The Englishman by David Gilman #BookReview @HoZ_Books @amberachoudhary

EcD3Ae0XYAApocBI’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.


9781838931391About 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

Purchase links*
Amazon UK | Hive (supporting UK bookshops)
*links provided for convenience not as part of an affiliate programme


My Review

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

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DAVIDAbout 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.

Connect with David
Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Englishman Blog Tour Banner

 

#WWWWednesday – 8th July 2020

WWWWednesdays

Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Why not join in too?  Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!


Currently reading

A book for a blog tour and a book from my TBR pile 

WaltScott_The HorsemanThe Horseman (West Country Trilogy #1) by Tim Pears (ebook)

Somerset, 1911. The forces of war are building across Europe, but this pocket of England, where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land, remains untouched.

Albert Sercombe is a farmer on Lord Prideaux’s estate and his eldest son, Sid, is underkeeper to the head gamekeeper. His son, Leo, a talented rider, grows up alongside the master’s spirited daughter, Charlotte–a girl who shoots and rides, much to the surprise of the locals.

In beautiful, pastoral writing, The Horseman tells the story of a family, a community, and the landscape they come from.

Rags of Time Final CoverRags of Time by Michael Ward (ebook, courtesy of the author)

London, 1639. Spice merchant Thomas Tallant returns from India to find his city in turmoil – overcrowded, ravaged by crime and seething with sedition. A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament as England slides into civil war.

A wealthy merchant is savagely killed; then his partner plunges to his death in the Tallant household. Suspicion falls on Tom, who soon finds himself being sucked into London’s turbulence. As he struggles to clear his name, he becomes entranced by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables. Can her brilliance untangle the web of deceit that threatens to drag Tom under?

A thrilling murder mystery set in the murky streets of Stuart London, Rags of Time is an intriguing tale of murder, suspicion and the search for enlightenment that will keep you guessing until the final dramatic scene.


Recently finished

Links from the title will take you to my review or the book’s entry on Goodreads

EXu9kKLWAAMtUAnA Quiet Death in Italy by Tom Benjamin (ebook, courtesy of Constable and Rachel’s Random Resources)

Bologna: city of secrets, suspicion . . . and murder.

When the body of a radical protestor is found floating in one of Bologna’s underground canals, it seems that most of the city is ready to blame the usual suspects: the police.

But when private investigator Daniel Leicester, son-in-law to a former chief of police, receives a call from the dead man’s lover, he follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day political establishment.

Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and English detective Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption – before he is caught in it himself.

9781838931391The Englishman (Raglan #1) by David Gilman (proof copy, courtesy of Head of Zeus)

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? (Review to follow 9th July for blog tour)

61fg+BR7jTL._SX342_The Time Machine by H G Wells (audiobook)

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture – now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. But they have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity – the sinister Morlocks.

And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era. (Review to follow)


What Cathy (will) Read Next

Paris SavagesParis Savages by Katherine Johnson (eARC, courtesy of Allison & Busby)

Fraser Island, 1882. The population of the Badtjala people is in sharp decline following a run of brutal massacres. When German scientist Louis Muller offers to sail three Badtjala people – Bonny, Jurano and Dorondera – to Europe to perform to huge crowds, the proud and headstrong Bonny agrees, hoping to bring his people’s plight to the Queen of England.

Accompanied by Muller’s bright, grieving daughter, Hilda, the group begins their journey to belle-epoque Europe to perform in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and eventually London. While crowds in Europe are enthusiastic to see the unique dances, singing, fights and pole climbing from the oldest culture in the world, the attention is relentless, and the fascination of scientists intrusive. When disaster strikes, Bonny must find a way to return home.