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  1. Free Book Promotion 2


    I have another FREE book offer for you today, and what a humdinger of an offer this is!

    In this package, there are no less than 48 murder mystery thriller type books and for a limited time only they are all FREE - yes that's right, they are free, but only until May 14th 2018. After that, they are gone.

    Here's your chance to fill up your kindle book Ereader, or indeed any Ereader system, with great books for the summer, and they won't cost you a penny.

    So if you are going on holiday sometime this year, or if you are taking some time out, or time off, you can take a nice thrilling library with you to keep you entertained. I can see it now - you lying on the beach in Bermuda or Brisbane or Barcelona sipping a cool one, and reading these fab books.

    Here's the link.

    Click here to see and select the books you would like.

    What's the catch? There isn't one. These hardworking writers would really like you to read their stuff - it is as simple as that.

    Here's that link again:





    David C


    Free Book Promotion 2


    This book is the 23rd in the Jack Reacher series, and though no doubt it will appeal to the Reacher Creatures who will seemingly buy anything with his name attached, a little like the Beatles tat marketing rubbish back in the day, the problem with this book is that the plot is skimpy at best.

    It centres around a tiny ring that Reacher sees in a pawn shop window – didn’t put Reacher down as a Bargain Hunt aficionado, but there we are, he must be getting on that way, age wise – welcome to the club, pal.

    Anyway, the ring is a rare thing, given or awarded to a cadet passing out of Westpoint, as did Reacher back in the day, and a memento to be cherished for all time, and the thing is, the ring is so tiny it would not even go on Reacher’s pinky – meaning ladies and gentlemen?

    Yes, you’ve got it, it belonged to a slight young woman, and Reacher can’t let that pass without finding out why she gave it up. (Or had it taken from her.) He buys the ring and he’s already on the road, searching for her, and that finger too, to return the ring to its rightful place, and not for the first time in Reacher books that all has echoes of fairy stories from long ago. That’s the main thrust of the plot, plus a man who may or may not have been eaten by a bear! Which is an interesting thought.

    A Jack Reacher book is sold every nine seconds, so the final blurb blares out, and I can believe that too. You see them in every railway station and airport bookstore across the planet, but here’s an interesting thing. I have seen quite a few copies of this very book – still the most recent one, note – languishing in charity shops for a few pence, pristine and obviously unread, so what does that tell us, Jack?

    It says that quite a few gift recipients have simply given up on reading the blessed things, and tossed them out, almost as soon as the present-giver had left the building.

    So did I enjoy it? Of course I enjoyed it! I am after all, for my sins, something of a Reacher Creature myself, having read every one of the darned things, and I read it quickly too, but the problem is that with each passing one the plots seem to get thinner and less reader-involving – just my opinion, and glancing at the hundreds of reviews I am not alone in thinking that.

    We all know how hard it is to keep churning out super books with great plots – and these books are still eminently readable, but hey, if you want a great plot try any of the first five in the series and you will see how much better they are than the last five.

    We’ll miss him when he’s gone, both Jack and Lee, and thankfully there’s no sign that he is about to retire, or be retired. Fact is, it wouldn’t surprise me if we were writing and reading precisely the same comments here twenty years from now, those of us that are still about, that is  – and one more book a year and we’d be right up there approaching the half century.

    In the meantime, scour the charity shops, for there’s a chance you’ll find a copy there. Today this book was £9.50 (hardback) in Tesco’s, and 20p (I kid you not) in the Scope charity shop in the high street, unread, untouched, and unblemished throughout. You decide! I know which I’d choose.  



    I bought this book because it is primarily set on the south coast of England in Weymouth and Bridport and elsewhere, for I live on the south coast in Dorset, and know those places like the back of my hand.

    The story opens on one of the many camp sites perched near the cliffs, where caravans, tourers and static, and lodges and holiday homes of all kinds reside cheek by jowl, all desperate for an unobstructed sea view, and the sun to come out.

    It’s late season and a couple have come down to the coast for a well-earned break. But overnight the woman, Tara, goes missing. The man’s been drinking heavily and can’t remember too much.

