Sunday, 31 July 2016

Christopher Shakespeare the man behind the plays

Christopher Shakespeare the man behind the plays, is a book by Malcolm Elliot that explores the possibility that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually written by his contemporary, Christopher Marlow.

The book claims that Marlow did not, in fact, die in Deptfords in 1593 but that he actually lived out the rest of his life in hiding, including a long period of time in Italy.

The book describes what his life might have been like, had he actually lived.

It suggests that there is evidence that the plays and sonnets were written abroad and not in England.

He reiterates the theory that William Shakespeare was merely a frontman who allowed his name to be placed upon the works to facilitate their publication.

The author owes, he acknowledges, a debt to A. D. Wraight and Peter Farey whose "pioneering work" showed that, according to them, the evidence of the death of Marlow in Deptford is "utterly unconvincing."

The reader is asked to believe that Christopher Marlow, the son of a Kentish cobbler, rather than William Shakespeare, the son of a glover, wrote all the plays and sonnets that are ascribed to the latter.

My one concern is that, the book seems to be filled with conjecture. We read that "we can imagine the young Christopher wandering around..." the ruins of the Abby of St Augustine.

We then read that Marlowe "would have been told of the execution ad burning of Friar Stone" that Marlowe "would have" heard or seen this, that and the other.

In his own area in the Midlands a young William Shakespeare would also have seen and heard a great deal, too. but this cannot, really, be said to prove anything one way or the other.

Malcolm Elliot proves that Marlowe was an excellent poet and a great playwright, but this does not necessarily prove that there could not have been at least two great playwrights and poets at or around the same time, Marlowe and Shakespeare.

However, Malcolm Elliot does argue his case well and scholars of Shakespeare and Marlowe would do well to purchase this learned and well-written book, which is published in hardback at £12.99, by The Book Guild.

It is available from the That's Books bookshop, which is to the right of this review.  

There There My Dear

There There My Dear is a satirical novel and a debut work by author Neil Mason.

Imagine, if you will, a former British Prime Minister who appears to be making a mockery of the entire political establishment of Great Britain.

Ex-Prime Minister Harold Connor has been waiting for a quarter of a century to do the right thing.

His own life was destroyed, but then he had nobody else to blame, as the destruction was wrought by his own actions and deeds.

His wife? Gone to her eternal rest.

Harold has lived in the dark and gigantic shadow of the world's biggest political secret.

But, in a way, Harold has kept a secret himself down through these long, lonely years. The secret? Was a somewhat dangerous idea. A desire to put things right should the opportunity ever present itself.

Fortunately or unfortunately it appears that fate, in the shape of media mogul Kyle Andrews, has presented Harold with the opportunity to put things right on a solid gold, diamond encrusted platter.

For Kyle Andrew is beginning to film a new talent show which, it is intended, will discover the next generation of politicians.

But Harold seizes this as the opportunity to put right a great wrong and to do this by make a mockery of the British political system.

But what had happened 25 years ago?

How could it impact on today's political life?

And to what end was Harold Connor manipulating everyone he came in contact with, including his own son?

And when his son discovers the truth, what then?

This is a book published by Matador at £8.99 and it is available through the That's books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find to the right of this review.

The Ring and the Swastika

In The Ring and the Swastika author Sandy Jenkins explores the situation on Norway after the country was invaded and over-run by the German armed forces.

It tells the story of a half -Norwegian half-British Commando Captain, Erik Kingsnorth.

In 1942 he is landed in Norway as a radio-communications agent.

His instructions are to avoid, if possible, his Norwegian relatives, but he is seen by Bjorn, who is his cousin and a close boyhood confidante.

But it transpires that Bjorn is a traitor to Norway and is collaborating with the German occupiers. The Norwegian Resistance is unaware of who Bjorn is when they order Captain Kingsnorth to kill Bjorn.

He confronts Bjorn at dusk, but finds that family ties destroy  his resolve to liquidate his family member who is also his enemy.

Later Kingsnorth discovers a secret German U-Boat base and he narrowly evades death by the skin of his teeth, chased and shot at by German guards.

