Sunday, 27 September 2015

Formidable

Formidable is a new book by published author Steve R. Dunn.

It is the third in a trilogy of naval history books.

It is a well-researched book that shows how, because some senior officers in the Royal Navy were using rules of engagements that had, in the main, stayed the same for 100 years, the Royal Navy suffered some jaw-droppingly ridiculous losses of ships and men during World War 1.

Rule of engagement that were suitable for the days of Lord Nelson and fighting set piece battles under full sail were worse than useless when one faced a modern enemy using modern equipment including submarines.

Dunn points out that, because a Vice Admiral thought it "unmanly" for his ships to seek shelter during storms that the ships under his disastrous command were forced to remain at sea, as he ignored the ever-present threat of attack by U-boats because to his sclerotic thought processes, the use of U-Boats to attack enemy ships from beneath the surface of the water would be utterly unthinkable due to the fact that it would be ungentlemanly behaviour.

Because of his tactical blunders Formidable, captained by Noel Loxley (accompanied by Bruce, his  terrier) went down with a completely inexcusable loss of nearly 600 men and boys.

Captain Loxley decided to remain on board Formidable as it sank, accompanied by his faithful companion, Bruce.

Dunn not only explains what happened but also explores why it happened and also makes a careful examination of the stories of some of the individuals involved in this utterly senseless loss of so many lives. And of the hardships that was the fate of their hapless wives and children during a transitional period which Dunn has dubbed the "Vicwardian" era.

It is a highly moving and very well researched book which will appeal to history buffs and to people who are interested in the First World War and will make an ideal Christmas present.

It is published by www.bookguild.co.uk at £12.99.

Opposable Truths

Opposable Truths is a new book by highly skilled and experienced journalist and TV presenter, Martin Young.

You'll remember Martin Young from Nationwide, Newsnight to Panorama and Rough Justice.

It is his autobiography and dips into his near half-century spent working in television, during which time he was involved in every major news and current affairs programme broadcast by the BBC.

It also has a great deal to say about the fights he became involved in with the political and legal establishments caused by his seminal series "Rough Justice" which brought about the release of five people all who had been falsely accused and wrongly convicted of serious crimes they had not committed.

Martin Young will also be remembered by viewers for his work as a foreign correspondent where he covered such troubled hotspots as Iran during the Iranian Revolution, Gaza and the West Bank.

He also, bravely, reported on the Mafia in both the USA and Sicily. Where he was very nearly murdered.

He writes as eloquently as a skilled journalist could be expected to and his style is witty and also, sparse and pacey. This is what modern journalists do, we have to write and rewrite our stories so 500 words can be reduced to 250 words so we can get more content told in fewer words.

We read of his experiences covering the Iranian Revolution, his time with the Rough Justice programme (which eventually earned him a Special Award for Journalism from the Royal Television Society) how he suddenly fell from grace and needed to earn some money quickly when the BBC (unfairly) suspended him without pay.

Work which brought him into contact with the Ford Motor Company (rewrite a manual, that'll be £600, please!) and with the world of the Soho voiceover industry, where actors are on a perpetual treadmill from one voice over studio to another and make a reasonable living by using the one skill that can't be taken from them, their voice.

In fact, not only did he make up the £9,000 he lost in salary from  the BBC, in the three month period of his suspension he actually made a very satisfying £27,000, made up of voice overs, media training of MPs and the like.

He also reveals what is was like on Nationwide, how he got his start in Independent TV before moving over to Nationwide at the BBC and various other incidents throughout his career, including nearly being murdered in Sicily.

It is an interesting book, my only minor criticism of this book is that it is not in any way sequential and does tend to flit backwards and forwards through time and from subject to subject.

It costs £15.99 and is published by Matador.





A Ticket to Oblivion: A Railway Detective novel by Edward Marston

A Ticket to Oblivion: A Railway Detective novel by Edward Marston is a novel featuring the Railway Detective Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant Detective Sergeant Victor Leaming are called upon by Superintendent  Tallis to take control of an urgent investigation in the county of Worcestershire.

For the daughter of a man selected to become the next Secretary of State for India has disappeared from a non-stop train from Worcester to Oxford.