    The police are called and a team arrives looking for the woman, led by the curmudgeonly Detective Inspector Brock Clarke. He’s divorced and trying hard to give up smoking, and a fully paid up member of the grumpy old men club.

    So opens “One Dead Wife”, a murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. It is a relatively short book, I read it in a day, and I am not a quick reader, but it is a fast paced story that will keep the reader interested to the very end. If I have a minor complaint I would have liked it to have been a little longer, but if you like murder mysteries and enjoy quick reads then this is the perfect book for you.




    I first read this book about 10 years ago, but came across it again and re-read it, and frankly I had forgotten quite how good it is.

    It is set in China, or Manchuria to be more precise, in the early 1930s. It’s a country at war, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. There are two main characters in the book. A Chinese schoolgirl of seventeen and a Japanese officer of twenty-four. I don’t give their names for this book is not big on names. Neither of them is named until deep into the book, and one is never named.

    The girl/young woman already has two ardent admirers and is puzzling over who to give herself to.

    In the square in the local town Go players gather. They set out their Go stones, an open pot means they up for a challenge, a closed pot means they have a game already planned. They are keen too, some arriving as early as 5.30 in the morning, and they stay and play whatever the weather throws at them.

    She is a consummate player, she always has been, beating her older mainly male relatives from an early age. The Chinese speaking Japanese officer is ordered by his senior officer to dress like a local, put on glasses, and go out in the city, and mingle with the locals, and pick up whatever intelligence he can.

    He’s a Go player too, one of the best back in Japan, and inevitably he gravitates to the square, when he isn’t visiting the local brothels, where there is always gossip and intel to be gathered.

    He sees the girl, waiting for a challenge, and can’t refuse.  They don’t introduce themselves, they rarely speak, they sit and play the ancient game, and how. The games go on for days. They leave the square at night only to return at the earliest opportunity. The games go on, through the boiling heat of the day. They both bring wafting fans, and use them too. The man fans hard, ostensibly himself, but in reality he fans her too. She notices, how could she not?

    And the more they play the more their relationship deepens, though they still do not know who they are, or what they do, and she doesn’t even know he is Japanese. She struggles to see his eyes through the thick glasses. She would like to see his eyes. And as they continue playing the war situation grows progressively darker.

    This is a relatively short book. The chapters are short too, sometimes only a single page. They take turns in telling the story. One chapter by her, followed by one from him. It keeps the reader interested, the pages turning, and the pace high.

    This book has won many awards, particularly in the writer’s native France, and it is easy to see why. I checked on what else she has written and although there are a handful of titles there, none appear to have gained the readers and accolades that this book did, which is a pity.

    It’s dark and bloody in places, producing several scenes that live long in the memory. The girl is slowly growing up, but will she successfully negotiate that difficult phase in her life, while living through an oncoming bloody war?

    The Girl Who Played Go will take you on an unforgettable ride, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Read it!      




    This is the third and last book on the three book series following the life and times of Cicero in ancient Rome. The story is told through the eyes and fictional writings of a particularly interesting character called Tiro.

        He starts out as one of Cicero’s slaves but through their long association he rises to become a valued assistant, secretary, confidant, and finally a close friend, and ultimately a free man.

        Tiro is a credited with inventing an early form of shorthand and one can believe that too, as Cicero is constantly throwing out rapid fire comments as they criss-cross the Roman world, words that he demands Tiro immediately takes down, sometimes incredibly witty, other times cutting and biting, and words that one day might come back to haunt him.

        But always at the back if it all is Cicero’s desire to protect the freedoms that the citizens of the republic enjoy. Much of Cicero’s thoughts and writings included here are attributable to the man himself through Robert Harris’s amazing research and dedication.

       This book was twelve years in the making and I can believe that too. It’s a whopping 520 pages of a rollicking good read as Cicero ducks and dives around the machinating Caesar, Pompey, Crassus, Brutus, Cato, Marc Antony, Octavian, and all the rest.