The action of the novel; eventually finds itself in Northern Russia as the war where he encountered Russian soldiers where his situation became even more desperate, as the Russians presumed he was a Norwegian collaborator.

Would he survive life in a Russian prison camp? Could he return to Britain? If not, what would return after the war was over?

This is a harrowing and well-written book by an author who clearly knows his history,

It is published in hardback by Matador at £12.99 (paperback £8.99) and can be bought from the That's Books and Entertainment online bookstore which you will find to the right hand side of this review.

Intrigue at the Castle

Intrigue at the Castle is the latest children's historical novel by Barbara Robertson.

The children enjoyed their previous ninth century Viking adventure and now they are suitable refreshed and eager for a second return into history.

Harriet, Jake and Matthew are again visiting their grandmother for the Christmas holidays and the visit the normally unassuming and decidedly unadventurous Ulfsthwaite Christmas Market when they suddenly find themselves propelled backward through time for another time travelling adventure!

This time the trio of adventurous children find themselves back to the year 1388.

They learn that it will be their task to foil a monstrous plot that is aimed at bringing disgrace and ruination upon the Lord of the manor, Duke Leofrik and of his entire family, too!

What of evil Duke Edmund and his vile and villainous family? Will their plan to  kill with poison the hunting dogs of Baron Rulf?

What about the jousting armour of the Duke's Knights? Will that be sabotaged, putting the Knights in danger of injury or even death?

Is it possible that Duke Edmund might be able to take the title of Lord of Ormsthorpe Castle away from Baron Rulf?

All of those might well have occurred those 630 years ago, had it not been for the intervention of our young and daring time travelling children!

But can they possibly win against the wicked and sinister machinations of their enemies in the Middle Ages?

The book also has some excellent line drawings and as well as being an exciting read it is also historically accurate so is a book that will educate as well as entertain.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which you will locate to the right of this review,

It is published in hardback by The Book Guild at £9.99.

Echoes of the Past

Echoes of the Past is the moving and interesting story of what happened to Gloria Ifill when she left her home in Jamaica to travel all the way to the London of the tumultuous and vibrant 1960s.

Share with Gloria her stories of growing to maturity in the island country of Jamaica, during the 1940s and 1950s.

Life in Jamaica was one of strict discipline both at home and at school and in the society of Jamaica as a whole. And woe betide anyone who thought to buck the trend! It never ended well for them!

Gloria's life was filled with love and also some heartbreak, when it transpired that he boyfriend Glenroy (aka Glen) was already betrothed to another woman. A middle aged school teacher, who was much older than either Gloria or Glen. Almost old enough, in fact, to be Glen's mother!

It was a considerable period of time before Gloria felt interested in the idea of dating again. But, eventually, she did date again.

Eventually she fell in love with Tony, who she married.

But then Gloria decided to move to London during the height of the swinging sixties without her husband, catching the England fever that seemed to sweep the island.

She applied to hospitals in the UK to train as a nurse and eventually found herself in Lewisham in London, where she attended night school classes to learn English, typing and shorthand.

She left her old life in Jamaica behind and began to make a new life for herself in England, settling down there with her beloved Tony and raising three children.

Gloria was able to achieve her childhood ambition to become a nurse working at that profession for a number of years.

It is published by Matador at £9,99 and it's a book that will bring many smiles and some moist eyes as Gloria tells her amazing and heartwarming story.

It's available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find just to the right of this book review.

Temples Along the Nile by Sarah Symons

Temples Along the Nile is a wonderful book by traveller and writer Sarah Symons.

It takes the reader on a gripping journey along the Nile, passing by and visiting all of the temples that are on the banks of this great river.

Sarah also shares with us facts on the Nile, both in recent times and in antiquity.

The book is copiously illustrated with photographs, mainly very effective black and white images, plus some colour,  that were taken by the author, although her vivid written descriptions also help to create a mind's eye image of what she is describing as she walks through and around the temples of the Nile.

There is also a very helpful map of Egypt.

From the first page, with a very evocative description of the arrival in Luxor, right through to the last page, the book is a detailed description of not only what the temples look like now, but what they would have looked like when they were places of worship for serious, devoted followers of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses.

