Books are an integral part of many
business and leisure trips, and now that more than a few of us have an e-reader such
as the Kindle,
we can travel with as many books as we like, without worrying about the
has also opened our world to an entire army of new authors, people
we may never have stumbled across previously. But whether the
decision be based on more attractive pricing compared to the
regular authors we read, or simply the great reviews you get on
amazon.co.uk and such like, these new authors are proving
themselves to be more than capable than the famous names that used
to adorn our bookshelves.
of the books below are serious books, others comedy, some fiction
and non-fiction. Whatever your preference, all (especially the
newer reviews - those at the top) can be purchased online.
you have any suggestions on books that you have read and would
like us to review, please
And then I read Conrad
Jones's books. Had never heard of him previously, and
started with The Child Taker and Slow Burn before reading the
entire Detective Alec Ramsay series and then moving straight on to
his Hunting Angels Diaries. He is another of these new authors
that you would not normally get to read as an expat living
overseas, but thanks to Kindle we have access and how grateful I
am that we do. His kindle books are not the cheapest, and his set
collections don't seem to save you much money either, but once you
have read a few of his books you can expect to be addicted. His
books are violent in places, and cover some rather gruesome but
real issues, but they are excellent reads. And ironically, as this
is a travel news wesbite, if it were not for Conrad Jones I doubt
I would be planning to visit Barmouth in Wales on my next visit to
England! Google it, the beach looks amazing!
If you have enjoyed Lee Child's Jack Reacher
series then you are almost guaranteed to love the John
Milton series by Mark Dawson, especially if you are British. Do
read all the books in the series in order, so as you fully
understand the characters and storyline. Personally, I
find the John Milton series far more realistic and enjoyable to
read than Lee Child's Jack Reacher. Mark Dawson's work has so
impressed, me that after finishing the entire John Milton series
(one book after another), I immediately read all his books in the Soho Noir series, and am now
reading the Beatrix Rose books. Until recently, I had not even
heard of Mark
Dawson, but now I am totally addicted to his work.
Ed James. His Scotland-based Scott Cullen series
of crime thrillers / police procedurals are excellent. Not only
are they a great read, but you will also find yourself learning a
little Scottish as well! For example, "Back of
three" does not mean just before 3 o'clock as you may assume, it
actually means just gone 3 o'clock, such as ten past or the like.
Do read the books in order, as while it is not absolutely
necessary, that is how you will get the best out of them.
Definitely an author to watch as once you have read the first I
would be very surprised if you don't read them all!
Oliver Tidy. At the end of
book Oliver writes, "Not being a professional in any respect of
the book creation business...". Well, I heartily disagree. After reading his first book
- Rope Enough, I could not stop
myself from devouring all of the Romney and Marsh
series. Having finished them, I went on to read the three books in
the fast-paced Acer Samson series, which I really hope there are
more of. Unfortunately though, I did not enjoy his third series at
all. The two books in the Booker & Cash Series, Bad Sons and
He Made Me, are extremely slow compared to the Acer Samson series,
and not written in the same way. While bits were OK, it is
almost as if Oliver was trying too hard with those two books, and
completely lost the speed and action of his previous two series. I have every confidence
that Oliver could become one of the top crime/thriller writers in
England, I just hope that future series are more like the first
two than the third one.
Free Country: A
Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain by George Mahood. I
absolutely loved this fun journey of two young men cycling from
one end of the country to the other - LEJOG (Land's End to John
O'Groats) as it is known - without spending a single penny. And
with over 780 five stars on amazon.co.uk and over 155 four stars,
it is obviously a big hit with many others too. You do not need to
be into cycling to enjoy this book, just the sense of humour,
generousity encountered and spirit of adventure make it a very
worthwhile read. I liked it so much, I immediately bought his next
book, Every Day is a Holiday, but I could not really get into it
in the same way. I will try again, but it definitely did not have
the same impact that his book about his LEJOG journey did.
