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First Kill




PJ Callahan


ISBN 978-1-907107-81-8


Price:…… €14.95


About the Book:




First kill is an adventure novel with a strong aviation background.


Instead of being at home in Miami qualifying for her private pilot’s licence –her grandfather’s 17th birthday present - Linda Garcia is instead sent to ‘Highlands’ a remote summer activities camp in Scotland. She is bitterly disappointed and resentful, but things become much worse, when one night she is abducted by armed men.

Amy MacDonald, aged 20, a feisty junior instructor at the camp, refuses to believe Linda has simply run away. Nobody will listen to her and she is accused of wasting police time. She realises powerful and influential forces are at work, but won’t give up.

After their own separate and terrifying ordeals, fate finally brings the two girls together, but they are stranded in a mysterious government restricted area, where they are in grave danger.

Stealing a light aircraft offers the only possibility of escape, but even if they survive the flight, will it all be over? Who can they trust and where can they go?


Find out in over four hundred action packed pages where the suspense never lets up.















About the Author:


A reader of the novel, “First Kill”, will doubtless assume that the author, PJ Callahan—PJ or Paddy to his family and friends—is well versed in the subject of aviation, aircraft and flying.  In fact he had his first flight at thirteen and eventually went on to fly types of aircraft as diverse as the Tiger Moth to the Boeing 707.  He was also a flight instructor.


Originally from Essex were his parents ran a boarding house, he lived there until he went to sea at seventeen, but after a short period, swapped the sea for a career flying aircraft.  As a result of both his time at sea and flying he has travelled extensively and lived in several places around the world such as Christchurch New Zealand, Malta, the Dominican Republic, and Miami Florida.  He had always dabbled in writing, but became more serious about it in recent years starting with short stories.  When one of them won first place in a competition held by a Dublin library and another was short listed in an international event, he decided it was time to start work on his first novel.


He has retired from flying now and lives in North County Dublin.






There were two Linda Garcias due to attend the Highlands Adventure Camp in Scotland that summer. Both were extremely reluctant to do so and neither knew of the other’s existence, or of the fate that lay in wait for them. So far, only one of them had arrived and that Linda Garcia had spent a terrifying day rock climbing. She was exhausted.

For the third time she had just dropped nicely into a deep sleep and now she was being disturbed yet again, but this time it wasn’t stones rattling on the windowpane, as it had been previously. It wasn’t even a pounding on her door. Someone was in the bedroom with her, shining a torch in her face. An instant later she was wide-awake, realising something had to be very wrong. Whoever it was either had a key to the annex or had broken in. They were pointing the torch with one hand and holding something that looked like a tin can with the other.

“What?” she demanded, squinting against the light, trying to see who was behind it? There was an ominous silence and Linda felt the adrenaline start to flow.

The first time she had been disturbed it had been Amy, her roommate and newly found friend. She had not felt very well and Linda had helped her to the sick bay where Amy had indeed been very ill.

Now with Amy on her way to hospital and the other three rooms in the annex empty, she was in the building all by herself. This could be her worst possible nightmare come true.

 “Who is it, what do you want?” She tried to keep her tone even, as her thoughts raced, hoping vainly that it was just a prank. She felt doubly vulnerable, as Amy had been sick all over her, leaving her with no nightwear. Propping herself on her elbow, and holding the duvet to her chest she asked again “Tell me what’s going on before I . . .”

“Call for help? I do not think so, senorita,”

Stark terror hit her like a bolt of lightening at the sound of a man’s voice close beside her. He had been positioned out of sight on the other side of her bed and as he spoke he held a huge knife at her throat, quickly clamping a gloved hand over her mouth to stifle her terrified scream. This definitely was the stuff of Linda’s worst nightmares.




Linda looked skywards. “Still a bit dark,” she said, more to herself than Amy. Apart from some high clouds and a jet trail reflecting dawn, the sky seemed clear, but while the outline of the surrounding hills stood out sharply, the near horizon was obscured by mist.

“Going to wait a bit.” 

Linda shook her head. She knew once she got going, she would feel better. Just standing around was fuelling her doubts. “No. It’s not going to get any darker, I think we’ll get started.”

A bird burst into song so suddenly it made them jump, followed by another and then a few more took up the call as the dawn chorus began.

“This is what we’ll do: I’ll get in and start it, I want you to stay close where we can see each other and keep a good lookout while I warm up the engine. If you see anyone approaching jump in as quick as you can and we’ll take it from there. Come what may.”

“Right,” said Amy. “Having second thoughts?”

“No. Just serious doubts that’s all. Does it show?”

“I know you,” Amy whispered. “But listen to me, you can do it. I know you can, or I wouldn’t be coming with you.”

They would have stood for a little longer in the growing light, but suddenly there was a heavy rustling from close by in the wood, startling the girls into action. 