It is 1858 and Imogen Burnhope is betrothed to an up-and-coming MP,  Clive Tunnadine, when she and her faithful maid, Rhoda vanish from a train taking them to visit relatives in Oxford.

But when the train arrives, they are missing. Her father, Sir Marcus Burnhope calls in some favours and gets Scotland Yard's top detective team put on the case.

As the case progresses, some dark secrets start to emerge. Is Clive Tunnadine MP all he appears to be? And why is Rhoda's hat discovered in a railway tunnel?

It is alleged by Clive Tunnadine that members of Imogen's own family are involved in the disappearance. But what proof does he have?

Colbeck realises that he is involved in a race against time to find out what happened to the two women, where they are and who they are with.

And what, exactly, is the involvement of a private detective Alban Kee (dismissed from Scotland Yard for corruptly receiving bribes from Criminals) in the case? He is withholding information, Colbeck is certain, but why? What has motivated him to do this?

Before the case is solved there are several murders,  a brutal attack on an innocent woman and  is more than one murder and Imogen and Rhoda find themselves in the clutches of some very dangerous and desperate individuals.

But can Colbeck and Leaming save them from a fate worse than death?

This is a very gripping novel written by a master storyteller.

It is published by Alison and Busby at £7.99 and will make a superb Christmas present for the lover of detective fiction.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Who Will Be Your Judge

Who Will Be Your Judge is a new novel by Edie Watney Judd.

Who Will Be Your Judge tells the powerful and tragic stories of two brothers.

It begins in the midst of World War Two and continues down through time to 1960s gangland London.

It is a historical mystery thriller that traces the lives of Billy and Richard, of how they were evacuated from London during the Blitz.

What should have been shelter from the Nazi bombs in the care of the House of Nazareth saw them under the "care" of some vicious nuns.

Desperate to leave their violent and tyrannical 'prison'  they make their way back to their London home.

But the war delivers them a cruel blow when it takes the lives of both of their parents.

They are again taken into the care of Barnardo's until fate deals them another savage blow and they are split apart again, this time by adoption.

Richard is taken into a family that rigorously enforces strict Victorian-style rules, Billy goes to live with a couple who live in the heart of the East End of London. They are poor and, until they adopted Billy, without children.

Billy has a constant dream, to become a professional boxer, yet this, too, is taken away from him when he develops epilepsy, which bars him from the sport that he loved.

He becomes bitter and slides into a life of crime, beginning to become involved in smash and grab raids as a way to escape the poverty that has dogged him all his life.

After working his way up through the ranks, Billy eventually becomes the owner of a club in the West End.

Richard, who became a priest, attempts to reason with his brother to attempt to get him to leave his life of crime.

But suddenly a letter is found. A letter that contains an old secret that has the power to change everything not only for Billy but for Richard, too.

The book is published on 28 September 28 by Matador at £14.99 and will make a super present.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop on the righthand side of the site.

Agincourt 1415

Agincourt 1415 is a novel that tells the story of the famed battle of Agincourt.

It tells it in the format of a graphic novel.

The author is Will Gill and the artist is Graeme Howard.

The historical consultant is Anne Curry.

The book tells, in accurate detail, the true story of Agincourt, of how a simple mistake by the leaders of the French forces put the French at a distinct disadvantage even before the battle had begun.

How the deadly and accurate bow work of the English and Welsh archers decimated the flower of the French Knightly classes in their dozens.

It a;sp tells how treachery against the chivalric values of the Medieval times tainted, for some people, the victory of King Henry V over his French rival.

Will Gill was already knowledgeable about  the battle of Agincourt, but Will and Graeme undertook meticulous research under the expert guidance of Professor Anne Curry, who is the world's leading expert on the battle of Agincourt which makes this book highly accurate.

Professor Curry has written the introduction to the book.

It costs £9.99 and will be available well before Christmas, as it is due to be published by Troubador on 25 October.

This book is a "must buy" present and, in my opinion, at least three copies should be in every school and college library.

It will be available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which is on the righthand side of the site.

An Eye for a Tooth and a Limb for an Eye

An Eye for a Tooth and a Limb for an Eye is the latest crime novel by Eleanor Berry.

