Book Review – Mighty Like A Rose by Kitty Campanile

May 16, 2017

This is a love story set in Northern England against the backdrop of the 1984-1985 coalminers’ strike.  The author is at her best when she describes the effects of the food and clothing shortages on a small Yorkshire town and how the women of the community come together to help their men and each other through deprivations they face.  I would have liked to hear more about the motivation behind the action of the heroine’s abusive husband.  However, the care she has for her mineworker lover and his family is touchingly portrayed.  The story is easy to read and I can recommend it to anyone likes well written romantic stories set against a gritty background.

Keith Jahans


Mighty like a Rose was published by
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
And is available in paperback, as an ebook
and as an audible download.


Book Review – The Bordello Kid by Kendall Hansen

May 6, 2017

I am very partial to stories of the Wild West and this title intrigued me so when I was offered the chance to read it I did not hesitate.  I was not disappointed.

The story takes place in and around two brothels of a western town frequented by cowboys.  The plot is straight forward.  A young man comes to town carrying a saddle, falls fowl of a local cowboy leader called Billy Lassiter and vows to protect a saloon girl that Lassiter has been abusing.  The story is very readable and the characters, with the exception of Lassiter and his gang, are sympathetic.

I am not sure that the attitudes of the characters are authentic to the times but they are certainly believable.  I found the book to be an easy and enjoyable read.  I recommend it to anyone who appreciates books of this genre

Keith Jahans


The Bordello Kid is published by Dixon-Price Publishing
and is available from Amazon as a paperback and Kindle ebook


Book Review – And I Love Her: A Phil Allman P.I. Novel by Brett Wallach

March 23, 2017

This is the second novel in the Phil Allman series but the reader need not worry if he or she has missed reading the first as it stands well on its own in its own right.

In this story Private Investigator, Phil Allman, is hired to find a missing eleven year old girl while at the same time battling with his ex-wife over the custody of his own eleven year old daughter and the nine year old girl he adopted at the end of the first book.  His investigations are met with various twists and turns during which he encounters some very shady characters and several murders.  We find out more about the psychology of the central character and the story becomes very dark as he attempts to resolve the tasks before him.  The characters are exceptionally well described and Allman’s fondness for quoting lines from English and American popular music adds to his personal appeal.

I have already reviewed Book 1 of Allman’s story (see below) and I thoroughly recommend that it be read even if you have read this story first.  In this tale we find out more about Allman’s personality and the unravelling of the truth behind what motivates him makes this a fascinating read.

Keith Jahans


And I love her is published by SynergEbooks
and is available as a pdf for $4.88

 


Book Review – JESSE GARON: A Phil Allman P.I. Novel by Brett Wallach

March 17, 2017

Phil Allman is a gumshoe in the Raymond Chandler tradition.  He is contracted to find the missing twin brother of Elvis Presley who was mistakenly believed to have been stillborn when the legendary King of Rock and Roll was born in 1933.

At first I thought the plot implausible, but Presley did in fact have a twin named Jesse Garon Presley who did not survive when their mother gave birth so it is conceivable as he was born into an impoverished family he could have been given away at birth.

The story starts slowly with the detective narrator explaining that he was an Elvis fan and why the star’s twin was adopted and registered as stillborn.  Then as the tale progresses the characters take over and it becomes more interesting.  Private Investigator, narrator and protagonist, Phil Allman, is well rounded, likable and struggling to come to terms with the separation from his wife and to maintain contact with his eleven year old daughter while at the same time unravelling the mystery surrounding Elvis’s twin.  Characters are expertly introduced and neatly described with amusing asides from Allman.  His search for Jesse Garon is intriguing and is complicated by some murders he encounters along the way.

The novel is well crafted and absorbing and, because of my concern for the wellbeing of the central character, I was compelled to read on to the end.  The author is a talented storyteller.  His skill in this genre is clearly evident and he should be congratulated.  I can thoroughly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Keith Jahans


Jesse Garon is published by SynergEbooks and available as a pdf for $4.88

 


Book Review – Never Pretend by Julie C Round

August 24, 2016

Julie Round is an expert at describing the stresses and strains of family life.  In spite of difficult challenges put in front of them her characters find a way through and this is the great strength of all of her narratives.  In this story, the husband suffers a breakdown and commits a crime for which he is punished but manages to achieve atonement.  The way this affects the family is beautifully described and illustrates how strong family bonds are important in overcoming adversity.  The book is not quite up there with her earlier “Lane Trilogy” as I would have liked a more through introductory description of some of the subsidiary characters such as Lisa.  But the novel is a good read all the same and is highly recommend it.

Keith Jahans

Never pretend Cover
Never Pretend is published by Oldstick Books
and is available in paperback for £5.99

 


Book Review – A Brief History of Indonesia by Tim Hannigan

June 28, 2016

This is a well researched and well told fascinating story of Southeast Asia’s Largest Nation.  The Author has obviously done an enormous amount of research to uncover the facts, myths and legends behind the history of this remarkable country.  The book makes an ideal companion to his earlier work, “Raffles and The British Invasion of Java”, which I reviewed in March 2015 and is also well worth the read.  Although, Raffles is briefly mentioned in this account, the book deals with the rise of Indonesia from prehistoric to modern times.  It is an ideal buy for anyone wishing to visit Indonesia and I highly recommend this as a must read for anyone wishing to understand how colonial powers engage dominance over the countries they rule.

I bought a signed paperback copy from the author last July which I gave to my daughter before she returned to where she has been living in Indonesia in April and purchased a Kindle copy for myself.  Of the two I prefer the paperback as the layout makes it easier to flick between the photographs at the centre of the book and the rest of the text.

A brief History of Indonesia Book Jacket copy

A Brief History of Indonesia is published by Tuttle Publishing

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press


Book Review – Gun Baby Gun by Iain Overton

February 8, 2016

This is a book that all gun owners and politicians should read. Iain Overton gives a frightening account about the use of guns in modern times. The book is full of chilling statistics and at the same time it is a rattling good read. The author describes a worldwide odyssey during which he sought to uncover the story behind each statistic.

I came across Iain Overton at the The Folkestone Book Festival in November when I heard him described his journey into the dark world of the gun (see https://peatmore.wordpress.com/2015/11/25 ) and bought a signed copy from his own hand. I spoke to him briefly about my astonishment that a gun factory in the United States called Kalashnikov USA had just been established in 2015. A fact I discovered while researching the novel I am currently writing. I should not have been surprised because despite the many accounts of mass shootings of civilians in the USA the influence of the pro gun lobby prevails. Unfortunately, lack of time prevented me talking with him longer but the information contained in this extremely well crafted book more than makes up for that.

It is a work that is well worth the read and I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to know more about the lethal weapons used by loan or small groups of mass killers.

Gun Baby Gun
Gun Baby Gun: A Bloody Journey into the World of the Gun
by Iain Overton is published by Canongate Books; Main edition
in hardcover, paperback and as an ebook

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press