Monday, 29 August 2016

Blood, Sweat and Schemes

Blood, Sweat and Schemes is the latest crime novel by Rob Watkins.

Bob is in trouble. He had a one time only quick fling, when he and a woman called Charity were thrown together as they escaped death by boredom at a particularly tedious party.

That event occurred well over a decade ago. And now Bob is very happily married to his wife, Sue.

However, by a set of extraordinary coincidences his one time fling has become the boss of his wife.

And it becomes painfully clear that the one time fling is out to try to mess up Bob's happy married life and test it to way beyond breaking point. But just for some fun, you understand!

Charity blackmailed Bob into servicing her sexual needs and it seemed that every time he attempted to escape from Charity's clutches, something truly dreadful would happen to one of his loved ones.

But far from something perpetrated for the mere fun of it, Charity has upped her game substantially.

Because now? Now she wants vengeance. Real, bloody vengeance.  A deadly sort of vengeance of Biblical proportions, that could result in severe injury or an even a more severe death or several deaths.

Will Bob be able to sense the danger that he and his family are in, at the hands of Charity?

Will he be like a lamb to the slaughter?

Or will he be able to face Charity down and deal with her like-for-evil-like?

This is a thrilling book and a mere snip at £8.99, this Book Guild Book is a must for all lovers of crime and thriller novels.

You can buy it via the That's Books bookshop.

When the Ice Melts

When the Ice Melts is a novel by Phyllis J. Burton.

The writing of When the Ice Melts came about as the result of Phyllis J. Burton reading a  article about a woman whose son was in a long-term coma.

Phyllis J. Burton began to wonder what it would be like to be in such a situation and so she decided to write her novel, When the Ice Melts.

It explores the story of Sarah Wenham and what happened when her husband fell victim to a tragic accident that resulted in him being in a hospital's ICU, only kept alive by a life support machine.

Successful solicitor Tom Wenham was severely injured in a plane crash which left him in a coma.

Several months later his wife needs to give her authority to have the life support machine switched off, which results in the death of her husband.

Subsequently Sarah begins to doubt that her decision was the correct one. Should she have insisted that the doctors at the hospital continue with the operation of the life support machine?

Or had she, actually, made the right choice?

Pricked by her conscience she protects her emotions by building a thick wall of ice between herself and the outside world.

However, Sarah finds that she in physically unable to cope with the volume of work within the legal practice that she had operated with her husband, so she decides to take on a new partner to help deal with the casework.

John Bradley is selected as the new partner and Sarah shields herself from him behind her wall of ice.

She attempts to do her best to, somehow, get on  with her life and takes a weeklong break on a Greek island.

She meets silver tongued and handsome Theodorus, but the revelation that he is, actually, a serial womaniser makes her reject his advances.

She returns home to her life in England.

But something is happening. Someone is stalking her, someone who seeks vengeance upon her.

When she vanishes in mysterious circumstances John Bradley becomes frightened for her safety and he launches a desperate attempt to find her.

But can he find her in time? And what has happened to her?

If you like your romance novels with a bit of a thrilling edge to them, then this is just the right book for you.

It's published by Matador and costs a rather keenly priced £7.99. It's available from That's Books.


Prince Hal and his Friend Jack Falstaff

Prince Hal and his Friend Jack Falstaff is a Shakespearean tale that has been retold by Alan Oberman.

Rather than being merely new words, the story is also set to new music by Alan Oberman and also is accompanied by evocative and colourful illustrations created by Robin Carter.

There are two CDs that accompany the book, the first CD includes the story with and without the music, whilst the second CD has incidental music and the story told through music, alone.

The narration is by Philip Bowen, and the musicians are Laura Greenwood (piano) John Hymas (violin) Alan Oberman (saxophone) Graeme Lamble (electric bass and guitar) Tony Egan (drums) Lu Mason (vocals) and Simon Fraser (flugelhorn).

The engineering and editing work were all undertaken by Robin Lamble and the work was recorded at The Institute, Llangamach Wells, and Penlanole, Rhyader, both in Wales.

The story is re-told in a more modern language, yet it is still able to capture what makes this story one of the best-loved of all the stories told by master storyteller, William Shakespeare.