It is a taut psychological thriller that explores what happens when someone, apparently a perfectly ordinary, normal someone, is suddenly pushed beyond their limits.

Rhoda Buckleshott is a bright and fashionable young English teacher at a private school based in London's West End.

The unloveable and vile headmistress, Mrs Beddington, has, for reasons of reverse snobbery and innate nastiness, has decided to sack Rhoda without any warning.

Rhoda decides that she will have her revenge on Miss Beddington and so she launches a campaign of revenge on Mrs Beddington, swearing to destroy her.

It begins in a fairly minor way, but it progresses and the acts of revenge against Mrs Beddington become harsher, more cruel and more outrageously outlandish with every step.

Rhoda's need for revenge against Mrs Beddington becomes an  all consuming mania. Things begin to spiral out of control, and as a result of the impact of her growing reign of terror, fault lines begin to develop in the psyche of Rhoda.

Is she going mad?

When will the revenge cease? Or will it?

This book is a godsends for those who enjoy books that are seriously written, yet with the black humour of the author shining through on just about every page.

An entertaining book by a well-established author it costs £9.99 and is available from www.bookguild.co.uk.

It si available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop on the righthand side of this site.


Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer


Saint George: Rusty Knight and Monster Tamer is a new book for children by John Powell.

It's a tough life. Well, it is if you live in a world that is beset by a wide variety of various monsters who are all intent on harrasing the populous and frightening the livestock of the farms.

So, in order to deal with these monsters, you would need a hero, yes?

You need someone who could be made Patron Saint and Minister for the Environment. So, step forward, George.

Unfortunately, George is vertically challenged, poor and the owner of some rusting armour.

However, there is one ting that is very much in George's favour. Whist touring the tyrol one year he discovered a cake which is unlike any other cake in the world. For the recipe to which this cake is made tames monsters.

For the first time in his previously less-than-appealing life, George us wanted and welcomed by everyone, to the extent that he is declared a government minister by King Freddie and his Prime Minister, Merlin

Even though George becomes famous throughout the land, he is still pretty poorly off in financial terms.

But he does succeed in repelling a Scottish invasion, improving relations with France, launching the world's first trades union and becoming involved in the game of cricket.

Although this book is aimed at children 7 and up, the biting social satire and acidic with will please adults of all ages, too!

It is published by www.bookguild.co.uk at £9.;99 and will be an excellent Christmas gift.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop to the right of this site.

The Corruption of Chastity

The Corruption of Chastity is a novel by Frank Westworth and is the second of his Killing Sisters series of novels.

This is an extraordinary novel. Murder and treachery in the desert, a handsome stranger, who might be more than he seems, hooks up with a woman who is definitely more than she seems.

But the question is, what on earthy could happen when a betrayed and ultra hard female contract killer meets up with the one and only J J Stoner, underworld investigator?

This novel is Frank Wentworth at his hardest hitting and best.

It cost £10.99 from www.bookguild.co.uk.

Fans of thriller fiction will welcome this in their Christmas stocking and it's available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, to the right of the site.




Marriage, a journey and a Dog

Marriage, a journey and a Dog is a highly entertaining romantic novel by Hampshire author Bremda H. Sedgwick.

Gerry, the husband to Natalie, loves all things sporty.

Gerry is on a cycling tour of France when he meets with an unfortunate, but non-fatal, accident.

Being the good wife that she is, Natalie leaves her ordinary home in the sleepy market town in southern England to collect her wounded husband.

However, all does not go well. In her elderly Fiat, and with Spike (her canine companion)  she heads for France. But once she crosses the English Channel, she realises that she is stumped by her inability to read maps and she becomes, hopelessly, lost.

She finds herself in Paris and, somehow, her inner self is re-awakened. She finds herself looking at the Venus de Milo statue and she wonders if the Goddess of love might be able to assist her by resolving the conflicts that are causing problems within her marriage?

She traverses France, seeing the artistic and cultural wonders of Loire. Cognac, Lourdes and a trans-Pyrenean journey that eventually finds her leaving France and ending up in Barcelona in Spain.

She meets a variety of men, including lorry drivers, buskers, bullfighters and even a glider pilot.

