Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fire and Brimstone - Colin Bateman

I have read, and really enjoyed, many of this author's previous novels over the years, I love his writing and storytelling style. I think most if not all of them I read before I started book blogging/reviewing so I can only say that I enjoyed them so much and recommended them here there and everywhere by word of mouth. The first ones I read were Cycle of Violence and Divorcing Jack. You might have seen or heard of the film version of the latter novel too, featuring David Thewlis. As well as the novels featuring Dan Starkey, of which this (Fire and Brimstone) is one, I've  read and enjoyed some of the novels in the 'Mystery Man', bookshop-based series as well as others by this author.

Anyway, getting on to Fire and Brimstone properly, this is another entertaining and bumpy ride along with Dan Starkey. Dark, at times bleak and sad, at times very funny and witty indeed, sometimes violent, occasionally possibly near the knuckle to some (topics include drug wars, religion, and abortion), but the story is always very very readable and the author always keeps you wanting to turn the pages. 

This time around, Dan, now a private investigator, takes on the job of tracking a missing person, the daughter of a billionaire. Alison Wolff was last seen at a party, where terrible tragedy occurred. Has she been kidnapped, is she still alive? It's up to Dan to find out, and inevitably as per usual he gets up to his neck in it all, finding fresh and deeper trouble at each turn, this time getting mixed up in religious cults and drug gangs. Amazingly, for those who have been with them throughout the series of novels, Trish is still around despite everything. 

I love the dark humour, the writing style, the intrigue and twists in the story,  the close calls and near misses, the sharp, witty dialogue, and I'm always curious to find out what Dan Starkey will get involved with next. Do give one of his books a try if you've never read one before, ideally I'd recommend starting with an earlier novel, if for example you wanted to follow Dan's path from the start, though it's not a prerequisite for reading this one, but I think it does add to the enjoyment if you know the background. I think this is an author whose books you can get addicted to, and I'm always pleased to see a new one appear.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this novel via bookbridgr for an honest review. 

Author links - twitter @ColinBateman | website
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  1. I like the fact that Bateman includes some really serious topics in his narrative.

    I am a fanatic for reading series in order so I would start from the beginning.

  2. Not books I'm familiar with but I'm really intrigued by the mention of religious cults. This is definitely an author I'll keep a look out for Lindsay, thanks.


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