It is published by Cambria Books at an exceptionally reasonable price of £9.99 and this book belongs on the shelves of every family in the Kingdom and also in every school in the land, too!

It is published by Cambria Books (www.cambriabooks.co.uk) and is available through That's Books.



The Compass Dances

The Compass Dances is a collection of the writings of poet Michael Pickering.

It covers the years 1955 to 2015.

Michael Pickering began writing poems when he was seven years of age, although this anthology of his poems starts from when he was roughly 20 and carries on until he was 80.

The subject range is breathtaking covering people, places, ideas, modes of thinking, dreams, realities, legends both modern and ancient.

There are also poems in the style of others (look out for the rather charming tribute to Hilaire Belloc) on page 266, for example.

Mr  Pickering has kindly and thoughtfully provided some footnotes and pronunciation guide notes for several of his poems.

He has used a wide variety of poetic styles throughout this anthology including some styles not much used in modern times and also some poems that are of a more experimental nature.

This is a fascinating and interesting work.

The book is published by Matador at £10.99 and is available from That's Books.

Fast Forward Music and Politics in 1974

Fast Forward Music and Politics in 1974 is the fourth book by Steve Millward.

He observes, sagely, that "It was a period of tumultuous change, the repercussions of which are still being felt today."

Steve's books have covered the time period between 1964 and, with this fourth book, 1974.

It was an amazing ten year period, and 1974 -when Steve started his first job- was an amazing year both musically and politically.

There was the oil crisis, an international recession, the Watergate scandal that felled a president, Richard Nixon, the strange case of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese  Liberation Army, the terrible situation in Northern Ireland, football violence, the increasing fervour of the National Front and more troubles besides.

However. All was not doom and gloom, because as well as being a time of political turmoil, 1974 was an absolutely stunning year for new music.

Billy Swan with "I Can Help",  Carole King was scoring remarkably well -her 1971 album Tapestry was joined three years later by her album Wrap Around Joy, from which were released two hits, "Jazzman" and "Nightingale."

Elvis Presley was enjoying his popularity and Paul McCartney's band Wings release of Band on the Run toward the rear end of 1973 was receiving both critical and popular acclaim. (REVIEWER'S WHINGE: I do wonder what happened to my copy of that!)

Another former Beatle, Ringo Starr, was also doing very well for himself. His version of "You're Sixteen" released the year before was a fairly major hit for him and the album he released in 1974, Goodnight Vienna did well on both sides of the Atlantic.

The book also touches on the rise of Bruce Springsteen, the advent of Punk music (the American and the British varieties) and other such luminaries as the Wolf Tones -with their Irish Nationalist songs, and a host of artistes of various stripes such as Flora Purim, Santana and who can forget the Average White Band's ultra funky song "Pick Up the Pieces"? You'd never guess that, far from being an American band they actually haled from Dundee in Eastern Scotland.

This book belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in the history of popular music.

It's published by Matador at £8.99. You can buy it through That's Books.

Chorus Endings

Chorus Endings is a novel by David Warwick.

Peter and his friends grew up in rural Hampshire directly in the years that were just after the Second World War.

Their lifestyle was a pretty idyllic one, they had carte blanche, in effect, to roam around the villages and countryside of their part of Hampshire with nary a care in the world.

It seems that in those blissful days there was always something to see and something to do and always an adventure or two just beckoning them on.

Jimmy the Saint, a local artist in their particular favourite and something of a hero to them all.

As well as being an artist Jimmy is also a fount of all knowledge of the folklore of the village and of the amazing characters who occupied it down through the years.

There was Chirper Edwards, a not especially good town-crier, Freddy the Fop and No-Good Naughton, Stoytan the Jutish warrior, Morgana the pagan goddess and also the less than favourable ancestors of the current Squire.

But was everything right? What if things were not as it seemed?

By chance, four decades later, Peter stumbles on information that changes all that he new about Jimmy the Saint, and Peter and his wife Helen find themselves attempting to find the truth of the circumstances that surrounded the sudden and apparently mysterious disappearance of Jimmy all those years ago.

