Wicked Game by Matt Johnson (Orenda Books)

It is just over a year to the day that I finished and semi-reviewed Matt Johnson’s self published version of Wicked Game, which inspired me to start reviewing the books I was reading. One year on, I’m a little more experienced in writing book reviews and it seems that I’ve come full circle, as I write this review for the revamped version of Wicked Game, published by the fantastic Orenda Books. I loved the original book, despite it not necessarily being a genre of book that I would normally read, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this new version of the book for quite some time.

Wicked Game tells Robert Finlay’s story, a former SAS officer who has just put in a transfer from Royalty Protection to become a police Inspector at Stoke Newington Police Station. When past events, and past enemies, come back to haunt him, Finlay finds himself using his old skills and contacts to fight for his life to protect his wife, Jenny and his daughter, Becky. Torn between running and facing his fear to protect his family, Finlay is forced to revisit his life before Jenny to fight against enemies who are targeting him and his friends and find out why they are targets.

Johnson originally wrote Wicked Game as a therapeutic way of dealing with his own battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and he uses his own experiences to authentically mirror the effects of P.T.S.D., not only in Finlay, but also in other characters too, to some extent. Most of the characters have suffered some kind of traumatic event and Johnson depicts the effects of this terrible disorder so well, particularly in Finlay, as it becomes apparent that it has it’s grip on him, even if he doesn’t realise it. The symptoms are eating away at him, exacerbated by the turn of recent events. Johnson cleverly adds the nuances of P.T.S.D. in the characters in an understated manner, illuminating how the symptoms are barely acknowledged by the characters, as they seem to be in a state of denial about their inner turmoil.

This novel is gripping from the first chapter. Johnson has written a great combination of fast-paced action and character exploration to keep the reader equally emotionally attached and invested into the plot. He constructs the elements well, with red herrings and clues along the way so that by the time you get to the end, there is a “Eureka!” moment where it all comes together. What is astonishing is that you could easily imagine such a situation happening in real life. It does not read as being exaggerated or over the top, and at a time when terrorism is in the news on a daily basis, the authenticity of Johnson’s novel gives plenty of food for thought about our own social and political situation.

The original novel was quite heavy on the police/soldier jargon, particularly in the first few chapters, which was fine for me, as I am happy to look things up that I’m not sure on. However, this has been toned down in this rewrite, which makes the narrative much slicker and whilst the jargon appeared to add an extra layer of authenticity in the original book when I read it then, having read it now it has been toned down,  it is no less authentic without it. In fact, it reads much better and the focus is on the action and the characters, which makes it a much richer narrative. The narrative voice has been altered too, which allows the reader to consider the action from the viewpoint of the other main players, as well as Finlay.

I was overjoyed to find that my one of my favourite chapters in the original book had remained and I was, once again, full of admiration for the likeable, feisty Jenny, Finlay’s wife. I’d like to think that I would be like Jenny – a supportive, loving wife who has every confidence in her man to support her and their daughter, whatever it takes, and can think with her head, not just her heart. I’m not sure how much I would live up to that (not necessarily that great at thinking with my head rather than my heart) , but Johnson has written her so well, I’m totally in awe of this literary character. She does not feature that often in the book, but she is referred to continuously and is fundamental to Finlay’s decision-making and she, along with Becky, are Finlay’s reasons for living, and ultimately what he is trying to protect.

Wicked Game is a wonderful depiction of the importance of friendship, cameraderie, honour and respect in the face of adversity in unknown quantities.  Finlay is not an obvious hero. He plays down his victories and has a rather unremarkable view of himself. He admits to his strengths, but quite modestly. I think that this is one of the reasons why Finlay himself is such a likeable character and why the reader champions him from the outset. Finlay’s struggle with the symptoms of P.T.S.D adds an extra emotional level for the reader, strengthening sympathetic feelings for our unsung hero.  Johnson has written a brilliantly multi-layered narrative that has a great plot, engaging characters, and although I knew the story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. The original book was my very first Book of the Month and the new and improved Wicked Game absolutely gets my seal of approval, for what it’s worth. Johnson is an incredibly skilled writer and I cannot wait to read and review the sequel, Deadly Game. Again!