Stephen Edger -
Remember his name, because he is an immense talent when it comes
to writing books that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and
will be responsible for more than a few sleepless nights when you
just cannot put the book down. Started with Trespass - which at
the time of writing is a free book on Amazon Kindle, and just
finished the amazing book Integration. The latter was so good that
instead of moving on to the next author I just had to order the
next in the series, Redemption. Terrific. Will soon be reading his
latest book, Snatched.
Simon Toyne - Absolutely loved his three books -
Sanctus, The Key and The Tower (to be read in that order). You
will find yourself googling parts of the stories to discover
whether they are truly fictional or not! Best religious thriller I
have read since the first Dan Brown books came out.
The David Raker Collection (Books 1-4) - by Tim
Weaver. Tim Weaver is an author to keep a very close eye on.
He has the story-writing ability to be one of the very best. His
books are not the cheapest on the Kindle, though the trilogy of the
first three David Raker books does help you to save a little of
earned money, so get that rather than buy them individually. The books are terrific with
all the twists and turns, and
solid characters you want from a thriller. Having said that, there is one
particular moment towards the end of the second book when you will be
tempted to try and reach out of the pages and slap the author, but thankfully
he (and David Raker) seems to have learned from his mistake quite early on in the
third book. Don't let that put you off though, these books are of the highest
quality and are some of the
best I have read in a long time. Already looking forward to the
fifth book in the series for more from Tim
Soldier I - The Story of an SAS Hero - by
Michael Kennedy and Pete Winner. If you are interested in Special
Forces, and in particular the SAS then this is a terrific book,
one of the best I have ever read. It even gives you detailed
insights into SAS selection. This book is non-fiction and details
historical events such as the Battle of Murbat, the Iranian
Embassy siege in London and much, much more. Very interesting and
Sniper / Gunnery
Sergeant Kyle Swanson Series by
Gunnery Sergeant Jack Coughlin (and at times Donald A. Davis). At
the time of writing this mini-review there are six books in the
highly entertaining series, with the seventh expected some time in
H1 2014. At first, the books were released and promoted as the
Sniper Series and it was a little confusing what happened to books
1 and 4. It now seems that this has changed slightly to the
Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Swanson Series. As there are a few
references to past events featured in earlier books, I would
recommend you to read them in the correct order: Kill Zone (1), Dead
Shot (2), Clean Kill (3), Act of Treason (4), Running the Maze (5)
and the sixth book - Time to Kill. If you enjoy special ops action
books then you will most likely love these. They are very
enjoyable, informative and easy to read and we are already looking forward
to next books in the series.
Stephen Leather -
Has Stephen ever written a bad book?! If he has, we have not yet
come across it. Stephen is one of our favourite authors, and over
the years just seems to get better, and better. He has fully
embraced the digital age, and now not only publishes his regular
full length books, but also often comes out with short stories
that cost just £0.77. Private Dancer should be a must read for any
single guy planning to visit Thailand for the first time, and the
rest of his books - while of a completely different topic - are
all just as entertaining.
- we are very big fans of most of Michael Connelly's books. The
kindle version of his books can be expensive though, so watch out
for promotions or read something else until the one you wants
The Big Mango, The
Ambassador's Wife, Laundry Man and a World of Trouble ALL by Jake
Needham - As far as we know, Jake has only written two
books we have not yet read - The Umbrella Man and Killing Plato -
and they are very much on our "to do" list. It is always enjoyable
to read an author that not only has a skill for writing, but also
has a true knowledge and understanding of the cities you know and
love so much. Jake knows his stuff when it comes to Thailand,
Singapore and to some extent Hong Kong. If those cities interest
you, and you are looking for a thriller / detective story based in
this part of the world then look no further. Jake Needham's books
are always an enjoyable and informative read, with an often quite
daring take on things to spice up the story a little.