When she meets with Alex on a boat on the river Charente, there's a possibility of an illicit love affair .
She returns home to redundancy from her nothing job, a marriage that is adrift in a sea of difficulties and yet... her journey of self-discovery has not gone unnoticed. Her return is heralded by the media and Natalie realises that nothing need remain the same. She is offered a commission as a journalist to write travel articles about the joys of lone travel.

As her world seems to be falling apart at her 40th birthday party, it becomes clear to Natalie that she now has the opportunity to strike out on a new life path both in terms of her career and also her new found love.

This book is published by Matador at £7.99 and will make an ideal Christmas gift for the lover of romantic novels.

It is available through the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which is to the right of the site.  

Saturday, 19 September 2015

That's Christmas: New Christmas musical in book and CD form

That's Christmas: New Christmas musical in book and CD form: Barry the Penguin's Black and White Christmas is a brand new and fun musical written by Lesley Ross and John-Victor.It is adapted by R...

The London Sniper

The novel The London Sniper by Daniel Pascoe is a novel that relates how evil can contaminate all that it touches.

The Chgwell family, lead by family patriarch Arthur, is looking not for closure over the heartless decapitation murder of one of their family members by terrorists. At the London Olympics.

No. The Chigwell family is looking for a bloody revenge that will live on in the memory of those who hurt their family for a very long time indeed.

Their  chosen tool for this bloody revenge is former Army sniper Jarvis Collingwood. Having seen the death of his own brother in Iraq, Collingwood is, to put it mildly, perhaps not quite as stable as he might be. And is almost certainly far more dangerous than is realised even by those closest to him, including his wife.

Pitched against the plot is Leon Deshpande. He is a security consultant and an investigator. But can he take on the skills of someone who is, in their own way, as highly trained and just as determined as he is? Someone who is, in point of fact, equally matched to him?

What if someone is playing their own, equally deadly game? What if they are using the desire for revenge by the Chigwell family as a cover for their own thirst for revenge?

It is a story of madness, of  bloody retribution, of trust that is betrayed and broken and of lives lost in the name of revenge.

It is an exciting, pacy novel which, at £10.99, will, we predict, be in many a-Christmas stocking this December 25.

It is published by bookguild.co.uk and is available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to the right of the site.

The Reich Device

The Reich Device is set in Germany in the early 1930s, when the Nazi Party was beginning to put together the monstrous operation that was to become the Third Reich.

It is late spring or early summer in 1933 and Professor Gustav Mayer, a German man of science and a genius well before his time has made a startling and somewhat unsettling discovery.

He has developed an utterly new technology that is at least a full century ahead of current scientific thoughts or abilities.

But how safe could his secret be in the world of the 1930s, when secret preparations were being made to thrust Europe and, ultimately, the world, into a new war, even more deadly than the Great War?

Professor Mayer becomes a haunted and a hunted man, tracked by the ruthless assassins of the recently created SS, which had already amassed to itself a dirty and foul reputation for deeds of great evil.

A worldwide chain of events is set into motion, with acts of espionage on a global scale being engendered, tracking across the world from the heart of Nazi Germany to the USA, the Middle East, the UK and South Africa. But why South Africa, in particular?

But is all what it seems? Who is spying on whom? And to what real end?

Are shadowy forces at work? If there are, what are their links to the gigantic corporations that are already towering like a corporate colossus over an unknowing and relatively innocent land of America?

Eventually Mayer falls into the clutches of the evil Commandment Kessler. Driven to madness by his torture, Professor Mayer lets slip a vital part of his secret, but his interrogators fail to grasp the import of what he has revealed to them.

Professor Mayer is moved to the Peenemunde V1 rocket facility. But why? For what reason?

Is there more happening at Peenemunde than is apparent? Is there another, even more deadly, weapon under construction there that could change the whole course of the human race?

Who can stop them? Who will stop them?

The book is written by Richard D. Handy, who is an expert on the hazards of nanotechnology and his expertise shines through in this pulse quickening thriller.

It is published by Matador and costs a remarkably reasonable £8.99 and will be a welcome Christmas gift for those who like World War 2 based thrillers.

It is available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to the right of this site.