Let a Soldier Die by William E. Holland

You may wonder why I have chosen to read and review a book that was written in 1985 when there are so many books to choose from more recent times. This book has been by my bedside for a long time (although not on my side of the bed) and my better half has told me periodically over the last 16 years that I should read it as he thought I would like it. Up to now, I have always declined, as I’m not really a fan of military literature. However, as I’ve made such a big deal about changing my approach to how I select the books I choose to read, I could not put it off any longer. So, this week, I finally picked up this book that is not even available on Kindle and gave it a shot.

Let a Soldier Die is set in the Vietnam war and tells the story of Bear, a gun ship pilot who is revered by his comrades, if not always by his superiors, for his skill and precision. To give you an idea of my total ignorance to all things military, I spent the first chapter trying to ascertain why their didn’t seem to be any water in the direct vicinity of this ship. I received a look of bemusement from my partner as he exclaimed “it’s a gun ship, a helicopter”, as if I should have known this! I had worked this out for myself after the first few pages, but I must admit I did spend a few minutes trying to find the sea!

The plot of the book follows the gun ships as they go on patrols around the area to provide air cover to the troops on the ground. When Bear and his crew unwittingly fire on their own troops, then have to rescue the stricken soldiers while the medevac helicopters are unavailable, Bear is faced with the harsh reality of his role as a gunner and the impact that his actions have on the recipients. Up to the point where he has to rescue the victims of his ship’s weapons, he has been able to rationalise his job because he cannot see who he is shooting at. However, faced with the image of the injuries he has inflicted on these men, Bear questions whether he can continue to shoot at his fellow man, causing him to be more reluctant to fire his weapons on subsequent trips. The first half of the book leads up to this incident and shows the camaraderie between Bear and his fellow soldiers and the other half deals with his internal conflict regarding his actions.

Whilst there is a definite plot to the book, it is almost incidental, as it is the various characters that make this story. Holland introduces a number of characters that allow him to demonstrate the futility of war and the devastation it causes, not just on the front line, but to everyone with any kind of link to a conflict. We are shown the points of view of the ground troops, the gunners, the medical staff and the families of those who are killed. We are also given a variety of attitudes within the soldiers themselves. There are those who can justify their actions and who are determined to work their way through the ranks and there are characters who are just biding their time until they can return to their loved ones. Holland juxtaposes these characters to give the reader a more rounded view and to enhance the feeling of confusion that the main protagonist, Bear, feels, who does not quite fit into any of the aforementioned categories. Holland captures the idea that for those people involved in any conflict, life will never be the same and they will be forever affected by their experiences.

When I was asking my better half about this book, he assured me that although this was a story about war, really it is a love story. (This was the big selling point!) I don’t think this is strictly true. Admittedly, Bear does fall in love with a nurse at the hospital and his feelings are reciprocated but it is a definite sub plot and isn’t given a great deal of page space. That being said, I think that perhaps this intentional as it aids Holland’s message that nothing can flourish after conflict. The relationship between Bear and Alice is one of trust and understanding of each others roles in this awful situation. Alice can see how Bear is suffering after their accidental assault on their own troops and Bear appreciates her dedication to the injured, even when there is no hope of them returning to any sense of a normal life. They are limited to what kind of relationship they can have as Alice tends to the victims of those who are injured by the actions of soldiers like Bear but they attempt to make the best of their mutual attraction and it gives the characters and the reader a false sense of hope for their future.

The best feature of this book is Holland’s beautiful imagery when he describes the Vietnam landscape. He uses every technique in the literary device library to create an extra, unforgiving character in the book. The landscape comes alive at Holland’s hand and despite the fact that it is a war zone, he paints such an alluring picture that I can’t imagine any reader of this book who wouldn’t put Vietnam on their “Places to visit” list as a result. Holland even adds an air of mystery when he describes an island that is sometimes in view, something untouched by the war. Of course, the reader is brought back down to earth as the landscape becomes a scene of battle, but so much of the book invests in the scenery, that it appears that the landscape is the only place that will be able to regenerate itself back to its former glory, as the human impact remains.