Gray (Gray Justice, Gray Resurrection, Gray Redemption) by Alan
McDermott - Three excellent books, and if you buy the
trilogy you can (at press time) save yourself £0.80 off buying all
three separately. You will enjoy these books if you enjoy a little
espionage, terrorism and of course some action from the SAS! While it is pretty easy to guess what is
going to happen the first book, Gray Justice, it is still an
enjoyable read with a good couple of unexpected twists, to help
keep you entertained. Books two (Gray Resurrection) and three
(Gray Redemption) are even better. It would be nice to see the
Gray series continue even further than these three books.
Life, A Very Unchristian Retreat, It's All About Danny,
Looking Bloody Good Old Boy, The Wildest Week of Daisy Wyler AND
The Hedonist's Apprentice, ALL by Giles Curtis - If you
enjoy English humour at its best, want a book that will crack you
up and make you desperate for the next to come out, then you really
should read these six books by Giles Curtis (the sixth is
mentioned at the bottom of this brief review). All the books,
except for Second Life, are connected in some small way, and it does help if you read
them in order. Start with A Very Unchristian Retreat then read
It's All About Danny before reading Looking Bloody Good, Old Boy,
The Wildest Week of Daisy Wyler.
Having said that, it would not matter if you did read them in a different order, but
there are some little jokes you will miss out on if you do. I
cannot recommend these books highly enough, and my only surprise
is that they do not have more stars and positive reviews on Amazon. I had
never heard of Giles Curtis up until recently, now I can't wait
for him to release a new book! Released in May 2014, The Badger and Blondie's Beaver,
terrific, fun read. The author actually told us that some of the
characters from his previous books make appearances, but to be
honest it was difficult to spot as there was quite a a lot of time
before the latest was released, and many other books read
in-between time. His latest book to come out (July 2015), The
Hedonist's Apprentice, is another fun read. Great fun.
Barmy Army, The Crew, Top Dog, Billy's
Log, and Wings of
a Sparrow ALL by Dougie Brimson - I first started reading Dougie Brimson to learn more about football hooliganism in
England. Started on Barmy Army before moving to The Crew and then
Top Dog. The more I read Dougie Brimson's books the more I like
them. Granted in Wings of a Sparrow there is a ton of spelling
and grammatical errors, especially in the second half, but the storyline was fun and
fascinating, as was Top Dog, The Crew, Barmy Army and even the
diary style Billy's Log. Most
definitely aimed at a male audience, especially those that enjoy football, these
books are well thought out and very entertaining to read. I look
forward to reading more from Dougie Brimson.
Bite: The most gripping thriller you will ever read by Nick Louth.
No, it's not. Could not even get half way, and won't be trying to
go any farther.
Blowback by Michael Forwell with Lee
Bullman - Another drug smuggling-related book! This one
focuses on huge quantities of marijuana and takes place primarily
in Thailand and Singapore. The book is extremely entertaining and
hard to put down. It is quite mind blowing just how these guys
made their living, and avoided capture in doing so. It is much
more than just a book about smuggling, Blowback has heart and as
such is a moving story.
Life and Laughing: My Story by Michael
McIntyre - Today Michael McIntyre is one of the most famous
and successful stand up comedians in the world. But how did he get
there, what challenges and obstacles did he overcome? This book is
not only an excellent insight into the lives of one of the most
popular entertainers on the planet, but this rivals any
self-motivational business book you have ever read. An amazing
story, an amazing journey and most of all an amazing man and book.
Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian
VisitScotland should buy Ian Rankin a nice bottle of good
single malt, or two, because every time I read one of the
Detective Rebus books it makes me want to visit the glorious
country of Scotland! I have read most of Ian Rankin's work, and
admire him greatly as an author, despite charging too much for the
electronic version of his new books. This latest book in the
Detective Rebus series will not disappoint, although to be honest
I did find the ending a little soft and not quite what I had
expected. Still, Ian Rankin is one of the best authors around and
if you can buy the kindle version of his books at a price you are
comfortable with then even better!
