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    “The Legal & the Illicit” is out on December 4th 2018 and is now available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble Nook.

    This is the sixth book featuring my laid-back detective Inspector Walter Darriteau and his sidekick, Sergeant Karen Greenwood.

    It’s a chunky read running to 430 pages, so if you like longer books this is definitely the one for you.

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    It will also be released as a paperback for those readers who prefer a book they can hold in their hand.

    Click here if you’d like to read more.    


    Daring thieves break into the vault at Princeton University and steal the original F Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from his five novels. This stuff is worth maybe $30 million and the great and the good at the Uni sit back and wait for the inevitable ransom demand to appear. This is all fiction, of course, and Mr G even includes a wee apology at the end, just in case he should upset anyone at Princeton.

    But could the thieves actually be stealing the items for a specific order, with some wealthy collector hanging around in the background interested in buying? The insurance company don’t feel like sitting back and waiting and a plan is hatched to get those expensive papers back.

    So begins John Grisham’s novel “Camino Island”.

    But if you are imagining and waiting for long drawn out court scenes with a cutting finale you are going to be disappointed, because there is barely a court scene in the entire book.

    So this is something of a departure for Mr G, but don’t let that put you off because this is an engaging story and certainly a page-turning one. There’s even something of a love story element in there too, dare I say that in parts this book borders on chicklit, (shock horror!), though it never strays entirely that way.

    Being somewhat different to Mr G’s normal fare it has come in for some (unwarranted) criticism. I have mentioned before about how ultra-successful writers attract trolling reviewers who seem to get a real high out of trashing top selling authors.

    You only have to check out the one star reviews for John Grisham, Lee Child, Dan Brown, J K Rowling, etc etc, to see that, but people seem to forget that the reason these writers, and many others besides, sell books in great quantity, is because they write engaging books, something that the one star review brigade conveniently forget.

    “Camino Island” is different, but it does suck one in, and in the end I read this work in as quick a time as any book I have read this year, and the reason for that is because this is good book. Don’t let the one star review-moaners put you off. I enjoyed it, and I think you will too.    




    "Set the Boy Free" by Johnny Marr – Book Review


    If you have any interest in guitar bands and especially indie guitar bands, and most particularly The Smiths, this book is essential reading.

    As you’d expect the book catalogues Mister Marr’s incredible career from an early age, and boy did he start early, right through to the present day. If you don’t know the whole story you might be surprised just how many bands he has played with.

    It looks like he wrote the book himself, though it is always difficult to tell with celebrity biogs. All too often there is the small print that says with so-and-so, or as told to so-and-so, and in those cases you can bet who did 90% of the writing. But there is nothing like that here, though in saying that, there is thanks at the end to eleven people who helped in various ways in the writing and production of this book.

    No matter, this is a very readable and interesting story. Perhaps inevitably, the first half is far more engaging than the second. And yes, that is the part that deals with the incredibly rapid rise of The Smiths from nowhere, to their massive worldwide success, and their ultimate implosion, and it is this implosion that probably sparked most readers to buy this book in the first place.

    In truth, are we any the wiser after reading of what caused the break-up? Not really, other than an unequal share of the royalties and revenue, though in truth, it was clear to everyone that two members contributed far more to this band than the other two, and I guess that is always going to create tensions that will ultimately break the whole. It had happened before and it sure as heck will happen again.

    One piece of advice. If you ever have the opportunity to ask questions at a Johnny Marr press conference, never ask him if there is any chance of The Smiths getting back together. Not if you know what’s good for you. Oh, and another little gem too. If you ever form a band make sure you all know precisely who will get what in the way of revenue and credits right from day one, and make sure that is written down and agreed on, and that way you stand a better chance of not falling out later, and maybe even avoiding expensive litigation that could drag on for almost twenty years. The REM and U2 route is always preferable when it comes to things like that.

    “Set the Boy Free” is a decent read, I enjoyed it, and a book I can recommend, though maybe at the end of it all, it left me with a feeling of sadness, and maybe that is not so ridiculous. It is The Smiths we are primarily talking about, after all, despite Johnny’s huge successes elsewhere afterwards.

    As someone else once wrote, thank you for the music. I'm glad I was there.    


    H H Kirst (Hans Helmet Kirst) is famous for his detailed Nazi war novels that probably saw the zenith of their success in the 70s and 80s. You probably already know his work even if you think you don’t. “The Night of the Generals” was one of his; later made into a successful movie, and the Gunner Asch books too, that were hugely popular back then. I enjoyed them all.

       This book, “Heroes for Sale”, is another in the same genre and was written back then too, and I have just got round to reading it. It features a special camp, AFSIC Kampfental, located far away from the encircling fronts, with a special purpose that is kept secret.

       The staff billeted there live a privileged life, great rations, symphony orchestra to keep them entertained, and the only threat to human life comes from within their own ranks.

       H H Kirst clearly knows what he writing about. He was born in Prussia in 1914 and would have been 25 on the outbreak of World War II. He served in the German army from 1933 until the war ended in 1945, and thus the reader can be sure the details and ambience and experiences are spot on. The man lived through those appalling times from beginning to end and must have witnessed so many dreadful things.

       This particular book was filled with many characters and was a little too gossipy for my liking. Mind you, I thought that of The Night of the Generals too, lots of gentlemen lounging about endlessly debating and discussing strategy and threats whilst pouring another drink. Maybe too much talk and not enough action, you might say, but for all that “Heroes for Sale” has a lot to offer, especially to people who enjoy novels from that era and that perspective.

       And here’s a little tip to whoever owns the copyright to these books today. None of the titles, so far as I could see, are even available as ebooks. Indeed H H Kirst as a writer does not even have an Amazon page detailing his work, and that is crazy. Get some new covers made, and put some ebooks out there, and soon, for there is a whole new generation (or two!) of readers who would like to discover the man’s work. They will sell. Or if you prefer, I’ll do them for you! Just say the word. Hans Helmet Kirst died in 1989 after writing 46 books and deserves to be remembered.