       It was a dangerous time to be alive, especially if you dared to become involved in politics and statesmanship. So many of the big names of the day were to experience early and violent deaths, facts that are certain to keep the story boiling and running.

       If you have any interest in ancient Rome then this is a must read for you. In many ways it’s a Godfather gangster book from two millennia ago, when the world was both so very different, but also so incredibly similar to today. Of course I enjoyed it, that goes without saying, and I am sorry that Mister Harris’s Roman chronicles appear to be over.

       And here's some video of the man himsef talking about "Dictator".       


  6. There are four kids close to finishing law school, and in the process of doing so, they have built up a backlog of tuition fees close to $200,000 each, I kid you not. The idea is that once they land a super law job those fees will soon be repaid through their sky-high salaries. The only problem is that there are very few such jobs, and many of them pay poorly.

    One of the four, Gordy starts investigating the whole sad and sorry business. He’s in love with another of the four, Zola, a tall and striking African American, even though he’s engaged to someone else at the time, and he has mental issues to boot, and is off his meds.

    The other two guys are white and becoming interested in Gordy’s crazy ideas, and I can’t remember their names for two reasons, one they seem fairly faceless unremarkable characters, and two, because they keep changing their blessed names throughout the book.

    So begins John Grisham’s “The Rooster Bar”. As much as anything this is a dig at the whole idea of tuition fees, and that’s no bad thing. It’s as big a problem in the UK as it is in the USA. Many of the young people who are saddled with such huge ongoing debts are jealous and angry of their parents and grandparents who went to university, if they were lucky enough to gain a place back then, and paid little or nothing toward their education.

    Some opportunistic politicians are now offering to sweep away those fees in exchange for votes, though few of them choose to say how they will pay for that, but no one is surprised that many kids quite like the idea.

    Needless to say, the four rebels come up with some interesting ideas as to how they will deal with their personal debt mountain, and therein lies the main story of this book. I’ll say no more about that here, but it keeps the plot going and the reader relatively happy.

    If you like and enjoy John Grisham books you will no doubt enjoy this one too. As always, it’s easy to get into, and easy to read. Is it one of Mr Grisham’s best works? No, it isn’t, but it isn’t one of his worst ones either.

    It seems to me that John Grisham could write a book like this in his sleep, maybe he did, always assuming that he did write it himself, and I have no reason to suspect otherwise, but with so many blockbusting writers establishing mini and not so mini publishing empires around themselves through adopting cooperative writing programs with other lesser known writers, one can never be so sure these days.

    Either way, it would seem that Mr Grisham likes the idea of being the most successful fiction writer on the planet, and shows no sign of slowing down. This is his thirty-eighth book and there is no reason to suspect it might be his last. He will be missed when he stops, that’s for sure, though he wouldn’t be the first writer to keep the juggernaut motoring on long after he’d conked out.

    Did I enjoy it? Yes. Will I buy his next one? Probably. At the end of the day, I admire the man, and I make no bones about that. Successful hardworking writers deserve all the kudos they get.       


    And here's some video of the man himself talking about this book.





    Yes, the blessed CONTACT ME form has not been working, nor has the response form at the foot of blog posts.

    This was caused by some kind of SPAM filter blocking posts, and NOT my SPAM filter. It has now been corrected.

    Don't you just love computers sometimes!!! They can drive us mad.

    My sincere apologies if you sent a recent message and did not receive a response.

    Please send your message through to me again and I will respond immediately.


    Best wishes,

    David Carter





    There is about as much chance that Jamie Vardy wrote this book as Leicester City have of ever winning the Premier League – Oops – Tee hee! Mud on the face - again!

    Actually, we know he was rubbish at school because the book tells us that very same thing several times, his only good subject being maths, skills honed calculating Darts check-outs.

    Everyone knows that sports stars and celebrities often get someone else to write their “story” and that was done here. You can see that in the title “With” Stuart James, it says, so we know who did the bulk of the writing.