Readers join the author as she helps us marvel at the Colossi of Memnon (Kom el Heitan) The Temple of Hathor (Dendera) and The temple of Amun (Karnak) and many other of these ancient religious sites.

But she does more than that. Sarah Symons has taken a serious yet passionate look at the ancient temples of Egypt.

The book costs £14.99 and will appeal to serious and amateur historians, arm chair travellers and those who will be travelling to Egypt in holiday or to work on the archaeological digs in and around the temples of ancient Egypt.

It can be bought at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which is to be found to the right of this review.

Seventeen Gifts for Frannie and Jess

Seventeen Gifts for Frannie and Jess is a new novel by Nasser Hashmi.

It tells the heartwarming story of a strong and enduring friendship that grows between two Game Makers who meet as they are volunteering for the 2012 London Olympics.

Francesca "Frannie" Hartford has joined the team of volunteers, but she has just lost the love of her life, her husband and her Rock of Gibraltar, Donald.

Without his great support and love, can she still make it as a volunteer?

Despite her misgivings, she decides that she will still become a volunteer.

She meets a fellow volunteer Games Maker, Jessica. Jessica is different to Francesca. She is a young student, somewhat bolshy, very extrovert, outspoken and maybe a little bit intimidating to some as she can seem a bit overpowering.

But despite, or perhaps because of their difference,s they become very good friends.

Eventually Francesca realises that her friend Jessica is also suffering from a loss in her own life.

The novel is an intelligently and very movingly written exploration of their lives and how they interrelate with the other volunteer Game Makers, their own friends and family members and the other people they meet and get to know during the 2012 Olympic Games.

It costs £7.99 and will be an ideal novel to read this summer and during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It is available via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find ot the right of this review.

Penny Farthing and the Man in the Moon

Penny Farthing and the Man in the Moon is a new fairy tale set in the recent past.

It is 1978 and in the tiny village of Pleasington, Lancashire, their lives a young girl called Penny.

Penny is a champion rider of her pink penny farthing bike which she spends her days riding through the village.

But she also has another passion, she loves to speak with the man in the moon.

She is a bright and keen young lady and she decides that she will participate as an official entrant in the very prestigious Pleasington Penny Farthing Race.

It won't be an easy race, for Penny will be competing against some first rate opponents, members of the elite Pleasington Penny Farthing Preservation Society.

But Penny decides that, with the assistance of her special friend, the man in the moon that she will have a good chance of victory in the race!

But who stole Penny's bike? What can she do about it? Can her friend, the man in the moon come to her aid?

The book is written for children aged 9 and over and it sensitively deals with the twin issues of autism and dyslexia that Penny has been diagnosed with. As has the author of the book, Mark Roland Langdale.

The charming illustrations are by Charlotte Walshe.

The book is published by Matador and costs £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to the right of this review.

The Butterfly Within

The Butterfly Within is a remarkable tale of triumph and disaster of joy and heartache.

It tells the story of a truly extraordinary woman, Rachel Brown.

Rachel was already a shining beacon of inspiration to everyone. She was a highly dedicated Special Educational Needs PE teacher, inspiring her pupils to do much more than they or their peers and family members might have thought possible.

Then there was the fact that she is also a highly successful and much decorated British Triathlete, having competed in a stunning 13 marathons in a variety of very different locations all over the world.

She also represented the UK at trhe Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Florida back in 2007. She then went on to become a GB Triathlon Age Group Triathlete and became our National Champion.

But that isn't where this book starts. It begins with two momentous events in Rachel's life. On day in 2005 she had a call from God to serve him, perhaps as a vicar. She researched how she could train to become a vicar whilst continuing her work as a teacher.

But then, a few months later, she received a diagnosis that was to change her life, a challenge that was the biggest challenge in her life to date. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

She wondered if she should put her idea of a religious calling on hold whilst she battled the tumour? But quickly she realised she would need to continue with both.

Rachel was convinced from the start that what was afflicting her was a brain tumour. But it took the medicinal profession a year in which three GPs and a visit to A&E blamed her symptoms on stress, on her training, on migraines.

