Hunt for the Blower Bentley by Kevin Gosselin
|Hunt for the Blower Bentley by Kevin Gosselin|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: If you love old cars then you will love this book - and even if you don't it's a darn good story.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: September 2011|
|Publisher: MX Publishing|
Connecticut innkeeper Faston Hanks is obsessive. He's very keen on food but it's cars – and particularly old cars – which drive him. This time he's involved in the search for the only one of the fifty Blower Bentleys made which remains unaccounted for. SM3912 was originally purchased by Lord Brougham and Vaux and ownership can be traced to one D H Sessions, after which the trail goes cold. We know something which Faston doesn't know though – the Bentley came into the hands of Stephan Sidlow, who was high up in the APR during World War II, by less than honest means. But then Sidlow was less than honest about which side he was supporting in the war.
I'm not big on cars. They get me from A to B – and I did wonder if this book was going to be so steeped in vintage cars that it would be like reading a book in a foreign language, but I was surprised at how quickly I picked up the necessary details – and even how many of the vehicles were familiar to me from my childhood. There's a neat blend of fact and fiction with the fiction being all too believable. It's not inconceivable that there was at least one spy working for Germany from within the British Isles or that the Bentley played the part it did. If at times there are a few too many coincidences – then suspend disbelief. It's a darn good story.
What's all too believable is another strand to the story. Whilst Faston is looking for SM3912 someone else is satisfying the demand by building a replica which can be passed off as the real thing. The detail here is amazing – and rather worrying. It made me wonder just how may fakes there are – of whatever – which remain undetected until the real thing turns up. If it ever does, that is. It's a race to find that real SM3912 which had me holding my breath. You'll warm to the characters: there's something compelling about Faston Hanks which made you want him to win through and his geriatric sidekick, Charles Ivory, didn't annoy me as much as I expected. It was good too to see a strong woman in Faston's wife Caprice – particularly when she proved herself brighter than the men.
My reservation about the book is that I was constantly pulled out of the story by typos and grammatical mistakes. A good editor would have added a half star to this book.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Busy Monsters by William Giraldi.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hunt for the Blower Bentley by Kevin Gosselin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Hunt for the Blower Bentley by Kevin Gosselin at Amazon.com.
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