Trained in Sigint, a crack marksman, fluent in four languages … an interesting set of subskills. And the back of my throat itches when trouble is brewing. Which occurs frequently, as it happens. Mayhem, madness, and murder have a habit of following (and preceding) me in my travels. And I travel a lot, since I have my own trekking company, Durkin Tours. I worked for a research and development start-up in New Hampshire, using my decoding and intelligence skills, but it wasn’t a good fit. I mean, ten plus hours a day in a work space divided up like a rabbit warren was more than I could handle. So, Durkin Tours was born and I’ve been my own man ever since.

The thrills all started a few years ago when I was visiting the Mediterranean island of Corsica, where my father, Ed Durkin, was killed in a road accident that sent him plunging down a cliff in the Calanches. Or so I’d been told. In truth, he’d been murdered by an egg-headed heroin kingpin who tried taking me out, as well, but fell short of his goal. He ended up over the same cliff as my dad. Justice was served.

Trekking the idyllic region of Abruzzo, Italy, can’t get more serene. The hill towns are amazing and the food superb, not to mention the rich historical legacy of the area. But crime knows no holiday and, once again I found myself in the middle of intrigue. One of my hiking tour clients had decided to swipe a priceless religious relic from the Catholic Church, and another got too close to a mob capo in Sulmona. None of which directly involved me, right? But an Albanian drug lord put me in his cross hairs and the only thing between me and extinction was a little old lady with a pair of razor-sharp knitting needles who stabbed the assassin, giving me the opportunity to take him down.

And who could forget the Black Forest, where I was shackled in the dungeon of a rather fine schloss, presumably left to starve to death in the dark with another unfortunate victim of a crazed sex maniac? That was a close call! One minute I was enjoying a bounteous Swabian breakfast; the next, I’m facing the unpleasant prospect of an untimely, gruesome end … but it wasn’t my day of reckoning.

My next ‘vacation’ took me on a sailing expedition in the Adriatic Sea, but that soon turned into a rescue op when a French Foreign Legion buddy went missing in Dubrovnik. He was doing forward recon on weapons trafficking in the Balkans and got kidnapped and trussed up by Roma gangsters. We got him back alright, but Mirela, a Roma beauty I’d fished out of the Adriatic, was murdered in Montenegro and I couldn’t let that go unpunished. Oh, what a tangled web …

My next adventure is in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland. Hobnobbing with the international jet set of St. Moritz can get out of control very quickly, especially when murder and dangerous liaisons cross paths.

Anyway, you get the picture … being Hardy Durkin is a laugh a minute; certainly, it’s never dull. I’ve put together some venues of places I’ve been, along with the people I’ve met there. Some of them are just regular folks; some aren’t, but they’ve all got something to say. And you’ll usually find a cat in the mix, somewhere. (I like them, but the feeling is not reciprocated.) Run your cursor over the figures in the scenes, and see for yourself.

See you out and about,

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