They find evidence of murder and of madness of insanity, espionage and betrayal and it seems that his hero was centre-stage throughout all of these incidents.

And what role had the mysterious wealthy American played in this tangled web?

It's an interesting novel as it reflects very well the zeitgeist of the years post war up to the present day with new religions and cults springing up almost daily, or so it seemed.

To book is published by Matador at £8.99 and it's available via That's Books.

Get Lucky

A blue-eyed boy, a rebellious teen, a womaniser, a brawler, a boozer, an International art thief, gaol habitue of prisons in several countries, jail breaker, a successful entrepreneur.

These are not the cast members of the latest Hollywood blockbuster movie, they are the various attributes of one very extraordinary man, Paul Eagles.

Paul Eagles' autobiography opens with Paul at 22 stone in a hospital bed, chained to two prison warders.

His mind begins to wander over some events from  his past life. Art theft, a young lady called Joker at his side as he checked over the security system of the Singer Museum in Laren, temporary repository for a Ruben's. And likely to be more temporary than originally envisaged if Paul Eagles has his way.

He has made, both by legitimate and less than legitimate means, several fortunes and lost them in a variety of ways including being cheated by people who  he should have been able to trust, including his lawyer and a so-called business adviser.

But no matter what happened, who he had upset he always seemed to end up smelling of roses.

It is a book with a wide cast of heroes and villains of various stripes and types and of moments of deep sadness interwoven with his sardonic wit and humour.

It's a quirky tale and ideal for your last minute summer holiday reading if you haven't been on holiday yet.

It's published by Matador and costs £9.99, you can buy it from That's Books.

Friday, 26 August 2016

A New Day Dawning

A New Day Dawning is a new book by Edward Forde Hickey.

The book follows a group of children in the part of Ireland that is Tipperary and a hillside community therein.

The novel follows a group of children through their early lives as they learn the ways of life in Rural Ireland during the 1940s as their grip on who they are and their unique, individual personalities grow and develop.

Hickey knows the area depicted well, as he was born in Dolla, Tipperary. Where he still has a small hillside farm, together with a home in Kent shared with his wife and three children.

The setting of the book is, says Hickey: "the unreal world of Rookery Rally."

The format of the book is interesting as it eschews ordinary chapters for a series of vignettes of varying lengths, each of which relate to different events in a particular month of a particular year as the book continues from September 1945 and the cessation of the distant war right through to late September 1946.

We follow the children as they learn right from wrong, sometimes with horrible consequences, they learn to say their Rosaries ("inspired by the bespectacled Pope" in a message sent all the way from Rome.

They learn that killing is wrong and that some adults are not as nice as some other adults, and that's putting it very mildly as some of the adults in the area are, to put it mildly, not very nice at all.

Slipperslapper, for example is one of the most horrific characters that I have ever come across.

The book is published by Matador at £10.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, just to the right of this review.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Early Days

Playwright Caroline Mitchel Rehder has written two plays that are emotionally charged as they offer the theatregoer an insight into how suffering can begin in the life of a child.

The plays show two entirely different ways, that are all too common, in which a child can find themselves trapped and, as a result, can suffer horribly and, apparently it would seem, totally unnoticed by the adults that surround them.

In the play is "Contractual Obligations"  we see a mother who is incapable of forming that all important mother-child bonding. We watch the unfortunate consequences of this failure as they negatively impact upon the relationship between the two of them.

The second play is called "The Divorce."

It tells the horrible story of a child who disintegrates before the audience as the parents battle each other for supremacy in their divorce, yet fail to notice the horrible impact this event is having on their own child.

The plays are highly stylised and, should they be produced, would probably be best suited to all cast members being played by adult actors, rather than children.

The playscript is published by Matador and costs £9.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to the right of this review.


The Silent Land

Whilst undertaking research for his day job as a newspaper journalist, David Dunham realised that, for some reason, very little had been recorded about a British army regiment that had been, at the time, praised for having "saved the British Empire."

David decided to dig deep into the research archives to learn more about the regiment, but he did not use his research material to relate the history of the battle in which they fought,

Instead he used his research to tell the story of the humanity, of the people who survived, those who didn't survive and the great and abiding terrible griefs that this occasioned in their loved ones.