Blood, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls
- You probably know of Bear from the TV hit series Wild Man, and
if those programs impressed you then you will love his book. It
does take a little while to get going, but once it does then you
learn what motivates Bear, and how he has accomplished many of the
amazing things he has. Not only an enjoyable book to read but also
a great motivational book as well. Highly recommended.
Marching Powder by Rusty Young -
This is the real-life account of Thomas McFadden, a black
Englishman and cocaine trafficker, who was caught in Bolivia
trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country. The book
concentrates on the weird, yet intriguing, way life works at San
Pedro prison in the heart of La Paz. The prison, which at one
stage allowed tourists to visit and even stay over night, made it
into Lonely Planet as one of the most bizarre tourist destinations
in the world. A very interesting, entertaining, and eye-opening
Snowing in Bali by Kathryn Bonella
- Bali is one of the top tourist destinations in the world,
millions flock there to enjoy the sun, sand and surf, or just to
unwind in luxurious villas spread out among the rice paddies, or
nestled up against a favourite beach. This book opens your eyes to
an entirely new Bali, a world that many know little, or nothing,
about. A fascinating read into the life of drug traffickers that
made Bali their home, selling narcotics to make themselves rich
despite knowing full well the dangers and risks they were taking.
Hotel K by Kathryn Bonella - This
book is an amazing insight into life as a prisoner of Kerobokan
Jail, Bali's notorious prison. You will learn how the prison
works, and how all those prisoners cope - or don't - with the
situation they find themselves in. Kerobokan Jail is home to
nationalities from around the world, including many that have made
headlines around the world.
Much OLDER Book Reviews
The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity by
Daniel Reid - An absolute must have for anyone interested
in health, losing weight, and living life to the most. A book,
which if read with an open mind, can open a thousand or more
doors which can help lead you in a happier and healthier life.
Uri Geller Magician or Mystic - by
Jonathan Margolis - Uri Geller is regarded by some as the
most talented magician to have ever lived, by others not as a
magician at all but as a human with very unusual paranormal mystic
powers and by others as a fraud allowing people to believe one
thing while using trickery. This book excellently written by J.
Margolis investigates Uri Geller's entire life and offers us an
intriguing insight into this amazing mans life and powers.
Excellent read if you are interested in magic and or paranormal
Hardship Posting Volume 2 - by Stuart
Lloyd - This, the second volume of the popular Hardship
posting reviewed below, starts off on a negative note, with the
author informing us, that no, for love, nor money we cannot have
the telephone numbers of the two girls on the front. Very
disappointing and something they should improve on in volume 3.
Having said that the book is an excellent read full of stories
from present or past expats and their funny experiences within
Asia. Some of the stories make you want to hit that particular
author over the head with a very heavy hammer but the majority
will make you laugh with an understanding of fellow expats. As you
can not buy this from Amazon please go to your local bookshop. By
the way if you click on the cover you will see a really large
version of the cover open in a new window. At least we know what
you want !!!
The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver - WOW. We can highly recommend
all of Jeffery Deaver's books for anyone interested in good story
lines, and some amazing twists that keep you guessing until the
very end. The Blue Nowhere is no exception but is one of if not
his best. Based on the internet and the frightening ability of
computer wizards this book will leave you quite amazed and you
will never be able to look at your computer in quite the same way.
Pest Control by Bill Fitzhugh - is
not a new book, but is outrageously funny, and a great read for
anyone looking to have a great time between the pages. The story
line is great, and while unbelievable will keep you amused for
hours. Great read if you want a good laugh.
Undercurrents by Frances Fyfield -
What a beautifully written and well molded book. This is the first
Frances Fyfield that we have read but will most definitely not be
the last. The characters are excellently portrayed, the plot
intriguing and with a couple of surprises along the way it is
difficult to put down. The use of the English language also stands
out and Frances Fyfield has done an excellent job using her
extensive language skills to write this magnificent book.
