I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Englishman by David Gilman, published today by Head of Zeus. Thanks to Amber at Midas PR for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Head of Zeus for my review copy. You can read my review below.
About the Book
A clandestine war on the desert border of Mali and Algeria; murder and kidnap on the suburban streets of West London; a Moscow CID police inspector investigating the assassination of four of her fellow officers by the Russian mafia; a young MI6 officer facing the possibility that a long-running operation has been fatally compromised: connecting them all is the Englishman – Dan Raglan, outsider, exile, one-time member of the French Foreign Legion, fully trained killer.
Raglan’s quest for answers will become a quest for vengeance. It will lead him to the winter-ravaged wasteland of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast and Penal Colony #74, a place that holds Russia’s most brutal murderers. A place of death and retribution.
How will he get in? More importantly, how will he get out?
Format: Hardcover (480 pages) Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 9th July 2020 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller
Find The Englishman (Raglan Book 1) on Goodreads
I was first introduced to the books of David Gilman when I read Masters of War the first in the series of the same name set in the 14th century and featuring the adventures of archer Thomas Blackstone. The author took a break from that series to write Night Flight to Paris, set in WW2 occupied France, a book I absolutely loved. In The Englishman, he moves from historical fiction into the world of the contemporary thriller and what an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride it is.
The book’s protagonist, Dan Raglan – the Englishman of the title – is a bit of a man of mystery. Although taken in by a couple when he was orphaned, his real ‘family’ are his former comrades in the French Foreign Legion. Although a trained killer and a loner by nature, he’s not the cold figure you might expect. The things he’s seen, endured – and done – have left traumatic memories that occasionally rise to the surface; only his incredible willpower keeps the nightmares at bay. Raglan’s own life experiences also mean he has instinctive empathy for those who suffer loss at an early age. Oh, and I’ll confess even this happily married lady got a bit hot under the collar at the thought of Raglan’s lean, muscular physique and other attributes. However, I suspect I would have a formidable rival for his affections.
Moving from a dramatic opening in a remote part of Russia, to Mali in West Africa, to the streets of London and then back to Russia again, The Englishman has everything you would expect – and want – from a contemporary thriller. There are plenty of bone-crunching action scenes, the bad guys are really bad, the plot is satisfyingly intricate and there are twists, turns and surprises aplenty. The author is pretty ruthless when it comes to his characters; don’t expect all of them to make it to the end. In the first part of the book especially, the author makes good use of his own military experience in detailed descriptions of equipment, weaponry and tactics.
If you’re looking for a compelling, well-told story incorporating topical issues such as international terrorism, money laundering, covert military operations and state-sponsored organized crime, then The Englishman is the book for you. All that’s missing for it to be a complete picture of the world we’re living in now is a global pandemic but perhaps Raglan will be called on to grapple with that in a future book.
The Englishman promises to be the start of a terrific new series and I for one can’t wait to see what Raglan gets up to next.
In three words: Gripping, action-packed, pacy
Try something similar: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
About the Author
David Gilman is an award-winning author and screenwriter. David enjoyed many careers – including firefighter, paratrooper and photographer – before turning to writing full time in 1986. He has written many radio and television scripts including several years of A Touch of Frost. In 2007 his Danger Zone trilogy for YA was sold in 15 countries.