It is a detailed story that shows what happens when their are dreadful and terrible secrets within a family and how the shadow of the great and terrible Great War was a long a dark one.

It is the story of Rebecca and her mother, how Rebecca learned and had to come to terms with the way in which he mother died.

How the marriage to her one true love and her own venture inot motherhood brings about resolution and happiness for Rebecca, until the advent of the Great War, a maelstrom into which her husband, along with millions of men like him, were forced to enter.

Can she ignore the terrible things that have happened in the past? Or will he allow them to mar the rest of her life, spoiling her future as they had already spoiled her past?

This is a well-crafted debut novel published by Matador at £7.99.

It's on sale in the That's Books and Entertainment online book emporium, you'll find the entry to the bookshop just to the right of this book review.

Children of the Mists

Children of the Mists is a novel by author Lexa Dudley.

It takes us to the island of Sardinia to a time of long, long ago.

Set well over 200 years ago Children of the Mists is a Love story.

For the inhabitants of Sardinia, life had not altered much since the time of the ancient Romans.

It is a love story, but it tells what happens when revenge and the Sardinian concept of vendetta become enmeshed with a once pure love, the love of two young people, Raffaella and Antonio.

Devotion is set to one side because a death has occurred.

Honour must be avenged, ambitions befoul all they touch or influence.

But the love of Raffaella and Antonio is a strong love.

However, is it a love that can stand against what are traditions and a way of life that predates even the laws and customs of ancient Roman times?

This is a classical romance in the best sense of the term and is an ideal read for someone who wants their romance with some spark and a lot of heart.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and can be bought from a variety of outlets including the That's Books and Entertainment online book shop, which you will find on the right side of this review.




Grand Vizier of Krar Fulcrum of Power

Fans of the Fantasy Science Fiction Grand Vizier of Krar novel Strings of Destiny, by W. John Tucker, will be pleased to note that he has published the second novel in the series, Fulcrum of Power.

After her dramatic discovery of the Occidental Communicator (a device of stunning power, installed by extraterrestrial visitors) Blan found herself trapped as a prisoner on the dreaded Slave Island.

She is forced to submit to the Black Knight at Austra Castle.

But now, Blan is going to take matters into her own hands and, though deep within enemy territory, she decides to make her own way and make her own unique mark on the situation.

However, she will not be allowed to face her enemies alone. And her protege, the worryingly brilliant and very strong-willed Memwin who, although only five, is proving herself to be someone who will not be thwarted in her ambitions. Hardly a surprise, when one considers that the Black Knight is her blood father.

The two friends come to a realisation that they are inextricably interlinked under the Great Plan. But can they possibly know or understand the great and terrible risks they are to undertake?

As events take apparently unpredictable and somewhat wild turns, they two expose themselves and, indeed, all of the denizens of Dabbin to the threat of a retribution that would be most terrible to comprehend.

It's a novel of love, tragedy, danger and retribution and excitement! Think Space Opera, think Olaf Stapledon, think E E "Doc" Smith, think big, because this novel's 474 pages has it all and more besides!

It's published by Matador at £15.99 and can be ordered now at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find over to the right hand side of this book review.

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant is a novel by Valerie Duncan that is a novel from our near history, it tells the story of a growing and developing relationship between two women in the 1960s.

The novel launches in the year 1962 where the protagonists, Jo and Jenny, make their acquaintance in college. 

As their friendship ripens they realise that they share passions for music, the dramatic arts and poetry. 

Over the years their friendship becomes deeper and transcends mere friendship, becoming something much more than that.

To their other friends and the outside world they appear to be just good friends. But behind closed doors, it is an entirely different matter as true love blooms and blossoms.

However, Jenny becomes fearful that the true nature of their intense relationship will be revealed to the world so she makes a instant decision to leave Jo behind and flees for a new life in France.

Meanwhile Jo forges a new life for herself as a highly successful magazine editor.

The novel looks at their parallel lives, examines how they live their now separate lives as they attempt to move on.

