Archive for the Books Category

Book review – Let The Good Times Roll: My Life in Small Faces, Faces and The Who by Kenney Jones

Posted in Authors, Books, Pop rock, rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Blink Publishing [Publication date 31.05.18]

Drummer Kenney Jones has penned an entertaining memoir, that covers his time in the Small Faces right up to the present with the Jones Gang, a collection of seasoned musicians who do the occasional gig, often for charity. He has a light touch, only really getting serious when discussing his two brushes with cancer and how important it is for men to get checked for possible prostrate cancer.

As the sole surviving member of the Small Faces he continues his lifelong quest to get the rights back to their songs, as like many bands back in the day they made great music but were very naive on the business side of things and often got royally screwed by managers and record labels.

The Small Faces parts of the book will be of interest to their fans, although the Faces period is run through quite quickly. The chapter where he deals with the passing of his band mates is sobering, especially as he remained very close to Ronnie Lane after the Small Faces/Faces disbanded. Keeping it in the musical family Kenney Jones has taken Steve Marriott’s daughter Mollie under his wing and she is now making a name for herself in the musical world.

Of his days in the Who he mentions the ongoing issues with Roger Daltrey, which eventually led to him leaving the band. The main problem seemed to be he was replacing the irreplaceable in Keith Moon.

Also a brief mention about the Law, the one-off album he recorded with Paul Rodgers (an album well worth tracking down).

Outside of music his passion for horses and polo gets a mention. He runs his own polo club in Surrey, which has been used by Prince Charles in the past, although in-keeping with his east End of London upbringing the polo club is all inclusive and encourages people of all ages and walks of life to give it a go.

An enjoyable read as Kenney Jones gives an insight into the world of rock ‘n’ roll from the view of the drum stool. It doesn’t dish the dirt, but then he has no real axe to grind bar getting the rights back to the Small Faces music.

 

 

Book review – Scoundrels by Major Victor Cornwall and Major St. John Trevelyan

Posted in Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Scoundrels

Farrago [Publication date 01.07.18]

Hits you like a battering ram, ‘Scoundrels’ is NOT for the feint hearted or the PC brigade. It is like classic Tom Sharpe meets Monty Python, with a dash of Fifty Shades.

Based on the memoirs of two retired majors they recall their initiation into the Scoundrels club. A club which carries out missions others would baulk at and these missions lead the two majors to gate crash Hitler’s birthday celebrations, go undercover to catch a spy and try to conquer Everest.

Like any good boy’s own adventure, they have an arch-nemesis, Hansclapp, who keeps popping up causing mayhem for the pair throughout the book.

You will either love this book, which has some genuinely laugh out loud moments, coupled with parts that leave you a tad off colour, or you will be repulsed and email a complaint to the publishers forthwith. Quite unlike anything I have read in many a year and I think that’s a good thing?!

Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , , on September 18, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Sadly Philip Kerr died earlier this year, so there is more than a tinge of sadness when reading the latest Bernie Gunther novel. The only silver lining is that Kerr wrote one more Bernie Gunther novel, ‘Metropolis’, before his death and this is due to be published next year.

In this novel we find Bernie Gunther under an assumed name and now working in insurance, which on the face of it seems relatively risk free until he is sent to Greece to investigate a shipwreck claim. It is once he is here that his past starts to catch up with him again, as he works with a local insurance claims investigator to unravel the events surrounding the shipwreck which include Nazi gold and a nemesis from his past.

The Bernie Gunther novels are enjoyable as Bernie has a bleak outlook on life and indeed the book is littered with one liners that see Bernie either be sarcastic about himself or others. Very much in the classic Raymond Chandler mode.

Highly recommended and the whole series is worth reading, although they are fine as stand alone reads. It is Kerr’s attention to detail and getting the historical facts and characters in the book, that make these such a rewarding read.

