Review: THE DA VINCI FRAUD, by Jack Dunn and Jonathan Coad, published by Silvertail Books

Phew. Where to start with this one? Okay. When I wrote THE LAST TEMPLAR, back in the far-distant days of March 1994, not only did I know that this would be the start of a glittering literary career, I also knew that my research had been impeccable, the characterisation superb and the plotting without fault. … Continue reading

Review: SLAVES AND HIGHLANDERS; Silenced Histories of Scotland and the Caribbean, by David Alston, Edinburgh University Press

Published October 2021 This is one of those books which leaves the reader thinking. It raises many questions, mostly about slavery and the British – which yes, means Scottish and English – responsibility for slavery, as well as the French, Dutch and other European nations who ran slave plantations. But this is much more. It … Continue reading

Review: Living With Shakespeare: St Helen’s Parish, London 1593-1598

History, as I learned at school, even at its very best and most exciting can, if a teacher or writer tries hard enough, become dull and tedious in the extreme. Which is why I picked sciences for A level and dropped history. I loved history as a subject, and had studied the medieval period, Victorian … Continue reading

Review: THE SABOTEUR, by Simon Conway. published by Hodder and Stoughton.

NOTE: I conducted a short interview with Simon Conway on SHOTS E-ZINE, which you can find here: http://shotsmag.co.uk/interview_view.aspx?interview_id=318 I hope you enjoy that too! As a reviewer and reader, there are rather few authors whose work I look forward to every year. My old stand-bys like John le Carre and John Gardner, are dead. Other … Continue reading

Review: A CURSED PLACE, by Peter Hanington, published by Two Roads, an imprint of John Murray. 

My first reaction? Not good. When I see that someone who has been a BBC journalist for twenty-five years has been published, and that he has wonderful shout lines from Kirsty Wark, Michael Palin, Melvyn Bragg, Allan Little, and a raft of other BBC members of staff or those who are often interviewed by the … Continue reading

Review: THE BLACK DRESS by Deborah Moggach, published by Tinder Press

Hardback ISBN: 9781472260529 This is a rather strange one for me. Occasionally I am lucky enough to have a new book sent to me to review, and I’m always grateful. After all, with my income any opportunity to read another writer’s work is to be appreciated. And because I’m an author it’s not always easy … Continue reading

Review: EMPIRES OF CRIME by Tim Newark, published by Pen And Sword History

ISBN:  1526713047 I have to admit, I picked this up with a degree of trepidation. There are so many books published which blame the British Empire for everything from famine, slavery, warfare and xenophobia, that I am forced to select my reading with care, just to avoid damage to my blood pressure. I need not have … Continue reading

Review: THE KILLER ACROSS THE TABLE by John E Douglas and Michael Olshaker published by William Collins

Many years ago I came to the conclusion that I should only review books I’ve really enjoyed. There was a logic to that decision. Basically, since I have a real problem with diverse authors, such as Philip K Dick, Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson, my judgements about books are not, clearly, mainstream! However, my attitude … Continue reading

Review: MIDNIGHT IN PEKING by Paul French, published by Penguin

I’ve spent quite some times reviewing crime books recently, and here’s another – except this one isn’t fiction.  In the early morning in January 1937 the body of a late-teenaged British girl, Pamela, daughter of the city’s former consul, ETC Werner. She had been appallingly mutilated, and even her breast had been opened and her … Continue reading

Review: THREE STATIONS by Martin Cruz Smith, published by Simon & Schuster

I have always had a soft spot for Martin Cruz Smith’s book, ever since I first read GORKY PARK, the book that introduced Arkady Renko, the disillusioned cop of Moscow’s police force.  There are several books in the series, and I find each of them utterly captivating. Yes, they are page-turners, and they have great … Continue reading