Jo and Jenny both find a measure of joy and happiness in their lives but both feel that, somehow, there is a certain lack. That something is missing.

Can their love bring them back together? Or will they still be haunted, their hopes blighted and dashed by by that fear of discovery, that fear of what others might think, do or say?

This book is a published (in paperback) by The Book Guild at £8.99 and is available via The That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, just to the right side of this review.

End Point

End Point is the debut science fiction novel of Author Peter Breakspear.

The book is interesting as it was an entry for a competition in Writing Magazine to have a novel published by Matador Books.

And as the book is, indeed, published by Matador, you'll gather that it was the winning entry out of over 100 hopeful authors.

We find ourselves in a Welsh valley with Tom and his special team who are there to retrieve something that has fallen to the Earth.

Missions to Mars and Venus offer proof to the team that planet Earth has been the subject of intense interest from beings from other worlds for a considerable period of time.

They also discover evidence that the environmental conditions of our planet had been subject to manipulation and outside influence for thousands and thousands of years.

Suddenly a member of the team disappears only to be returned to the team but as a radically changed being.

What, exactly, is he, now? An enemy or just someone who is attempting to guide the team, to help them in their ongoing quest?

Even so, they find themselves subjected to numerous examples of misdirection. But, ultimately they arrive at the answer they have been seeking. Or is it?

Is the Biblical story of the Ark of the Covenant somehow linked in to the events they have been investigating?

Is this an End Point or is it really a Beginning Point?

This book costs £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment Bookshop. You'll find that just over to the right of this review.






Ben and the Spider Prince

In this delightful follow up to Ben and the Spider Gate, in Ben and the Spider Prince, we learn that, once again, Lox and the Spider Wizard are in desperate need of the assistance and help of Ben, their human friend.

The Spider Princess is suffering from a dire illness and she is in need of the treatment of a specific, special cure.

However, the ingredients required for this particular type of medicine are all highly special and need to be gathered together so that the medicine can be made.

And it is Ben's task to find those special ingredients!

Can Gran give Ben a special secret that would be capable of keeping Ben safe from Spindra, the wicked sister of the spider Queen?

Written by Angela Fish, this is a charming and eminently well-written book for children.

Again, this book is beautifully illustrated and will be a great book for all children and adults from parents to grandparents and older siblings who like to read to their little brothers and sisters.

In a review Maria Grachvogel very wisely points out that it is "a story about loyalty and friendship."

It's published by the Book Guild in hardback at a very reasonable £9.95 and is available through the That's Books and Entertainment online bookshop, the portal of which you will find on the right hand side of this book review.

Buy it early for Christmas, that's my advice!

Clearful and the Queen

Once upon a time (well, not that long ago) a real little girl who goes by the name of Lali, invented a new word.

In the story of Clearful and the Queen, Lali and Abba, her big sister, decided that they should tell the Queen the story of the new word so they embarked on an amazing adventure, assisted by their speical pet cat, called Smokey.

After they invented their new word, "Clearful" they thought it best to tell the Queen that they had invented a new word.

So they wrote a letter to the Queen explaining all about the new word, which they had invented during a visit to their grandparents' house.

Much to their delight and surprise, the Queen writes back to them and even more spectacular, the Queen decides to invite them to tea!

They set out on a simply stunning adventure to travel from their house to Buckingham Palace to accept their invitation.

This is a charming and exceptionally well illustrated book written by  M J Exon (who in her day job is the Managing Director of BBH, a leading creative agency) and illustrated by Sid Russell, who is a highly talented artist and designer who is head of BBH's Design Department.

The book costs a remarkably reasonable £6.99 and will delight both parents, grandparents and children.

It is published by Matador and is available via the The That's Books and Entertainment book shop, which you will find to the right of this review.

The Conjurer's Mouse

The Conjurer's Mouse is a clever and light collection of rhyming short stories and other bits of random fun that are designed to keep all children and adults amused and entertained.

Authored an illustrated by Ann and Fred Onymouse (who have decided to tick the 'no publicity box' of life!).

The book is an amiable and delightful little diversion which is chock full of a wild melange of stories from a frightened rodent cafe owner, the benefits of humming, what happens at the alien's party night, a guitar playing kitty, a young rat with a problem, what monsters watch on their T.V. News.