I would probably never have chosen to read this book, and I do feel that my lack of military knowledge hindered me at times. However, I can fully appreciate that Holland has written a book that is technically magnificent and encourages the reader to really consider the inner conflicts of those involved in wars. He shows how a soldier’s rationality is obliterated when faced with the reality of the death of another human being at their hands, and how that image will haunt them forever. The ending of the book is perfect to solidify the message that Holland wants to enforce and it is a valuable message to learn. I’m glad I read this book and although it isn’t a book filled with positivity, it does give the reader a great deal of food for thought. I just need to convince my better half to read some of my suggestions, perhaps some chick lit… ok,emoticon,face,fun,happy,smile,smiley,emotion,funny,right,yes,correct,next,forward,arrow








Deadly Game by Matt Johnson

I owe Matt Johnson a great deal of gratitude. He was one of the earliest supporters of and it was after reading his début novel that I decided to try my hand at book reviewing. I used my experience of reading Wicked Game, alongside Dance with the Enemy by Rob Sinclair to show how I decided not to discount the idea of reading any particular book simply because of the genre it fell into.  (A New Approach to Reading – 1st April 2015) I really enjoyed Wicked Game despite expecting that I would not and I had been eagerly awaiting the sequel. I wasn’t disappointed. I promised Matt an honest review, and here it is.

At the end of Wicked Game, Robert Finlay was left reeling after he had almost been killed in a revenge plot where a number of his SAS colleagues had been murdered. His preoccupation with his own troubles is short-lived as the 9/11 terrorism attacks shock the world to its core. Deadly Game picks up with Finlay a few weeks later, as Finlay and his family have been put into a safe house while the Security Services investigate previous events to make sure that they are out of danger. Finlay has a new job on a CID team that is investigating the sex trafficking trade and the events of Wicked Game are still resonating as MI5 and MI6 try to bring the investigation to a close to suit their own agendas. Finlay also makes some new friends in Romania which may not be all that it seems. However, the main storyline of this novel is Finlay’s state of mind as he is overcome with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These symptoms were present to an extent in Wicked Game, but following recent events, Finlay finds himself battling the symptoms and struggling to keep it under control.

Anyone hoping for an action-packed novel similar to Wicked Game may be a little disappointed, as Johnson changes his approach, focusing more on Finlay’s reactions to the action rather than the physical action itself. Personally, i think that this makes for a truly brilliant narrative. In fact, if the focus had been on big action scenes, Finlay’s P.T.S.D. would have been overshadowed, and that would be a real shame, as Johnson seamlessly embroiders the symptoms of this disorder throughout the narrative showing how it creeps into every little nuance of everyday life. Deadly Game is more about strategy, mind games and the hidden agendas of the military, the security services and the criminals; ultimately it is a tale of how the hero manages to overcome his demons (to an extent) for the greater good.

The way that Johnson shows how Finlay’s P.T.S.D. is developing throughout this book makes the reader question Finlay’s responses and judgements which adds an extra layer of suspense as to what is going to happen next, as Finlay himself becomes an unknown quantity. The responses of those around him, particularly his wife, Jenny, who knows him better than he perhaps knows himself, enhances the sense that Finlay is becoming his own worst enemy. As Jenny points out, he is brilliant at reacting on the spot, less so when sensing and avoiding potential danger. This is demonstrated most obviously when Finlay and Jenny are invited to a wedding in Romania as a thank you to Finlay when he saves the life of the daughter of a rich Romanian publisher. He doesn’t check the family out first and this error of judgement almost becomes his undoing.

There are a couple of familiar characters from Wicked Game and a few new ones too that I hope will have a place in future Robert Finlay novels. In Wicked Game, I loved Finlay’s wife, Jenny. She doesn’t feature in a lot of the action but when we are privy to her thoughts on any given situation, her analysis is fundamental to understanding Finlay. Behind every great man is a great woman, and Jenny is certainly that. She is ever-present in Finlay’s thoughts and she grounds him. She is understanding to Finlay’s plight and she recognises that something isn’t right as his symptoms take hold. She loves him despite his inability to discuss his worries with her and he loves her. Her happiness and that of his daughter, Becky is paramount to him. Johnson displays this well in their actions and reactions to each other. Their ultimate goal is a shared one: they are both determined to keep their family together.

Kevin, Finlay’s former colleague and friend, is also back as Finlay’s partner-in-crime. Kevin is loyal to Finlay and will be there for him whenever Finlay needs him. As he recovers from his injuries after he was shot in Wicked Game, he is ultimately Finlay’s go-to guy if he needs the help of someone he can trust.