They dismissed her concerns.  Apparently she had none of the "classical symptoms" and "looked too fit to be poorly."

During an appointment with Rachel's GP when Rachel told her doctor -as is her right under the NHS- that she wanted to be seen by a neurologist.

However the GP wanted Rachel to see an "eye man."

Rachel decided to take matters into her own hands and it took a private appointment with a neurologist to diagnose that she did, indeed, have a tumour that was growing behind her right eye.

It was a so-called benign tumour, but it was starting to press on the surrounding tissues. She decided to give it a name and so it was that Tommy became a major and very unwelcome part of Rachel's life.

She knew that her life was going to change for the foreseeable future.

She had a great support team,  there was 'her' Tim, her family and friends.

But there was something more, there was the iron will that made her a great triathlete. Rachel knew that she could use this inner strength to help her fight this new battle with Tommy.

During her journey Rachel found that there were many people who she could rely on for their support, both from her family, her friends and colleagues and her fellow athletes.

The book is not written in chapters, instead it is broken down into Parts, some very short, some a little bit longer.

It tells of the most important race in her entire life, the race to recover from her tumour.

It also tells what happened next and reveals something of her plans for the future.

Have these events changed her? Yes. And, it would seem that Rachel feels these changes are for the better.

She met a wide range of characters throughout her treatment, such as a lonely man who just wanted to play chequers, a female sex pest and some other interesting patients, all who had their own story.

It is a very well-written book and is friendly and humorous.

It is published by the Book Guild at £9.95 and can be purchased through the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, the entry to which you will find just to the right hand side of this book review.

This book is a must have for anyone who has been diagnosed with a tumour, or who had a family member or friend so afflicted.

It will also be very useful for Doctors, nursing and care staff who work with such patients and for hospital and council libraries, too.


White Horses, poems by Garfield Taylor

White Horses is a collection of poems by Garfield Taylor.

They are nostalgic and haunting pieces of poetry written by the author and largely taken from his memories of his beloved town of Scarborough and of other towns and locations in and around the coastal areas of the North of England such as Northumberland and Yorkshire.

However there are also fleeting glimpses of other far away places such as Cornwall and Cumbria, Lancashire and even Italy.

The poems are all deeply evocative and draw on a very deep well of the imagination and memory of Garfield Taylor for their inspiration.

There's the White Horses, of course. Then we meet McFee, with his highly effective, yet incredibly dangerous, foray into the world of homemade explosives, the penny that should have been a Pound, the cry of the gulls, the discover or non-discovery of sea holly on the beach, skipping and other fun on Shrove Tuesday (it appears that Shrove Tuesday is a much more fun day in Scarborough and its environs. Just read the poem on page 4 to learn what you might have being missing all these years!)

There's much romance in this collection of poems, the romance of the sea, both wild and tranquil,  the romance of beaches, of the coast, of seaside towns and of people.

There are stories both known and unknown, of the winter winds and the summer breezes, a multitude of ideas both old and new.

This delightful book of poems is published by The Book Guild at £12.99 in hardback. It's available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, to the right hand side of this review.

The Arbitrator

Jim Brown had it all, he was a highly skilled and highly successful administrator, but he has fallen a long way and now, aged 153, he is languishing in prison, dying of a very nasty drug habit.

His crime? Apparently tax fraud. But the reality is that he has was jailed for killing a number of people on the planet Levita, after he met the gorgeous Narissa.

But then, the governor of the prison had called him from his cell. It appeared that he could still be of use to the authorities.

For after a reprieve he is to leave for the planet Pirrus in a distant solar system where he will serve as an arbitrator to try to bring an end to a rebellion and bring matters back under the control of the government.

Should he successfully complete his mission, he would be able to earn enough funds to begin the process of regenerating his body.

However, is all what it appears to be? The situation on Pirris is very finely balanced and things seem to be slipping out of Brown's grasp.

But at about the same time as he thinks that his task has been successfully completed, he meets with Gina, who is the child of one of the rebels. And he discovers through her that there is a plan by outside forces to launch an invasion of Pirrus.

