Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An outstanding new novel by an outstanding writer

Nigel Lampard is a very good writer, and Pooh Bridge is a very, very good book. Billed as a murder mystery, it is also much more than that: it is a story of love lost, love born and intrigue that takes place in England, Germany, Brunei and back to England. In its richness it reminds me of some of the best of John le Carré and Hakan Nesser. I expect to see a lot more from Nigel Lampard; he is really that good.

And now about the book. Marine engineer Richard Blythe has recently lost his wife to cancer. Grief-stricken, he quits his job, sends his teenaged twins Isabelle (Bella) and David off to their boarding school, has his wife’s parents look after his house, and sets off trekking through Derbyshire’s woods to grieve his tremendous loss and recover a sense of who he is and what he wants to do with his life.

Other than being a loving father, Richard Blythe is lost. And then he stumbles over the body of a young Asian woman in the underbrush and it gets interesting. “She was lying in the undergrowth, just off a well-trodden track. If I hadn’t decided to walk that particular track, in that particular wood, I would never have found her.”

Life sometimes has a way of doubling-down on troubles. The police, of course, have suspicions. And from there the story gets very interesting.

“Pooh Bridge” is a book with a cast of characters that I won’t soon forget. I look forward to the next from Nigel Lampard. He has written thirteen novels, so I don’t expect it will be too long before the next one appears. This one is slated to become an easy best-seller. Available in paperback and Kindle.

Rating – a ***** read

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