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


Book Review – Frankenstein Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round

November 21, 2015

The scooters in question were made by piecing together scooter parts with motorcycle engines and likened to the way Mary Shelly’s fictional character created a monster out of pieces of dead humans. The horror analogy was complete because the author, his family and two companions passed by the castle owned by Vlad the Impaler (said to be the inspiration for the fictional Dracula) in Romania. The book is a guide on how to take your family through Europe to Turkey on self built two wheeled transport and as such is both an instructive and entertaining read.

I travelled a great deal myself in the 1970s and 1980s by motorcycle not scooter. However, I have a great deal of understanding of some of the perils that can occur and the amount of planning involved. Sticky Round has a distinctive writing voice and conveys his technical expertise and descriptions of the people he encounters in a most amusing way. The modern digital age is very different from the days when I travelled by two wheels but I am sure I would find this book extremely helpful should I be tempted to try similar two or even four wheel journeys again. This was an exceptionally good read and is highly recommended.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Frankenstein Scooters
Frankenstein’s Scooters to Dracula’s Castle by Martin ‘Sticky’ Round
is published by Fingers In Pies Publications and is available in paperback
and as an ebook from the Kindle Book Store


Book Review – Never Run Away by Julie C Round

April 23, 2015

I must confess that I have become a big fan of Julie Round’s writing and have reviewed her excellent Lane trilogy (Lane’s End, Un-stable Lane & The Third Lane) elsewhere in this blog. She is expert at describing the strains and stresses of married life. This is evident in the Lane series and is very evident when explored here. She gets to the heart of the flaws and the strengths of her characters that are all too apparent in the human condition.

The novel tells of how fifty year old Barbara leaves her husband after years of putting up with his bitterness and neglect for her feelings, and his attempts to find her and win her back. The inclusion of the “Lady Havisham” character, Ellen, in the story is a nice touch and acts as a great counterpoint to the other characters. It is a touching account of modern times and a good read. I highly recommend it.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press.

NRAwaycover

Never Run Away by Julie C Round
is published in paperback by Old Stick Books
and is also available from Amazon in Kindle Format