Buckingham

John Schroeder's Buckingham is a book about a cat who, perhaps not surprisingly, is called Buckingham.

Buckingham is no ordinary cat.

He managed to, somehow, insinuate his way into the life of Angela Tillsworthy.

He was a cat that was large in both physical size, psychic presence and also in good looks.

But, as has been pointed out, Buckingham was no ordinary cat.

Soon, Angela began to notice that there was something about this cat called Buckingham. Something really very different Something unique.

Buckingham, it transpired, was a magical cat, of sorts. A cat who had healing, therapeutic powers and influences.

Eventually, other people began to notice the strange powers that Buckingham possessed, and as they watched, fascinated, Buckingham managed to affect the lives of a great many people and all for good.

Eventually, Angela launches a very special business with Buckingham. And that's when the fun really starts!

The book is about cats, love and the human and feline conditions.

It is also illustrated with some remarkably good line drawings and at £10.99 is an ideal book for the cat lover in your life or anyone else who likes heartwarming story!

It is published by Matador and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop on the right of this site.





Sunday, 13 September 2015

That's Christmas: Ben and the Spider Gate

That's Christmas: Ben and the Spider Gate: Ben and the Spider Gate is a fantastic hardback book by Angela Fish. It tells the story of how Ben, an ordinary little boy, discovers an...

Vermilion Skies

Vermilion Skies is an unusual and moving love story by Wendela Lumley.

It is described as "A love story that will stay with you forever."

It tells the story of the life of Milana, a young Chilean girl who is the resident of a mean shantytown.

But Milana is no ordinary shantytown dweller. Although she is struggling with the impact of the abuse from her vile stepfather, she is a girl of indomitable willpower and strength of character and wants to make something of her life.

Although she could give herself to the local drug dealers who taunt her as they lust after her body, she decides to keep away from them and instead she reads books that she finds in charity bags. She reads these books and uses them to fuel her powerful imagination.

Her precarious life was ripped to shreds by a terrible tragedy, but a stranger by the name of Santiago comes into her life when he discovers her working on the banks of the river.

He makes her a stunning offer. A perfect way of escaping from her life.

But is the aristocratic and handsome Santiago all he appears to be? Or do some dark secrets lurk in his past?

He is an artist teetering on the edge of great fame and fortune and together their secret love spurs them on to travel across continents all over the world, challenging the status quo and the time-honoured conventions of the world.

But will the past catch up with them. destroying the cosy world they have carved out for themselves against all the odds?

Or will they be able to continue as the loving couple that they are?

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is available via the Amazon-powered That's Books Bookshop, to the right of the site.

Kinch

Kinch, a novel by Laurie Evan Owen, tells the story of Kinch, who is 14, and his compatriots, Pigeon and Brownie and how they cope and, to some extent, strive and thrive, in a place which could be now, or at some point in the future, it could be taking place here or anywhere else, for that matter.

The whole of society is corrupted to gargantuan depths.

Kinch is looking to find a way to avenge the death of his father who had been an anarchist, Pigeon, well Pigeon is naife, though of a literary bent and as from Brownie, Brownie is an old-styled itinerante actor, who is also a frustrated poet. And to complicate matters a little, Brownie is also a paid informer for the "religio-political hierarchy."

The story of Kinch and his companions takes place in and around the cathedral city of Axton, during one tumultuous and white knuckle week of a ride.

And for the price of £9.99 this is a fantasy/allegorical tale that you really don't want to miss.

It's published by Matador and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment  bookshop, powered by Amazon and to the right hand side of this site.

The Father's House

The Father's House is the debut novel by former barrister and Cardiff-based author Larche Davies.

It tells the story of Lucy, who, at 14, has been born into and raised in a secretive and sinister religious cult.

The aim of the cult, which is controlled and led by a shadowy figure who insists on being referred to as the Magnifico, is to take over the world.

Families do not exist in the cult, children are raised in communes by men who are dubbed "father."

For some reason Lucy and another child, a boy called Paul, are raised not in one of the communes but in a house that is split into flats, under the control of a strict "aunt" called Sarah, who is no relation to either child. They live in the ground floor flat with Sarah, whilst the Father lives upstairs. There is a mystery tenant who occupies the second floor of the house, which is owned by the Father.