We are also introduced to a number of strong female characters in this novel. Toni Fellowes is the MI5 agent who is writing a report on the incidents that occurred in Wicked Game and  she is investigating whether there is any danger to Finlay and his family. She is determined to uncover the hidden political agendas and find out why the S.A.S. soldiers were really targeted. Was it an act of revenge as originally suggested or is there a political agenda? Her assistant, Nell, certainly thinks there is more to it. Nell has Asperger’s Syndrome and although her role in the novel is as a super-investigator who compiles information that is invaluable to Toni’s investigation, she could also be seen as an antithesis to Finlay. She is someone who doesn’t let emotion get in the way, while Finlay is struggling to keep his emotions in check.

In terms of the sex trafficking storyline, we are introduced to three very strong female police officers. The first, WPC Lynn Wainwright, is a dedicated police officer who has overcome prejudice from her male counterparts to get to where she wants to be. She is a tough cookie and her inner strength becomes crucial as she finds herself in grave danger. The second is Superintendent Wendy Russell. She is a blast from Finlay’s past and perhaps another confusion for Finlay in his turbulent state. I’m not going to elaborate further but she is instrumental in the latter half of the novel. Finally, DS Nina Brasov is an abrasive but talented detective who guides Finlay through the investigation and she is an expert on the sex trafficking industry. He relies on Nina heavily at times and she seems to have the measure of Finlay from the start.

Deadly Game is a really clever sequel to the brilliant Wicked Game. Its multi-faceted storyline gives the reader a lot to think about. At a time when we hear of the occurrence of terrorist attacks around the world throughout the media with increasing regularity, this novel has a particular resonance. As an illustration of the effects of P.T.S.D., Deadly Game is particularly effective, and while it was definitely a risk on Johnson’s part to change his approach from the first book, it really has paid off. There is enough action to capture the imaginations of those readers who enjoyed this aspect of Wicked Game, but the build up to the action is where this novel comes into its own, as we are informed of Finlay’s mindset throughout. I enjoyed Wicked Game and I enjoyed Deadly Game. I’d be struggling to pick a favourite as they are both really great reads but for different reasons. What I do know is, I can’t wait to read the next one!

Gray Justice Alan McDermott

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine suggested that I read Gray Justice, the first in a series of novels by Alan McDermott that, by all accounts, is doing very well for itself. The reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are, on the whole, very complimentary and the blurb promises an interesting plot. I started the novel with an open mind, aware that although my friend had not particularly enjoyed it, that was no indication about how I would respond to it. Indeed, all these people who have read it and got it into the Top 10 of the Kindle chart can’t all be wrong!

Gray Justice is a novel about Tom Gray, who is left devastated after his young son is killed by a runaway car abandoned by a career criminal, followed by the suicide of his wife in the wake of this tragedy. A former member of the SAS, he decides to take matters into his own hands when the car thief gets a 15 month sentence but is let out straight away as he has served half his sentence while he was on remand. Gray sells his security services firm and, with the help of his former S.A.S. pals, he holds five career criminals in makeshift cells in an old pottery factory and sets up a website to allow the public to decide if these criminals should live or die by voting on his website. Using his army training, he builds himself a fortress to hold these criminals in while the police, security forces and media watch on.

The premise of the novel is good, however McDermott wastes it. In a book with such a plot, I would have expected to connect with Tom Gray very early on, cheering him on throughout the novel. However, we learn very little about Tom Gray. He loses his wife and child in tragic circumstances and I would have expected to feel a heavy sense of sympathy for this man but I don’t feel that the reader get this chance to really feel Tom Gray’s pain through the narrative. This pivotal event in this man’s life, that causes him to sell his house and his business to fund a vigilante scheme to bring awareness to the flawed justice system is reduced to no more than a few paragraphs. We don’t even get to experience his emotions through the other characters reactions, and there are many other characters, especially in the first few chapters. It was easy to get confused with who was who at times. I realise that Gray’s personal feelings is not what the plot is necessarily about and that there is a bigger picture to consider, but without this build up or exploration of Gray’s feelings to any great extent, the narrative just drags on without any real emotion from the reader. We get no real understanding of just quite how much this has had an impact on him. Of course, we can imagine, but I want my heart-strings to be tugged at. In Gray Justice, it just wasn’t to be.