Roses Are Red - by James Patterson
- As with all James Patterson's books this is another superb read.
One of his Alex Cross novels Roses are Red is exciting all the way
through. The end however is an enormous surprise and a bit of a
let down as it is completely unexpected, it also has for some
unknown reason over 100 chapters ! Great buy though.
Losing My Virginity - by Sir Richard
Branson - An incredible read, and a true insight into one
of the greatest British entrepreneurs of all time. Can be a little
too honest in places, but the passion that can be found in the
writing and the real look at the world of business, is
outstanding. We can't wait for the sequel!
Girlfriend 44 - by - Mark Barrowcliffe
- Comedy is a difficult thing to put on paper and even more so
into a book, Mark Barrowcliffe achieved this with side cracking
results. A must read, for anyone, and a unique journey into the
male mind. Excellent.
Mayan Prophecies - by Adrian Gilbert and
Maurice Cotterell - a timeless masterpiece that looks into
the hidden lives and meanings of the Mayan people and culture.
This deep book, will open your eyes to far more than you would
ever imagine possible. Although very heavy in places, the book is
an excellent read. Edgar Cayce on Atlantis - A very interesting,
but short book on the works of Edgar Cayce, a well known American
psychic and his comments on the existence and cross existence of
Atlantis - the hidden continent.
The Tutankhamun Prophecies - by Maurice
Cotterell - Oh boy, this book, similar in style to the
Mayan Prophecies, goes even further into the principles of the
intelligence of the Egyptian people, the sun, the Mayans and into
the tomb of Tuntankhamun. The book is definitely a must buy. As
not only does it dwell into the past, but also brings in factors
that we see in every day life today. We only advise you to buy
this book if you can read it, with an entirely open mind. Amazing.
Hardship Posting - by Stuart Lloyd
- Living in Asia ? Thinking of moving out there ? Have lived life
as an expat ? Yes ! Then read this book, it will crack you up and
make you realise that you are not as demented as you possibly once
believed. Great fun, about the strange lives that expats lead.
The Orion Mystery by Robert Bauval and
Adrian Gilbert - A very complicated book in places that
looks at the star system and how the Egyptians used it thousands
of years ago. Very interesting read.
Culture Shock Thailand - by Robert and
Nanthapa Cooper - from the well known Culture Shock series
of books, this is definitely as very good read if you are planning
to come to Thailand whether it be just for a holiday or to live.
The Empty Chair - by Jeffery Deaver
- what a great read, all of Deaver's books are great and this is
no exception, it keeps turning with mystery, intrigue,
information, and is so captivating you will not want to put it
down. Excellent read as are all JD's books.
The Bombmaker - by Stephen Leather
- Once again, Stephen Leather has managed to turn out a book that
has you turning the pages with great admiration, and excitement,
but leaves you wondering when his next book will come out. This
book talks with a frighteningly good authority on the subject of
bomb making, so let's just hope that all the facts are not too
accurate! The book is great, fun and fast paced although there are
not as many twists and turns as in his other books this is
definitely a great buy.
Pearl - by Frank Delaney - An
excellent book written with a beautiful use of the English
language. Touching on the issues of post world war crime, and
football hooliganism, the book manages to keep you turning the
pages, wanting more. There are sufficient twists and turns to keep
you reading this, without putting it down. Described by the Daily
Telegraph as "something exceptional and utterly gripping".
Private Dancer by Stephen Leather -
One of Stephen Leather's first books, and it became so hugely
popular as a free .pdf download that Stephen eventually published
it properly and started to make some well deserved money from it.
Private Dancer is a must read for any guy visiting Thailand (or
other parts of south east Asia), especially if they are going to
visit some of the more notorious nightlife areas of the
country/region. Extremely well written, highly entertaining and
frighteningly accurate. An absolute cracker.