But something is wrong within his own organisation. Is an insider working to make sure that his mission meets with failure? If so, who are they? What are their motives?

Can Brown thwart them and turn the tables on them and on those who are plotting against Pirrus?

The novel is fast paced and filled with characters that are flawed, but still for all that, very human indeed.

Brown is a ruthless and cynical man, yet can even he find redemption and a sense of worth?

But there are secrets that concern Brown that even he knows nothing of.

his is an exciting novel in the fine traditions of the space opera genre, yet interleaved with a great deal of philosophical speculation.

It's published by Matador at the price of £9.99 and will make an ideal gift for the science fiction fan.

You can buy it at the That's books and Entertainment book shop, which is located to the right habd side of this review.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

An Annoyance of Neighbours

Neighbours. We have all had neighbours at one time or another in our lives.

And in her latest books, An Annoyance of Neighbours, Dr Angela Lightburn, writes about all you might need or want to know about neighbours.

A couple of years ago Dr Lightburn was a member of a group of residents who were working hard to develop community cohesiveness among the members of their local community.

One of the methods they decided to employ was to create and devise a Neighbourhood Plan to examine the provision of housing developments within the area.

Dr LIghtburn came up with a novel idea to promote the idea of community cohesiveness, she decided to organise a traditional "Beating the Bounds" ceremony, an ancient method of checking the boundaries of the parish, whilst also helping to bring the community together.

Many local families turned out to participate in the ceremony and it worked so well that it has been re-established as an annual community event.

This successful event caused Dr Lightburn to begin thinking about neighbours in general terms. 

Those neighbours that we love and those neighbours that we loath.

These musings eventually led her to start some serious research which, ultimately, developed inot her book, An Annoyance of Neighbours.

She asks questions about the types of neighbours that everyone might have had at one time or another, or who they might be experiencing, now.

Noisy neighbours, nosy neighbours, irritating neighbours, boring neighbours.

If you have ever had a neighbour like the above, then you will find this book illuminating and interesting.

Although Doctor Lightburn has a degree in Psychology and a PhD in Applied Psychology her book is not a dreary academic tome, it is a highly entertaining and extremely well-written book. Might that be as a result in the Diploma in Insurance that she picked up on the way? Possibly, but she asks us not to think about that, so we won't!

The book contains a great deal of highly valuable information on how to live near to and how to cope with difficult neighbours, but it is also highly humorous and bitingly satirical.

For example, did you know what type of fruit would tell you if your neighbours are sexually libertine swingers? Or the trick to employ in the middle of the night to wrongfoot nosy neighbours?

How to cope with the angry note writing nutters, sorry, neighbours, what to expect when your neighbour exposes themselves as a DIY fiend, what to do if you have hippies for neighbours, and the crazy cat lady neighbour. Dr Lightburn opines: "Once upon a time a little girl was given two kittens and that was the Crazy Cat Lady's starter kit!"

All types of neighbours are carefully and helpfully graded by a colour coded flag warning system, plus a very helpful and amusing list of nicknames for the neighbours we love to hate.

Incidentally we suffered from some neighbours who we find in that list. Are they the same people? Who knows? Perhaps they are!

If you work in a counselling setting and ever have to deal with people bothered by nutty or naughty neighbours, if you work in a Council or Housing Association office and have to deal with complaints about bad neighbours or if you, or someone you know, lives near a Neighbour From Hell, this book is a must have. 

It's published by Matador at the remarkably keen price of £7.99 and it might just about save your sanity.

You can purchase it at the That's Books Shop, which you will find to the right of this review. 

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Without a paddle

Without a paddle is a new and very entertaining book by seasoned world traveller David Moffatt.

David Moffatt had no intention whatsoever of leaving the comforts and familiarities of his native Tyneside where he had grown up during the post-war years.

But his university tutor set him something of a challenge. Would he like to travel with him to the other side of the world to Mato Grosso, in Brasil?

His love life was a bit troubled, his beloved football team seemed doomed to relegation. So a year living in the Brazilian jungle seemed very appealing.

But the events that happened during the next twelve months were to change David's life forever.

