. Or the German might fire.

  Ignoring the pain he kept running, waiting to feel another round hit him. Waiting to drop to the floor as a vital organ stopped working. Ten feet from the end and the rear guest elevator on the hotel’s back corridor sounded. The choice had just been made for him. He turned left and saw locked doors. No longer having his wristband he raised the AK to his eyeline. He moved forward. Harry twice pulled the trigger. The lock was struck by two bursts. The double doors flew open. One round remained for his AK47. If he had two then it was a bonus.

  Charging through the doorway he entered a large living area, the room from which all other rooms led. Sofas and a coffee table sat in the centre. The wall on the right beyond the furniture housed two bedrooms. Two doors. Both closed. Two options. A smaller bedroom door was open to his immediate left. Three options. He ran forwards to the open doorway on the other side of the living area. The fourth option.