What happens when a mongrel wants to enter a village dog show, what happens when you have a dinosaur for a brother and what happened to poor Ned Willow with his absolutely dreadful new pillow!

The book is published by Matador at £6.99 and is available from the that's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to be found at the right hand side of this book review.


Highlanders' Revenge

Highlanders' Revenge is a novel by a writing team made up of Uncle and Niece Paul and Victoria Richman in their debut novel under the pen name of Paul Tors.

Highlanders' Revenge tells the story of a Mash Man, the name of an outsider with a group of Highland soldiers.

This Mas Man is an Englishman, already marked by the loss of the love of his life by a murder and by the retreat before the advancing Nazi hordes of the Blitzkrieg.

His fellow soldiers are wary of this sullen and secretive outsider as they find themselves in Egypt where they find themselves battling an enemy ad natural conditions that test them to the very limits of their physical and metal endurance.
  
They find themselves caught up in one of the largest and most vicious battles of the entire Second World War, El Alamein.

The novel combines truth with fiction as it retells the exploits of the 5th Camerons, an amazing military unit as it saw action in most of the decisive and major battles of not  only the North African theatre of war but also of Western Europe.

Our two authors skillfully interweave the fictional life of Mash with the factual history of the 5th Camerons.

At only £9.99 this is a gripping military novel and, with its meticulous research, will be an ideal book for lovers of this genre.

It's available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, just to the right of this review.


The Cow That Jumped Over the Moon

The Cow That Jumped Over the Moon is a new retelling of a classic tale.

Jooks, who is eight years old, has taken her favourite nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle, and re-imagined  it as a stunning new and very captivating story of what the cow who jumped over the moon did next.

Bored with his everyday life of continually leaping over the moon the cow seeks out new experiences and new adventures in a host of new environments and locations.

The cow journeys to the Earth where it jumps over Antarctica, leaps over a rainbow (with hilarious consequences!) bounds about over Ice Cream Land and eventually he decides that he has had more than enough mad jumping about adventures for one day.

But the cow discovers that he isn't quite the cow that he used to be!

To find out how the cow and why has changed, and how thrilled he is, you will have to buy this wonderful and highly charming book.

It costs a remarkably pocket money friendly £3.99 and with the highly colourful and delightful illustrations by Anna Kubaszewska, this new book will be a must buy for any child from 0 to 5 or so.

It is published by Studionesh Limited and is printed and published in Wales.

Jooks (who hails from Cardiff in south Wales) was inspired to write the book when she was singing nursery rhymes to her little sister, after she started to make up some new stories for her, Jooks decided to write her favourite one down and thus The Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon was born.

Ideal for children, their parents and grandparents this is a must buy book.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which is to be found to the right of this book review.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Water Babes

The Water Babes is a first novel by retired successful text book author and editor Norman Whitney.

It's set in the perhaps unlikely milieu of a water aerobics class.

It brings together people of widely or wildly differing backgrounds, classes, races and religious.

Readers who are looking for a warm, humorous novel in which there is absolutely no violence or murders, will love this debut novel.

You'll witness smiles, laughter and some tears, and a variety of incidents events and accidents some funny, some not all that funny.

But this is a special day, for it's the last of their lessons and to mark this momentous event, they are going to hold a party in the evening,

Food and drink are shared in friendship, then as the night progresses, something more than mere nourishment is shared. Secrets are revealed, confessions made, some of which are mildly amusing, others which are, to be quite frank, a bit of a shock.

But there is also something else., too. The novel explores how, apparently totally different people are perhaps not as different as one might think.

In fact the levels of connectedness might be deeper than one might expect.

The book is also nicely illustrated, too.

This is a heartwarming debut novel and it is published by Matador at £9.99.

You can purchase it now at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find to the right hand side of this book review.


Day of Reckoning

Day of Reckoning is the latest crime novel by Keith Wainman.

It is set against a contemporary backdrop of the new age of terrorist outrages.

The story begins in the 1950s when a Muslim Brotherhood organiser has to flee from his homeland, Egypt, after a failed assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Egypt.

