Unquiet Hill
by John Kirkmorris

John Kirkmorris - Unquiet Hill

BBC Radio 4: Saturday Night Theatre

Broadcast: Saturday 28th July 1973 @ 8:30 p.m.

As Christmas approaches, Mr. Meers, a solicitor, visits his client, Charles Kavanagh, who is in jail awaiting trial for being the Kingpin in an extortion ring. Kavanagh tells Meers that the police are bringing his bookeeper, Tommy Dyson, via boat over from Ireland to testify at his trial. He feels Dyson has probably cut a deal as there is only a small escort with no handguns or handcuffs which gives him the opportunity to have him abducted. He passes Meers a paper with the name and address of Eddie Stroud, a 36-year-old Garage owner and mechanic, and that Meers is to tell him to "go north" with the best motor he's got. He's not asking it as a favour and that Stroud will know what it means.

Dyson is sprung from custody as they are leaving the Liverpool dock gates but in the process, Police Sergeant Bob Reeves of the Metropolitan, one of his escorts, is killed by a shotgun blast to face. Not knowing what's happening, Tommy is surprised to see Eddie, a childhood friend, at the wheel of the get-away car. Disgusted by the turn of events, Tommy feels his life isn't worth much now, so he tells Eddie, one of the few people he trusts, a secret. He has kept all the original "books" for the last 8 years hidden away as insurance so that Kavanagh didn't one day kill him. As the manhunt begins, the two of them manage to pass through a police road-block near Stockport and continue their journey to the north-east coast, away from Eddie's planned destination of Lincoln.

That evening, Eddie pulls the car over to rest a bit. Tommy makes Eddie promise that if anything happens to him, he'll find a key in his wallet to a safety deposit box in an Irish bank that has a letter, with directions, to where the books are kept - books that he will forward to the authorities. Leaving his wallet in the car, Tommy gets out for a breath of fresh air and to stretch his legs. After not returning for a while, Eddie goes in search of him and hearing a gunshot, finds him dead - suicide. Eddie must now decide what to do with the key for no one knows what hold Kavanagh had over him. Could he break it?

With the police on his trail, Eddie continues his journey east but gets bogged down in a winter snowstorm while travelling through the North Derbyshire district. With the snow 10 feet deep in some places and still falling, he decides to stop by a remote house, under the pretext of car trouble, to decide his next move. There, he finds a despondant Mrs. Helen Gatehouse, a 34-year-old not from the lower classes who, two months earlier, separated from her husband of 13 years. ...

With John Challis [Eddie Stroud], Caroline John [Mrs. Helen Gatehouse], Geoffrey Matthews [Commander Cook of the Northern Task Force], John Samson [Officer Weaver of the Metropolitan Police Service], Brian Haines [Charles Parnell Kavanagh], Hadyn Jones [Mr. Meers, Kavanagh's Solicitor], David Valor [Thomas (Tommy) Joseph Dyson, Kavanagh's Bookeeper], Anthony Hall [Seth Pike, Helen's Neighbour], Nigel Anthony [Joe Bradley], Nigel Graham [Police Patrolman], William Eedle [Frankie, one of Kavanagh's Henchmen / Garage Attendant], and Martin Muncaster [The Radio Newsreader].

Other parts played by members of the cast.

Directed by Gerry Jones.

90 minutes.


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