David found himself thrust into an entirely different world. A world of real and genuine dangers and challenges, of no running water, no electricity, no 'phones and no radio.

But it did give David some truly awesome stories!

There was Taituba, the guide who David had to disarm when things started to get nasty.

But then David was bitten by the bug, well by the bug of travelling and several other bugs along the way!

There was the incident in which he saved an elderly entomologist who David had to save from the very wasps he was there to study, a dangerously incompetent camp cook, threats of kidnap, an unfortunate incident in the bathroom of a Cairo hotel, getting lost (caused by the right-hand swing factor) and trying to work out the exchange rate for eggs versus coffee and sugar.

We also follow David to The Gambia in Africa, Egypt and many other points around the globe.

It's a fascinating read illustrated with a number of photographs.

The book is published by Matador at £10.99 and is an ideal read for the armchair traveller.

You can buy the book at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to be found to the right hand side of this book review.

Macboo and the Monster of Scab Hill

Macboo and the Monster of Scab Hill is a new novel by Jean McIntosh.

This is the latest fantasy story by Jean McIntosh that is aimed at children.

It takes an entertaining look at the troublesome and difficult journey that children take when they progress through their school days.

Who is MacBoo? MacBoo is a student. But he is no ordinary student! MacBoo is a student at the Lonely Dell Ghost Academy!

But unfortunately for MacBoo, things go more than a little awry and when he fails his tests, the headmaster decides to pack him off to Scab Hill. Where MacBoo will have to practice his ghosting skills!

He has just one week in which he must practice his skills. Then he must return to the Lonely Dell Ghost Academy where he must re-sit his exams. However, should he fail again, well, let'#s just say that he really doesn't want to contemplate his future should he fail again!

But there's a monster at Scab Hill! A monster with murderous intentions!

At the castle of Scab Hill, MacBoo meets up with three rather bothersome creatures. however, all is not quite what it appears to be and the four decide to combine their skills and resources to beat the monster!

Can MacBoo and his new friends beat the monster? Will he succeed or not?

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

The Rocky Road of Naughty Neurons Our Journey with Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Sylvia Bryden-Stocks's book, The Rocky Road of Naughty Neurons Our Journey with Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease, is a very important book.

Because it offers a vital insight into the shattering and highly emotional journey into the world of Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Sylvia and Brian were husband and wife and they were enjoying a fantastic relationship that was filled with mutual love, respect and fun.

And then Sylvia found herself trapped in a new and horrible world, a world in which she had to quickly learn how to deal with Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease, when Brian was diagnosed with the condition.

The story that Sylvia has written takes the reader through a long journey, from their life pre-diagnosis to the trauma of the diagnosis itself and then through the new life that was thrust upon them as the condition progressed right through to the current day when Brian is in receipt of full-time care.

Sylvia was able to draw upon a wealth of knowledge of holistic healing and coaching which she was able to bring to bear to help not only Brian but also herself through the more trying moments.

The book is a very moving analysis of what happened, but it is also a highly useful guidebook for other people who are going through this very difficult process. I only wish that it had been available when a couple I used to know very well went through the same trauma of the husband being diagnosed as having Young Onset Alzheimer's Disease.

This book belongs in every library and in the resource section of every doctor's surgery and every hospital and carehome in the UK and anyone who is facing this diagnosis in themselves, a family member or a friennd also needs to have a copy.

It is published by The Book Guild and costs £9.99. It's available to purchase at this link

The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness

The Squirrel that Dreamt of Madness a debut novel by Craig Stone is a partly factual and partly fictional story.

It tells Craig's story. How he dreamt of writing a book whilst he worked at his job in the financial hub of the City.

So he decided to throw in his job and began writing his novel. But without a steady income he was unable to afford the rent on his flat, thus rendering himself as homeless.

What could he do then? Go and live in a park and write the story of how he had to live in the park.

He reasoned that if he was destined to be a writer than this book, if he finished it, could be the key to bigger and better things. And a return to society from Park Life.

The park he chose to live in was Gladstone Park which is in North London.

He sat under a tree and began to write about what it was like to live beneath a tree in a park in North London.