All Lucy knows are the prayer meetings of the sect and her attendance of the special school operated by the Magnifico with the aim of training them to become able to insinuate themselves into the outside world and to infiltrate important and influential positions within society.

Either that or they are doomed to work endlessly as skivvies for the sect, or to be nothing boot breeders to create babies for the Holy Cause of the Magnifico.

But Something happens to Lucy. She is subjected to cruel humiliation during one school assembly, and this one, thoughtless act of cruel folly begins the destruction of her faith and trust in the religion she has been raised in and as her faith begins to collapse, through two of her school friends, she learns some of the secrets of the sect.

She then resolves to leave the sect before her 16th birthday, when she will be married off to one of the sect fathers in the name of the Magnifico, or disposed of as being "unsuitable to further the Holy Cause."

But how can Lucy escape? Who can she trust? Who should she trust?

But fate intervenes one day when enemies of the Father invade his house and she has no option other than to flee for her life.

But still the sect would not let her and Paul be. It still attempted to control or to destroy what it could not control.

This is a very compelling psychological thriller that gives an accurate look into how a cult works, how it controls people even above and beyond whatever real power it might possess.

It is published by Mastador at £9.99.

It is to be hoped that this will be the first of many more novels by Larche Davies.

It is, of course, available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, powered by Amazon., on the right hand side of this site.



The Powder Man

Paul Youden's The Powder Man tells the story of dedicated young journalist, Peter Kingston.

A good journalist always follows his nose and follows the news story, take him, or her, where it might.

However, an older and wiser journalist might swiftly walk right on by.

But Peter is young, ambitious and eager to make his mark in the world of journalism, wanting to move on from covering mundane stories for his regional weekly newspaper. who wants to cover driving offences, council minutes, petty crimes and village fates when there is a whole world of real news stories out there?

A fellow journalist has an unfortunate and devastating encounter with the shadowy Powder Man, an international and highly dangerous drug baron.

/this turns out to be a blessing for Peter as he gains the opportunity to travel throughout Europe with his gorgeous photographer girlfriend Sue and for them to be paid for the travel privilege, too.

They travel through the Alpine loveliness of  wintertime in Austria and Switzerland and are enjoying themselves immensely.

But all is not what it seems. Because unbeknown to Peter and Sue their lives are in mortal danger as they are being tracked and followed by the Powder Man. And he is getting closer and closer to them.

They realise that they have fallen into the rabbit hole and emerged, shocked and terrified, into an alien world of international corruption, global organised crime, kidnapping, mistaken identities and for the potential of a ruthless and bloody death.

Will Peter and Sue escape the clutches of the Powder Man? For a very reasonable £8.99 you can find out in this thrilling book which is published by The Book Guild.

The book is available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop to the right hand side of the site.


The Stealers

What could be easier? Just steal another car, in this case, a funky red 1966 classic Ford Mustang.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

In this particular occasion the gang rather stupidly targeted the 1966 red Ford Mustang owned by Jack Crane. You might remember Jack Crane from the other two novels by Charles Hall, Bad Faces and Sea Fort.

Oh. That Jack Crane? Jack Crane the highly trained and utterly truthless recently retired SAS officer?

The gang of car thieves had stolen his beloved car and he was going to get it back. One way, or another.

But the gang of car thieves were more than just a gang of car thieves, they were far, far worse than that. And they had made the -often fatal- mistake of making themselves noticeable to a man who was even more capable of causing mayhem, destruction and death than they could dream of.

The dangerous man hunt traverses Europe from Eastern England to France and beyond as he begins to understand the true nature of the vile gang that stole his car.

They appeared to be implicated in child abduction too and as the body count begins to rise Crane realised that if he wanted to reclaim his car, escape with his life and crush his new-found enemies, he'd have to remember all of his SAS training to make sure that he got his car and escaped with his life.

This is a genuinely fast-paced crime thriller of a novel with many twists and turns in its 369 action-packed pages.

It is published by Matador at a rather modest £9.99 and is available from he That's Books and Entertainment bookshop powered by Amazon to the right of the site.