Friday 9 March 2018

# 9 Someone to #Lean on- is #Zaan trustworthy?

Friday means it's time to give those supporting secondary characters a bit of the limelight!

Today's character is one of my own from Topaz Eyes. My mystery thriller has a large cast of characters to choose from but if charged to find the most supportive character, who aids the development of the story, I'm choosing Zaan. That role is not always obvious at the beginning of a mystery, it sometimes takes a little time to persuade the reader about allegiances- especially in a novel of intrigue. 

At the outset of the novel, Keira Drummond isn't sure who she can trust in the quest to locate the Tiru Salana collection of emerald jewels. She pairs up with Teun Zeger, a Californian of Dutch descent, but as in life it takes a while for her trust of him to be absolute, (and vice versa) even when she is definitely drawn to Teun as a future lover. 

The cast of characters includes a large number of third generation cousins of Teun who are also charged with finding the missing family jewellery. Teun knows none of them and because of highly irregular happenings just before this extract Keira is alarmed that Teun can't even trust Zaan, the one cousin that she favours as being the most trustworthy of the bunch that she meets in Heidelberg at the beginning of the novel. 

Keira thinks Zaan is a good guy. In this extract you can read what Teun's thinking about Zaan...

Her mobile rang some time later, as she sipped a nightcap in the hotel bar beside a very reflective Teun. Dinner had been necessary to sustain them, though neither of them had done justice to the meal. 
“Hello, Zaan.”
While she listened, Teun whipped out a pen and pulled a napkin toward him. He scribbled something before pushing the paper back toward her. Say nothing about the jewels, or about Adam’s death. Looking grim, he stared. Though surprised by his order, his glare had her nodding her head. It was just as well Zaan’s monologue still continued since she didn’t need to answer at all at that point. That gave her time to compose herself, and try to act as though absolutely nothing untoward had been happening to her. As Zaan burbled on, his call became distraction from her own sad mood.
Zaan hadn’t found Tanja’s hairpin as easily as he’d first imagined. He’d made the visit to his cousin in Brussels. The woman had clarified the brooch she’d been given did look like the one Tanja wore in the photograph of the three sisters, but she’d sold it. She’d confessed to being surprised by the gift from her aunt—Zaan’s mother—but it hadn’t been something she felt she’d ever wear; not her style. The good thing was she’d taken it to a reputable jeweller, so chances were high it could be traced. Zaan sounded positive and was pursuing it.
With regard to verification of the Tiru Salana collection, Zaan had news on that front, too. He’d made contact with the descendants of the Amsterdam jewellers, the Koopmans, who’d been named in the 1815 newspapers. Though their company name had changed a number of times, and the business had considerably downsized, they were still trading as jewellers in Amsterdam.
“They have records in one of their premises dating back to the early eighteen hundreds. Jensen has arranged for an archivist from the university to help us trawl through the paperwork in their stores, though it will take her some time. That’s my update. Anything new at your end?”    
“Not really.” Keira hedged an answer but had to tell him something innocuous. “Though, I’m so pleased to have met Teun’s dad. He’s a lovely man…”
After some general chit-chat about Duluth, she found the conversation difficult to maintain and, at Teun’s gesture, she handed her mobile over. He had been absorbing her one-sided conversation with Zaan, and had looked so serious. She still couldn’t figure out his mistrust of Zaan, but had come to respect his caution: the person dogging their tail had convinced her of the need for vigilance. Something underhand was going on and they didn’t know who had set it up. Till they did, it was right to be watchful. She admired how economical Teun was with the truth.
my ideal Teun-
“Yeah. We’re going to New York tomorrow.”
Teun’s declaration to Zaan came as a surprise since they’d been careful only to mention Duluth. Zaan had no idea they were currently in Rochester, did he?
“I’m hanging around the East Coast for a few days, but Keira’s going straight back to Edinburgh.”
So, that was it? Teun had used her to find the jewels and she was being packed off home? She seethed quietly while he finished the call. When he gave her the mobile, she couldn’t even look at him.
He grabbed her hand and led her out to the bank of lifts, his voice low though there were only a few patrons around and about the foyer. His scan of the area wasn’t secretive. She followed his every glance and satisfied herself that she recognised no-one as they stepped into the lift. Tacit silence ruled till they were in their room.
“I’m not fed up with you, Keira. I know it’s what you’re thinking, but that’s not what I’m doing. Listen while I explain, please?” He rifled his fingers through his hair as she turned toward him. “I’m… so bloody furious… about the things that are happening. You have to admit there are too many sinister events happening.”
“How do you mean?” She wasn’t prepared to forgive him yet. He needed to come clean, about everything.
“Maybe menacing things happen around you every day, Keira, but they don’t damn well happen to me. I can’t help being bloody suspicious.”
“You didn’t want Zaan to know about Adam, since you’re still not sure if he had anything to do with it?”
“I can’t get past the fact we visited Adam a few days ago. I thought someone had been in his house the other night, and, for Christ’s sake… now he’s dead. We visited my father a few days ago. He has a mysterious visitor who gets him so wound up he has a heart attack. Do those happenings not seem malicious to you? Someone has been trying to get information about the jewels—or even the jewels themselves—and my relatives have been harmed because of it. And I did nothing to prevent it!”

I've used images for Keira and Teun in various promotional material, and thought I had one for Zaan but can't locate him. I see a tall, blonde guy but what would your Zaan look like?
I hope you enjoyed the extract. You can get the novel by clicking HERE if you're interested in reading more...It's a real snip at 99p.

Have a good weekend!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)