    And well written it is too. The book cracks along at a great pace, and what’s more it is an incredible story. As a kid he was told he was too small to make it as a pro, that happens to many of us, yours truly included, but somehow Jamie Vardy still did make it, and via an extraordinary route at that, through Stockbridge Steel, to Halifax, Fleetwood and ultimately, the aforementioned Leicester, and not forgetting England too. You have to give him huge credit for that. So if you are among the vast ranks of the rejected and dejected you can take great comfort from this book.

    There were one or two things I did not like. Firstly, the reliance on bad language, and then some, it’s everywhere, and call me old fashioned but would you really want your ten year old boy, or girl come to that, to read and repeat such things. Okay, the guy isn’t going to say to refs: “Oh bother, jolly hockey sticks”, but there will be people out there who won’t like it here.

    Secondly, it is truly amazing how much alcohol is still taken among the football fraternity. I rather thought that had to some extent gone out of the game after Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson clamped down on it, but the wonder of it is that the players were ever fit and able to play for Leicester City, never mind capable of bashing up allcomers, not literally, you understand. Mister Vardy hinted toward the end of the book that he had seriously cut back on his consumption, and surely that was for the better.

    But leaving those two gripes aside this is a truly engaging tale. A fairytale even, and one that even had Hollywood sniffing round with the idea of making a movie of his life story. That couldn’t possibly happen too, could it? Talk of that has gone a bit quiet lately, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

    The book ends with the Premier League win, which is somewhat disappointing for I’m sure the readers would love to hear his side of the story about what happened the following season when the club slumped and the unfortunate Claudio Ranieri was sacked. Maybe there will be a follow up second book with yet more revelations; I’d certainly buy it. 

    The book is easy to read, keeps the reader interested all the way through, and gives an insight into Jamie’s quite complicated life. If you like sports biogs do give this one a twirl. And if I was still playing football today, (chance would be a fine thing!) would I want Jamie Vardy on my side?

    Course I would. He’d be first pick! Absolutely. Though we might have a scrap over who takes the peno’s.    





    Thinking back to bonfire night 1991 I think everyone who had any interest in commerce knew that Robert Maxwell’s businesses were in trouble. It was an open secret. So when I heard he had gone missing from his yacht when I was driving home from Chester that evening I won’t have been alone in wondering if he fell or if he jumped. This book, "The Assassination of Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy", goes a lot further than that, by adding a third option into the equation. Could he have been murdered and thrown off, as it is suggested here. And who would have done such a thing?

    The man had enemies under every stone, and mighty powerful ones at that. During his life he had worked for more than one intelligence agency, and had quite likely annoyed them beyond belief, and several others too.

    FBI, CIA, MOSSAD, MI5, MI6 and the KGB were all interested in him, and in a big way. This book suggests that he was trying to squeeze money out of anyone who would listen, and that would be no surprise, even including intelligence agencies, to prop up his ailing empire, and was murdered because some people simply didn’t want to pay up.

    Whatever you think of the idea, it’s a well-written book (by Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon) and there is a lot here too, 448 pages and small print too, to cram in more detail. I found most of the info here easily enough on the Internet, though whether those people got it from this book, or the other way around, is a moot point.

    And that brings me to the proofreading, which surely could have been done better, lots of typos and misspellings, and indeed if an indie book was put out in the same manner people would jump on it and moan and groan about indie books letting themselves down again.

    Was I convinced by the premise about Robert Maxwell’s assassination? Not entirely, would be the clear answer to that. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did, and I would say that anyone who has an interest in the way corporate business was or is done would find this of interest too, and if you happen to have an interest in newspaper publishing, or security services, or even WWII, then I am sure there would be something here to keep you glued too.

    In places this book reads like a novel, a glossy thriller maybe, though whether the proposed outcome for the ill-fated Mister Maxwell was fact or fiction I would suggest that no one really knows. In any event, I will leave you to decide.   

    When I last looked this book could be bought for one pence; I kid you not, plus p&p, and that is a good deal in anyone’s language, especially as it was originally published at £18.95. Give it a try.