Kamal and his family settle in Canada. One of his sons, Mo, marries an American woman called Kathleen Bush and he decides to take her name, becoming known as Mo Bush.

They have three sons, the last of these, Nathan, grows to maturity under the shadow of his older siblings who help run the farm.

In 1992, Mo asks Nathan to accompany grandfather Kamal on a trip back to the Middle East, which Nathan accepts.

He spends time with Kamal in Egypt and Jordan, learning of the struggles of his grandfather as a member of the Muslim brotherhood and he hears stories of the occupation from an Arab perspective.

When he returns home he decides to become a Marine, serving in Afghanistan.

 Some years later he makes a return trip to the Middle East with Kamal and he becomes involved with the "armed struggle" to the extend that he becomes involved in armed attacks on American troops in Iraq.

Eventually he is approached by one of the leaders. Would he be willing to participate in a major terrorist attack on Britain?

An attack that would bring about the day of reckoning.

However, for whom would the day of reckoning come? And for what reasons?

And what would happen if someone, somewhere, decided that they did not like Nathan's plan and decided upon a different course of action?

It's a fast paced and exciting novel that has the ring of plausibility in all of its 262 pages.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and entertainment bookshop, just to the right of this review.




The Ghost of Bowness

The Ghost of Bowness is another novel by author M J Evans that features police officer turned Private Eye Jordan Lewis and her friend and confidante, professor of Criminology, Jarvis Moon.

Jordon was enjoying a break from work doing what she loves best, just aimlessly wandering around in the beautiful English Lake District.

Ten years ago, a local girl had simply vanished and although the police suspected foul play, the body of Tara Marshall was never discovered and no leads in the case were discovered.

However, now Tara's friends are convinced that they keep seeing her in and around the area. How can this be? If she has come back, why has she come back? And why has she not contacted her old friends?

And who are the two women who keep meeting each other in the town?

Tara's friends decide to hire Jordan Lewis to get to the bottom of the mystery of Tara's disappearance and her apparent reappearance,  a decade later.

But then a series of murders and bizarre kidnappings begin to happen in the normally quiet Lake District.

Are they connected to the case? Whose is the skeleton that is discovered? And what is the meaning of the ghostly apparition that seems to be haunting the proceedings?

Why are other people running their own investigations? Who is following Jordan Lewis? And why?

And why does someone keep sending her their own copious files on the case?

And are all of Tara's friends quite what they appear to be? If they are involved in the mysterious events, why would they hire a Private Investigator?

Who is the mysterious figure who is controlling events from a distance? Are they involved in the murders?

I sat down in the sun early one afternoon to read this book and was immediately captured by it. In fact I only finished reading to novel after my wife insisted, several times, that I topped up my sun block!

It's rare that I feel compelled to finish a book in one sitting, but this book was one of those. It truly is a gripping thriller.

The pace of the novel is very fast and you will be gripped by the author's story telling abilities.

I could quite easily see Jordan Lewis Investigates, set in the beautiful Lake District and Lancashire, transferring to the television.

The book is published by The Book Guild in paperback and costs £8.99, it belongs on the shelf of every mystery reader.

You can purchase it -and M J Evans' other books, The Corpse that Danced and To Dig Up Murder, both of which feature Jordan Lewis and Jarvis Moon- at the That's Books and Entertainment Book Shop, which you will find to the right hand side of this review.

They will make excellent presents for someone you love or even a great gift to yourself!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Drying Naked

Drying Naked is an anthology of poems written by poet Theophanis Kleanthous.

The poems are an eclectic mixture of poems drawn from the rich and varied society in which we live.

The poem Drying Naked, for example, explores the intimacy of the very humble, yet important act of drying oneself.

After reading this poem drying myself will never again seem to be the mundane, ordinary act that it once appeared to be.

For such is the powerful imagery created by  Theophanis Kleanthous.

The other poems, A Kindness, Worshipper, A butterfly in love, Flowering for you, Disintegrating love, Impossible emotions and the other poetry in this work explore everything that there is about the human condition. Love, fear, hope, joy, grief, loss, knowledge, confusion certitude and more besides.