My Laugh Comes Last - 1977
The safest bank in the world ' they called it - at least, the Press did, when they gave it world-wide publicity on its opening. And Farrell Brannigan thought it was a pretty good name too : he'd built it and safeguarded it with the help of a brilliant electronics expert. Foolproof. But the man who planned on breaking into the bank was no fool - he was a ghost from Brannigan's past, with a king-size grudge... a long time enemy with a pathological craving for revenge. Blackmail and murder were just games to him - and before long, a whole lot of other dirty things were crawling out of the past...
I had fooled around with a lot of girls, but during the past few years I had no time for fooling. Now, not working under such pressure, I was ripe for a woman. I wondered about her as we walked side by side down the fairway. There was something about her that warned me she was no easy, casual lay. She had a ‘hands-off’ air about her that made her much more intriguing to me than any other girl I had known.
‘Larry, we both are relying on you. I brought you from nothing. Don’t you think you can return favour for favour?’
‘I ask again, Mr. Brannigan, what thing has developed into a dangerous mess?’
A faint flush came to his heavy face. He sat upright. He was no longer the father figure, but the tough President, up against opposition.
‘We’re wasting time, son!’ There was a snap in his voice. ‘You know very well what I’m talking about! Don’t fence with me! What has happened at the bank?’
Then I knew, just by looking at the hard eyes, that Farrell Brannigan was involved in the bank break-in. By now, I was shockproof, and my mind was working actively.
‘You needn’t worry about the bank, Mr. Brannigan,’ I said. ‘Four evil men are trapped in the vault. There is no possible way for them to get out unless I get them out. I guaranteed to build the safest bank in the world…it is the safest bank in the world.’
Extracted photos from Corgi Paperback edition: