Good morning everyone! Just two days to go until the weekend-it’s getting closer! Now a few weeks ago I interview the lovely David Menon, and reviewed one of his novels. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing another one of his novels, ‘Gypsy‘. He’s also been kind enough to give us a little piece on why he wrote ‘Gypsy‘. So without further ado, grab your coffee, get settled, and enjoy!
‘ … it was a Wednesday morning and I drove down from my home in Manchester to the peak district town of Matlock to meet up with some old friends from nearby Wirksworth. As I pulled up in the centre of town, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gypsy’ was playing on the car radio and it’s always been one of my favourite Stevie Nicks songs so I waited until it had finished before I went on my way. The song is about going back to when life was simple and somehow easier to manage, so I thought, what if I’d come back to Matlock for the first time in years? What if life had been intolerable back then because of lies and catastrophies that had almost destroyed me and I was coming back to finally put things right? Why had I stayed away so long? Why hadn’t I come back in the intervening years? What if I’d become a great success in my chosen profession but there was still a dark secret waiting to try and destroy me again? I’d been a ‘Gypsy’ and gone all over the world but could I cope with more murder, love, loss, and betrayal? These were all the reasons why I’d left town in the first place. And could I deal with finding out the truth about my own identity whilst tracking down a killer from thirty years ago? … ‘
That’s how it happens to us writers … a favourite song on the radio, a town you’ve always found inspiring, an imagination that takes you into some kind of parallel universe. You know how it is, Miranda. And from all that, the story, plot, and characters of ‘Gypsy’ found their way into my head and there was no way I could ignore their story.
When Danny Holdsworth returns to Matlock, the Derbyshire Peak district town of his birth, after being away for thirty years, his intention is to find the killer of his best friend, Nigel Slater, who was murdered back in 1982, a crime for which Danny was once a suspect but which still remains unsolved. Now a respected international journalist, Danny decides to use his temporary position as editor of the Derbyshire Times to campaign to finally bring Nigel’s killer to justice. But almost as soon as he’s back he runs into his old flame, Caroline, who’s very unhappily married to Danny’s childhood nemesis, Ben Reynolds. Caroline would like to rekindle her romance with Danny but he’s interested in someone else, someone much closer to Caroline than is comfortable for either of them. Ben’s haulage business is in deep trouble and he resorts to desperate measures with shady Russian businessmen to try and save it, risking the lives of himself and his family in the process, until Danny suggests a way out. Against this background, Danny believes he’s getting close to finding Nigel’s killer when he discovers a connection between the crime and his own identity that shocks him to the core and makes him wish he’d never come home. Some secrets should be left buried with the past.
David Menon mentioned to me that this book ‘was his baby’, and I can see why! I am blown away by Mr Menon’s first offering. The characters were definitely my favourite-and being from the North of England, I chuckled a little at his embittered Northern ladies made their way onto the pages, as I’m sure I know a few! All of them were vivid, colourful, and (I felt) true to life, and I the main protagonist really shone through, with both his good and bad. There was also enough drama in this novel to put any soap opera to shame! You all know I don’t give away spoilers in my reviews, but the main character, ‘Gypsy’, does something to one of the female characters and someone close to her that will make you go, “Uh oh!”. The suspense was cleverly weaved in, and crafted so that you were questioning everything all the way until the ending-which was unexpected and I didn’t see coming at all. The story flowed very well, it was fast moving, but nothing was missed and skipped.
That now I’m going to have to read the rest of David Menon’s novels? Seriously, I couldn’t find anything wrong with this novel, and I was impressed that this was his first novel.
This is a wonderful offering, and if you haven’t got a copy yet-go and do it now! The book is a finely tuned detective story, with element of homosexuality, Russian businessmen, vivid Northern women, and the past, all crafted in and delivered in an amazing package. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to devour the story.
I give this book……5/5 Stars!