Bored in Athens

Here’s a first – not an author, but a character from a book writing for us on the Thought Fox. Jefferson Winter, hero protagonist of a new crime series by James Carol (book one – Broken Dolls – has already topped the iBookstore charts), is no ordinary investigator. His father’s a notorious serial killer, he’s been a hotshot FBI profiler (now gone freelance), and he has a genius IQ. But some of his character traits are like yours and mine – he hates waiting in airports, and knows the importance of a good song. On one such lengthy delay in Athens he dug into his musical songbook to tell us which tracks touch him deep down …

Jefferson Winter writes …

Ten hours stuck in Athens airport is not my idea of fun. Come to think about it, ten hours stuck in any airport is no fun. Everyone crammed into a space that’s too small to contain their misery. Everyone wanting to be anywhere except where they are. There’s just too much noise and bustle, too much negativity. The first hour was bad, the last nine have been sheer hell. I hate waiting.

It’s a clean sweep across the departure boards: delayed, delayed, delayed. Nothing’s coming in and nothing’s going out. The air traffic controllers have gone on strike, and the authorities don’t want planes falling out of the sky. I get it. I really do. But why the hell couldn’t they have gone on strike tomorrow? Or yesterday?

On the upside I’ve managed to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. Better still, there’s space for me to sit down and stretch out. Isn’t it amazing the sites you end up visiting when you’re bored? I’m now more up to date on celebrity gossip than I want to be, I know ten new ways to drive my woman wild in bed, and I’ve got a great recipe for goat curry.


One thing that caught my eye was a blog page where some guy was listing his Top 10 songs, along with the reasons why he liked them. That one got me thinking. What would I put in my Top 10? Not easy. Off the top my head, I can think of a hundred songs that would be legitimate contenders, so reducing that list down to ten is a challenge.

I’ve been battling this question for the best part of two hours now, and I think I’m almost there. Then again, if you asked me for this list tomorrow it would probably be completely different. Hell, ask me an hour from now and you’d get a completely different list. Anyway, for what it’s worth, at this exact moment in time and space, these are my ten favourite songs.

Jefferson Winter’s Top 10

10. Sympathy For The Devil (The Rolling Stones)

I love The Stones. I mean, what’s not to love. Keith Richards has got to be the coolest guy on the planet. This one gets a mention for having the best ever first line: “Please allow me to introduce myself I’m a man of wealth and taste”. Amazing.

9. Desperado (The Eagles)

Back in my college days I used to play piano in a little place called La Dolce Vita. This was always one of my favourites. Those descending chord sequences kill me every time.

8. Do I Wanna Know (Arctic Monkeys)

Western music uses a scale divided into just twelve notes, yet we have so much diversity: blues, pop, rock, classical, reggae. You’d think that after all this time the well would have run dry, but no, every now and again something comes along that blows you away. This was the last song that blew me away. It swaggers into your head and just lodges itself there. It’s the sort of song that sounds as if it has been here for ever.

7. Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland)

When this came out back in the late thirties that octave leap at the start had musos raising their eyebrows and shaking their heads, and saying that it went against the natural order of the universe. They were wrong. That opening is as thrilling now as it ever was. Technical details aside, this has to be one of the most perfect melodies ever written

6. Riders on the Storm (The Doors)

Moody, atmospheric, apocalyptic, this is The Doors at their very best. Ray Manzarek has always been one of my favourite keyboard players. I love that spaced out, jazzy vibe he brought to their music. His light complimented Morrison’s darkness perfectly.

5. Life On Mars (David Bowie)

Another one from my days at La Dolce Vita. Amazing lyrics, amazing melodies, a classic. Rick Wakeman is an incredible pianist, and this is a great showcase for his talent. Did I pull it off? You bet your ass I did.

4. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)

Yoko Tanaka, my partner from my FBI days, got me turned on to Led Zep. This was her favourite track and every time I hear it I think of her.

3. The Wind Cries Mary (Jimi Hendrix)

I could do a whole top 10 for Hendrix, so picking one is nigh on impossible. Purple Haze, All Along The Watchtower, Angel, the list goes on and on. This song shows his gentler side. Beautiful music, beautiful words … a rare and precious jewel from a genius who burned so brightly for too short a time.

2. Watching The Wheels (John Lennon)

A song about kicking back and doing your own thing and ignoring what everyone else says or thinks. I can relate.

1. Clarinet Concerto in A, 2nd Movement (Mozart)

I know it’s not a song, but who cares? This is the most beautiful piece of music ever written by the most incredible musician who ever lived. This one whispers directly to the soul. A world without Mozart is not a world I want to be a part of.

Broken Dolls by James Carol

Broken Dolls


Find out more

Jefferson Winter is no ordinary investigator.

The son of one of America’s most renowned serial killers, Winter has spent his life trying to distance himself from his father’s legacy. Once a rising star at the FBI, he is now a freelance consultant, jetting around the globe helping local law enforcement agencies with difficult cases. He’s not got Da Vinci’s IQ, but he’s pretty close.

When he accepts a particularly disturbing case in London, Winter arrives to find a city in the grip of a cold snap, with a psychopath on the loose who likes abducting and lobotomising young women. Winter must use all his preternatural brain power in order to work out who is behind the attacks, before another young woman becomes a victim. As Winter knows all too well, however, not everyone who’s broken can be fixed.


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