Excerpt from Postcards From Another Country

Somebody once said that the rich are another country—they do things differently there. It didn't take me very long working in close protection to realise that was true. Hell, some of them were a different planet.

The Dempsey family were old money and that put them at the outer reaches of the solar system as far as real-world living was concerned. Personal danger came a distant second to social disgrace, which was always going to make life tough for those of us tasked to keep them from harm.

The family didn't seem bothered so much by the attempted assassination—and that was how they referred to the botched hit that sparked my involvement—so much as the fact it was carried out with no regard to the correct etiquette.

So, they put up with the movement sensors in the grounds and the increased numbers of staff who regularly patrolled the boundaries, but they baulked at having the infrared cameras I'd recommended to blanket the exterior of the house, and absolutely dug their heels in about close-circuit TV coverage inside. It was my job, I was told firmly, to stop anyone from getting that far. No pressure, then.

The radio call came in at just after 3:00 AM, when I was in the east wing guest suite I'd commandeered as a temporary central control.

'Hey, Charlie, we just apprehended someone in the summer house,' came the crackling voice of one of the new guys. 'I think you'd, er, better come and take a look.'