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Book review: Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , , , , , , on August 18, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Michael Jospeh (Published 09.08.18)

The book blurb says…
After what happened in London, Kirsty needs a fresh start with her family. And running a guesthouse in the Welsh mountains sounds idyllic. But then their first guest arrives. Selena is the last person Kirsty wants to see. It’s seventeen years since she tore everything apart.

Why has she chosen now to walk back into Kirsty’s life? Is Selena running from something too? Or is there an even darker reason for her visit?

Because Kirsty knows that once you invite trouble into your home, it can be murder getting rid of it . . .

The trick with is book is it is part thriller, crime and a touch of the supernatural all melded into a highly readable book. You certainly empathise with the main character Kirsty who is helping her husband recover from a breakdown and raising a young family.

The book opens on the day of her seeing her monther with blood  on her hands… The plot then goes back in time before this day and you get various characters coming into play. Although a crime has been committed it is not a police procedural, more an edge of your seat psychological thriller.

Although when reading the book you do wonder how one family could have so many skeletons in the closet, it is all believable. Claire Douglas should certainly be on your reading list.

The Chosen Ones by Howard Linskey

Posted in Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Michael Joseph [Published 14.06.18]

A new name to me, Howard Linskey sets his novels in the north east and they feature Detective Ian Bradshaw. ‘The Chosen Ones’ starts with the thoughts of a kidnapped girl and the book slowly unveils how she got there and that she was not the first.

Set in the 1990’s, although parts of the book flashback to the early 70’s, Howard Linskey has a deft writing style and soon draws the reader into the book. It is a page turner with plenty of shocks along the way and Ian Bradshaw uses two journalists to help him on the case, which of course brings its own problems as the press and the police are not natural allies.

Very impressive and a book where you keep wanting to read just that little bit pore to see how the story progresses. Howard Linskey is now added to my ‘must read’ list of crime writers.

Book review: All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley, News with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Hodder & Stoughton [Publication date 09.08.18]

The blurb on this book certainly tweaks your interest –

“This is a fact: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed thirteen women, then himself. But no one can say why. The question is one that cries out to be answered – by Ryan’s mother, Moira; by Ishbel, the mother of Abigail, the first victim; and by DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on her first day at her new job. But as the tabloids and the media swarm, as the families’ secrets come out, as the world searches for someone to blame… the truth seems to vanish.”

The author, poet Claire Askew was the subject of four way bid for this book, part of a two book deal with Hodder, and it is easy to see why as this is one of the best crime debuts I have read in a good while.

Askew tells the story from the three main characters and she delves into each character’s emotions and how they are reacting to events unfolding around them. It is a classic page turner which although you know the outcome and there is no culprit to find, the book raises lots of questions about the shooting and how it affects the victims’ families and that of the shooter in the aftermath. The other key character a member of the press who will try anything to get a story and he is a certainly a character you will love to hate!

Highly recommended read, not just for fans of crime writing but anyone who enjoys a good read that makes you think after reading it.

Book review: THE GUILTY DEAD by P.J. TRACY

Posted in Authors, Books, Netgalley with tags , , , , , on June 27, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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Michael Joseph [Publication date 23.08.18]

Book number 9 in the Twin Cities series and the blurb on this one says…

“Gregory Norwood, wealthy businessman and close friend of Minnesota’s leading candidate for Governor, is found dead on the first anniversary of his son’s drug overdose. It seems clear to Detectives Gino and Magozzi that grief drove him to suicide.

Until they realise the left-handed man seems to have used his right hand to pull the trigger.”

It is very fast paced like previous books in the series, although this one sees a little less of the Monkeewrench crew in the story. It starts off as what appears to be a suicide, which quickly escalates into a murder enquiry and then add in a domestic terror plot and it all starts spiralling in terms of action and plot. Perhaps not the best book in the series as some of the plot you could second guess, still enjoyable and one of the better US crime writers currently out there.

The P.J. Tracy series of books are highly readable and perfect for lovers of page turners from the likes of Harlan Coben.