He decided that the book he would write would be so unusual, so very unique that it would catapult him out of the park once it was published and that it would put his life back on course again.

However, the narrative of the book might be a little bit uncertain and not completely truthful as Craig admits that the reader might be hard pressed to differentiate between the factual segments of the book and the fictional segments, which he created, whilst in the park, to entertain himself.

The book is published by Matador at £9.99 and is available through the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which is to be found to the right of this review.

You can catch up with Craig Stone at

Monday, 4 July 2016

Kill or be Killed

Kill or be Killed is a new novel by Barry Johnson.

Jake Robinson is a former Captain in the Royal Military Police, he is Sandhurst-trained, and has a degree in Psychology.

He is described as a leader yet is also, perhaps paradoxically, something of a loner, too.

He was working with a special unit within MI5, yet he has taken the decision to resign from the unit.

In search of a job he finds a position looking after the interests of Jan Lotus, who is a skilled actress at home on both the stage and the big screen, she can also dance and sing.

She needs a bodyguard and Robinson is the man selected for that role.

However after he begins working for her, there is an assassination attempt on Jan Lotus that, unfortunately, succeeds.

With his charge dead, he realises that he must turn the tables on the killers and take them out, before they kill him and take on other targets.

What is the connection between battling drug suppliers?

Is he correct in his gut feeling that the murder contract on Jan Lotus was actually the work of a woman?

But if that was so, who was it? What was their motive?

Can he find this mysterious woman and deal with her?

Can he escape the machinations of the drug dealers and escape with his life?

This exciting novel is published by The Book Guild at £9.99 and will make a good book to take on your holidays.

It is the fifth Jake Robinson novel.

You can buy it from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, to the right hand side of this review.

Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher is a psychological thriller written by Matthew J. Hancock.

It tells the story of Michael Clocksworth, a man who has all the answers. He, literally, knows everything.

His professional life is well sorted. If he comes face-to-face with a mathematical problem or a question of a scientific nature, it seems that the answers come to him in a flash.

But his personal life is something entirely different, it leaves him totally stumped.

But then there is poor Nicholas Reverie. He is troubled by some particularly horrifying nightmares.

But then his nightmares begin to come true.

Nicholas is desperately seeking help to explain what is happening to him and to bring it to an end, if possible.

He realises that Michael could have the sollution to his problems.

 But will Nicholas be able to find Michael before it is too late?

And should he find him, would Michael actually be able to do anything for him?

This is a genuinely psychological thriller of a novel.

What would it be like to know everything? Would that knowledge do you any good?

Could it change things? Or not?

It's a relativity short book at well under 100 pages and is published by The Book Guild at £7.99.

It's on sale at the That's Books and Entertainment online bookshop (you'll find it to the right of this review.) and if you buy one book this year, please do know that Dream Catcher should be it.

Love in Lindfield

Love in Lindfield is a romantic novel by David Smith.

It centres on Lindfield, which was the home of Charles Kempe.

It relates the tale of Harry. Harry is working for the BBC, researching for locations for a BBC drama that will be set and filmed in rural Sussex.

Whilst in Sussex Harry falls for a savvy and independent local artist called Ellie.

Ellie is undertaking the task of cataloguing what had been the home of the famed Victorian stained glass artist, Charles Eamer Kempe.

This cataloguing was being undertaken under the orders of the current owner of the house, Serena Ross, who is described as being: "unscrupulous and domineering."

Ellie and Harry become involved, unwittingly, in a love triangle that has the potential for a tragic outcome. This love triangle seems to mirror the troubled romantic life of Kempe, himself.

They are unaware that the events that develop are the result of a passion that is both ghoulish and violent, growing from a terrible and insatiable greed.

During his research Harry keeps discovering hitherto unknown facts about the various loves of Kempe.

But Harry's interactions with the Ross family are troublesome, as they are somewhat dysfunctional, to say the least.

This well-written novel contains not only romance, but also mystery, heartbreak and homicide, so there is something for everyone.

It is published by Matador and is available in paperback at £8.99 and hardback at £15.99.

It is available via the That's Books and Entertainment online bookshop, which you will find to the right hand side of this review.