The initial focus of the reader is on the career criminal, Stuart Boyle, as we are told his story first and his complete lack of concern for anything but the financial gain he will receive after procuring a car for someone who will pay him a meagre fee of £500. We hear all about his tricks of the trade, how he avoids the police etc. Whilst it is necessary for this information to be related to the reader, this should not be the first thing the reader encounters. Perhaps this would have worked better if we had read a bit more about Gray’s relationship with his wife and child. It could have been as simple as a typical morning at breakfast, showing some interaction as a family. The reader’s sympathy for Gray would certainly have been heightened with this simple juxtaposition of a before and after view to add to the reader’s understanding of Gray’s loss. Perhaps we could have been given an insight into how Gray’s wife descended into such a depression that she couldn’t take it anymore. Without this preparation, the reader does not get a chance to understand fully why Gray takes the course of action that he does and is left to just go along with the plot.

The narrative itself was not particularly engaging either. There is very little use of figurative language and lots of inane descriptions of car journeys and technical processes that would have been better to have been left to the imagination. I find it odd that so much of the narrative is dedicated to these mundanities when so little was given to Gray’s back story, which in my opinion, was imperative to understanding Gray’s full motivation. There was obviously some intention to add authenticity by throwing in some S.A.S. technical terms  and some jargon relating to computer programming and IP addresses etc. but quite frankly, they were lost in the surrounding narrative. The things that McDermott chose to write extensively about baffled me, when there were areas that could, and should, have been expanded upon. The narrative’s momentum stalled at regular intervals because of this which made it difficult to build up any kind of suspense.

I also struggled with the part of the storyline that saw a young analyst being given a job by a senior MI5 operative who is apparently so senior, his immediate boss takes direct orders from the Home Secretary! I found it hard to believe that there is no chain of authority in MI5, however, I am not an expert in these matters. This poor young girl can’t get the attention of a senior agent so she takes it upon herself to follow a potential terror suspect, one who she knows to be extremely dangerous, along with a coach load of his cronies. I understand that perhaps the intention is for Tom Gray to inadvertently facilitate a potential terrorist threat, thus making the point that vigilantism is not the way forward,  but with the real life political relevance that I would imagine McDermott was trying to emulate in this novel, I would have appreciated a more realistic plot to better make the point. There were other ways of causing a distraction, perhaps a report of a fake device, which distracted the Security Services and S.A.S. into action miles away from Tom Gray’s fortress, allowing the real terrorists to attack without any unrealistic plotting of an overzealous junior agent taking on a coach load of terrorists alone.

My interest increased in the last few chapters as the pace increased but it was very difficult to keep up as a reader, trying to mentally visualise the numerous locations of the various attackers, whilst considering where the police and media presence were situated. With the terrorists, the police, the media, the S.A.S. friends of Gray, and not to mention Gray and his band of criminals all placed in or around vehicles or various ridges and perimeters, I really wasn’t sure who was where and which characters were dead, injured or still running around. I felt like I needed a battle map similar just to get a grip on where everyone was. However, I must admit, I did find myself keen to know what was going to happen next at this point, even if I was a little confused about who was where.

The cause of Gray’s actions is completely lost in the final chapters with a bit of a summary of what happened next by someone who, I assume, is a doctor. Not all the gaps are filled, to encourage the reader to read the next novel but I’m not sure I want to. I was continually disappointed in this book, willing the author to cut out the irrelevant stuff and enhance the plot.  I recently wrote about One Man Crusade by Steven Suttie (One Man Crusade by Steven Suttie) , and I absolutely loved it. The reason I mention it here is that its premise has similarities with this book in that a good man, distraught by the death and suffering of a loved one at the hands of a criminal becomes a very public vigilante to try and encourage the powers that be to change the law, gaining unprecedented support from the nation and highlighting flaws within society. With One Man Crusade, I engaged straight away with the characters. There was real depth to the narrative and every piece of information relayed was relevant to the plot. There are only a few relevant protagonists who are introduced in such a way to avoid any confusion and you got to know the personalities and lifestyles of the characters so that you cheered them on. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion reading One Man Crusade. That’s what I’d have expected to experience at some point when I read Gray Justice, given the emotional experiences of Tom Gray in the beginning. I always try to balance my reviews out of respect for the author who will have undoubtedly put blood, sweat and tears into writing their novel and, of late, the majority of them have been mainly positive but I really struggled to find positive features in this book apart from the premise itself, which was a real shame. I may read book two out of curiosity one day and perhaps my opinion of that will be completely different but, whilst this was a very good idea for a plot, its execution was severely lacking. However, apparently lots of people disagree with me and love this book, so perhaps I’m missing something…


A New Approach to Reading

Reading has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I was the child who hid books under my duvet so I could read after I had been sent to bed. I didn’t mind the slow bus commute to Manchester because I knew it would allow me a good hour of pure reading time. I read classic books for pleasure, as well as for studying purposes. Yet, after I had finished my degree in 2011, having read a good few books that I wouldn’t have read out of choice and hadn’t enjoyed during my studies, I was looking forward to reading books purely for pleasure again. 

