Andrew Nelson - Author

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The Accidental Strike Team

A Novel By Andrew Nelson

Joe Burnett was living the dream; retired young from the corporate world and volunteering with his local fire brigade.
It didn't last.
First the black summer fires sweep through, then strangers start shooting at him, then he meets the mysterious Jessica. He's barely had time to walk his dog before his safe, ordered world disappears, and he crashes head-on into a merciless international criminal organisation and the corruption it propagates.


‘Bruised, battered, scraped and still choking on sand. Just a normal bloody Tuesday’

‘I think it’s a Friday.’

‘Well that fucking explains it then.’


The king brown snake was not happy. Even on a good day these are aggressive, venomous snakes. Today had not been a good day. The fire had driven him hard and only luck had saved him.


It hurt him but did not damage him. He was beyond reason, six-foot-four of unfettered fury as she danced back across the room, dodging the bed, back to the wall...


About the Author

I wish I could be cool like Joe Burnett, the hero of The Accidental Strike Team. Unfortunately, I am considerably older and way more pedestrian than Joe. After a successful career as a contract accountant, I left Sydney for the shores of Lake Macquarie with my wife, Maria and our dog Bear.

A rookie with the local RFS Brigade and a keen small boat sailor, I found time to write this, my first novel, a dream I have cherished for decades. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Reading

Andrew Nelson

PS I borrowed Joe's bike for the photo shoot.


"An exciting blend of a thrilling story, car and bike chases and strong characters caught up in a web of incredible "baddies" of a World Wide syndicate. It is set in the Australian bush after the dreadful fires west of Sydney a couple of years ago. Whether they can negotiate a future when this operation is over is another question that will have to be answered in a sequel."

Judith Flitcroft, author of Walk Back in Time

"The Accidental Strike Team was a great read. It moved along an action packed trajectory which included creative use of today's technologies such that you could almost feel the physics of it all.  The game plan of the bad guys was held in tension against the multiple skills and abilities of the lead characters of the strike team all of whom made you realise how great teams can arise out of today's ambient human context quickly and innovatively.  In this regard, Nelson suggests a positive response to today's challenges is the dominant force and this is what makes us shine even if there is an uncertain outlook for a time. Congratulations! A book of ideas, pace and strategy."


H. A. Weston

Entry in last years's Hunter Writer's Short Story Competition. The Criteria was to base a short story based on the Van Gogh's The Cafe Terrace reproduced on the left....

It was a stunning Spring evening. The recent rains had cleansed the sky, leaving the stars shining like polished diamonds. The cobbled laneway in the old part of the port city was brightly lit, the street lights tinted a warm yellow. The first members of the dinner crowd were wandering from café to restaurant to café, examining the offerings in each establishment’s window.

He had booked ahead. A table for two out in the laneway fronting the cosy restaurant. The laneway was cordoned off at each end. Pedestrians only. They had left their hotel room and strolled the promenade as the sun disappeared over the western bank of the river, disappearing into the distant valley carved by the meandering waterway eons ago.

The chilled local Chardonnay was covered in condensation from the ice bucket. He presented it as an offering to her, 'Another glass?'

'Yes please. What a way to finish a fantastic day.' She sighed.

They returned to studying their menus. 'One thing I love about this place is the way they let you take your time. So many places worry about the number of times they can turn a table over in an in a night.'

'Well. It is mid-week and outside the holiday season.'

'The advantage of being a contrarian.' He countered.

'Darling, wearing odd socks doesn’t make you a contrarian.'

'My socks aren’t odd.'

'They’re from different pairs. And if it wasn’t planned that would make you an accidental contrarian.'

He had to think about it, 'Hang on, being a contrarian requires commitment, planning and premeditation, you can’t do it accidentally.' He Paused, 'OK, so, can I be mildly eccentric then?'

Her eyes rolled upwards, appearing to be searching for something hanging from her eyebrows. 'This a local wine?' She asked as she extracted the bottle from the ice bucket.  Reading the label, she took another sip of her glass. 'Yes, from just up the road, where we were this morning.' She answered her own question.

They sipped their wine in companionable silence. They had been together long enough, were comfortable enough with each other, that they no longer felt the need to fill every silence.

He finished his wine, she finished hers, he poured them both another glass. They resumed studying the menu. The waiter approached the table, 'Would you like to order?' He asked.

'The Special looks good I’ll have one of those.' She answered.

'I’ll have the same.'

'You left your glasses back at the Hotel, didn’t you?' She laughed.

He retorted.  'You know many of the great artists had poor eyesight.'

'Yes, it was one of the corner stones of the Impressionist movement.'

He looked through the side of his empty wine glass. 'You know,' He pondered, 'This lane reminds me of one of Van Gogh’s paintings, can’t remember what it was called.'

'Yeah, Van Gogh’s “Newcastle Café Scene”, painted that time he dropped in to catch the Supercars and carve up some knarly right handers off Nobbys’ Beach.”

Contact Details

Bonnells Bay, Lake Macquarie  NSW 2264