“As soon as I start I’m going to taxi forward a bit.” Her hushed tones did not hide the urgency she felt. “That way we can’t be surprised by someone coming at us through these trees. Stay close, and for Pete’s sake mind the prop.” 

Linda climbed into the cockpit of the Scout and slid across into the left seat, her heart thumping as she realised the reality of what she was about to do. Seized by anxiety she had to take several deep breaths to calm down, and suppress the urge to cry out loud, I can’t do this.” Her trembling fingers reached under her seat for the master switch and there was a reassuring click as the cockpit came to life. Working with a checklist she forced herself to be thorough and methodical, as she went round the cockpit making sure everything was as it should be. The fuel cock was already selected to the fullest tank and the gauges read as she had expected. It was ready to start. Placing the key into the ignition switch she turned it to select both magnetos, pushed the throttle one quarter open, gave the priming pump five strokes, and set the mixture fully forward.

Linda took another deep breath, reached under the seat again and pressed the starter. There was that very distinctive metallic sound of an aircraft starter motor engaging. The propeller started to rotate, but not very energetically, bouncing to a stop altogether after just a few turns. Again Linda forced herself to be calm. Releasing the button, she counted to three and engaged the starter again, watching the propeller blades arcing slowly through her line of vision. She was just wondering what she had forgotten when the engine fired, spluttered, then burst into life. The slipstream from the propeller sent droplets of water scurrying across the windscreen.



Book Reviews


A reader  recommends

A complex plot leads us through this debut novel. Our path is however lit by the excellently crafted story. A gritty story well written with great attention to the detailed nuances of the characters. A truly magnificent masterpiece in planning, execution and wordsmith skills.
The multi thread plot moves at a fast pace but requires no suspension of belief by the reader. The characters are real, the flying authentic, the local detail exquisitely researched. There is a fundamental quality running through this novel, (sometimes this is lacking in modern books - published to deadlines ? ) First Kill was obviously written to a (very high) standard and not to a deadline or budget.
Without giving the imaginative and original plot away I can fully recommend this book. If you are buying it for a holiday read, please book an extra couple of days you will NOT want to rush it.
Fast paced, strong complex plot, action, realistic settings, detailed research, what's not to enjoy?

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.


David. S. Truman, Stockport.




What initially attracted me was the cover!!! Then I read the summary, which I always do – I spent my career in aviation(flight simulators).  I couldn’t put the book down then my wife couldn’t put it down, so we didn’t speak for a few days .  Then we recommended it to a friend  and she finished it in 3~ days.


We’ll give a copy to our son in law for Christmas and I have several friends I have yet to tell.


Our congratulations on an excellent novel and we wish you every success with First kill.


Ray and Diana. Horsham.



5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced thriller - with airplane chases, 10 Jan 2012


Grace Tierney - See all my reviews

This review is from: First Kill (Paperback)


First Kill is a bit longer than the average thriller but its fast pace and twisty plot about a case of mistaken identity, kidnapping, and secret government islands set in Scotland and Ireland kept me reading well past my bedtime. The young female leads were credible throughout and the airplane sequences are superb. I don't know how to fly, but I enjoyed every detail, especially in the finale air battle. The villains were good enough to boo and hiss at and I'm looking forward to PJs next book. So good I bought a copy for my friend and my mother too.


5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Read., 7 Dec 2011


Duplikus - See all my reviews

This review is from: First Kill (Paperback)

A very impressive first work by this author. My attention was captured from the very beginning, and held till the last page. Nicely paced, believable characters, exciting story, with the aviation aspect of the story a nice extra for those of us with an interest in that direction. However, the aviation side was not let dominate or detract from the story. This book deserves success and I look forward to more works from this author.


5.0 out of 5 stars First Kill, 29 Nov 2011


Eggo - See all my reviews

This review is from: First Kill (Paperback)

I am an avid reader who once he gets his head into a GOOD book is unable to concentrate on much else. I have read many books which are allegedly 'best sellers' but have proved to be very disappointing. This first book by P.J Callahan I think is outstanding. The plot is well thought through and the characters believable. I was really sorry when I came to the end. I think it deserves to become a best seller and can't wait for next book from this budding author.


4.0 out of 5 stars A great first bash at writing, 22 Nov 2011


UK Texan - See all my reviews

This review is from: First Kill (Paperback)

The book quickly lights up. Soon I was transported, caring about the two major players - two feisty girls from very different backgrounds - and really having to force myself to pause reading while I put out a major fire in the kitchen. I'm kidding, but it really was a page-turner.

The story ends with the promise of a sequel. I'll be one of the first buyers when that hits the shelves.


5.0 out of 5 stars First Kill, 29 Nov 2011


Alan- See all my reviews

This review is from: First Kill (Paperback)

A ripping yarn I couldn’t put it down. Well done, a superb effort and a really good tale, from beginning to end.