Unfortunately my book choices were evidently poor because the first few books I read were not enjoyable at all. I was devastated that I wasn’t enjoying my previously favourite past-time. I wondered if it wasn’t the books but maybe I’d lost my passion for reading whilst scrutinising books for analysis purposes and reading theories and studies that pointed out the flaws and misunderstandings with various literary greats (and not-so-greats). To test the theory, I read books that I’d read and enjoyed before and was relieved to find that my love for reading was still there, as long as I liked the books in question. To that end, I’ve spent the last couple of years re-reading old favourites, reluctant to try anything new in case I didn’t enjoy it. I have precious little time to read so I don’t want to reach the end of a book and find it didn’t live up to my expectations.

Since starting this site, I realised that I would need to step into the foray of reading new books again, if only to give me more to write about. However, there are so many books to choose from, it’s difficult to determine what to start with. Thanks to my Twitter Feed, I have been encouraged to venture back into the unknown and try out a couple of new books. 

First of all, I had a direct message conversation with Rob Sinclair ( who suggested I might want to try his debut novel, Dance with the Enemy, a thriller novel about a troubled secret agent called Carl Logan. After he had given me words of support about my first blog post, I felt that I owed it to Rob to read his book in return. I’ll be honest, thrillers have never really been my preferred genre but I absolutely loved Dance with the Enemy. It was fast paced, with lots of twists and turns and I would never have guessed the ending, yet all the clues were there as I  consider it in hindsight. I can guarantee that I will be one of the first to download the sequel, Rise with the Enemy, when it is released shortly.  

The next Twitter conversation that I had was with Matt Johnson (, who had very kindly been the first to comment on my site, which I will be eternally grateful for! Of course, again, I felt compelled to read Matt’s book, Wicked Game, another thriller, about a former SAS officer who finds himself a target of a terrorist cell years after he has left the forces. Again, I was gripped to the fast-moving storyline to the point where I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the main protagonist, Robert Finlay, but I particularly loved his feisty wife, Jenny. Again, I’ll be looking out for the sequel and hope that Jenny will continue to be Finlay’s tower of strength.

As I mentioned previously, thrillers aren’t my genre of choice, yet here I am waxing lyrical about two thrillers! Perhaps this is a sign that maybe my tastes are more eclectic than I had thought but more importantly, that ruling a book out because of the genre it has been categorised under can rule out books that I may have enjoyed wholeheartedly, like I did with Dance with the Enemy and Wicked Game.

I’m a sucker for a love story and both these books contain love/lust as an underlining factor, Dance with the Enemy to a lesser extent, although Logan does embark on an emotional relationship of sorts. Finlay’s main priority, in Wicked Game, is the safety of his wife and child and I loved that these two protagonists are swayed in their decision-making, despite all their training to the contrary, by emotional factors, such as love, lust, fear and revenge.

So, two wonderful books down, many more to go, and with that in mind, I’m going to start a new page on my website where I will put the new books that I have read in case there are others out there who can’t decide what to read and would like a helping hand. A hint to other authors out there, if you fancy giving me a nudge in the right direction about what I should read next, please do tweet, direct message, leave a message on the website or on my Facebook page. 

Word to the wise however, messages such as “I’ll eat my own liver if you don’t read my book” or “If you read my book, I won’t sell my grandchildren” will not encourage me to read any book. I’ve had a number of messages with these types of comments and, rightly or wrongly, it puts me right off reading the book being suggested. I realise that it’s a selling tactic and I’m sure it would work with some people but it just doesn’t encourage me whatsoever. It was really lovely to have a few words with Rob Sinclair and Matt Johnson and their approach was mutually beneficial: they got a sale (and future sales too) and I had a truly enjoyable reading experience, not to mention some valuable feedback about my own site. If you want me to give your book a try, let me know. Hopefully it will end up on my Recent Reads page! In the meantime, anyone who wants a good book to read, I can wholeheartedly recommend Dance with the Enemy by Rob Sinclair and Wicked Game by Matt Johnson.


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