The Ad Man by Timothy Dickinson

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The Ad Man by Timothy Dickinson

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ani Johnson
Reviewed by Ani Johnson
Summary: A novel about an ad man, by an ad man showing a more dangerous, seamier side of the job than school career talks would. The hero may be a mite self-centred, verging on the misogynistic but that never did James Bond any harm!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 404 Date: August 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouseUK
ISBN: 978-1524634629

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Tim Collinwood is single and so, working in Morocco as an advertising creative, he's free to enjoy all his host country has to offer: the expense accounts, the opulence and the women. Then it happens. He gets the contract of his life. He just needs to create a PR campaign that will reassure Morocco that French business has her best interests at heart. The truth may be otherwise but creating the façade is what advertising is about. Perhaps Tim should have noticed that there are clues from the beginning as to how shady this job is, including needing to work under an assumed identity. However, the secrecy becomes a side issue as something more important takes Tim's concentration: survival for him and those around him.

Debut author Timothy Dickinson decided to follow the adage that writers should write of what they know for The Ad Man. He's followed a similar career path to Tim Collinwood but hopefully with less latent peril attached. Indeed there's a lot more at stake for the fictional Tim than the massive payday and reputation shove he first assumes. Death is definitely on the agenda with a body count to match.

Collinwood may be an ordinary man outside his comfort zone but, let's face it, he's not a nice bloke. He beds females with the slightest inclination (and there are many in the novel with more of an inclination - more on that later). He's selfish, self-serving, totally unengaging, discards women according to their horizontal innovation and yet, once the story gets into its stride, he hooks us completely.

Tim comes out of this as an accidental James Bond, trying to circumnavigate danger as he realises that not all was revealed during the job interview. Even employing the wonderful Linah, his Moroccan PA, causes more problems than it solves. Personally I love the enigmatic lass - she's good at her job and yet avoids the bedroom for a very telling reason.

Tim isn't alone in having a darker side; in order to make fictional Tim seem to be a goody, author Timothy has created some baddies in a darker shade of immoral black. A sadomasochistic ambassador, a politician/business man with Machiavellian greed and his sister who pimps on the side all vie for top baddie status. Indeed the Moroccan and French governments and their representatives get a really bad press.

The story makes it clear that the geographical position of Morocco is exploited as much as its people. As overseas businesses come in, they bring a skilled workforce with them, using local people for the menial tasks in a very Victorian colonial way. Morocco is an ex-French colony but the way that it's treated seems to show nothing's changed.

Indeed, whatever is happening in the story, the plight Morocco stands out in sharp relief as Timothy (author) provides a great sense of setting. The lack of job opportunities sadly accounts for fictional Tim's romantic success; this is seen as a locally acceptable way of assisting with income.

This is a good read for those who enjoy eroticism between some edge of the seat chases and thrills. For those who want to avoid it, the good news is that you can. There's plenty of action excitement of other sorts to keep you occupied along with some interesting politics and twists. The horizontal action is well sign posted before it arrives and very easily skipped without any adverse effects on the story's flow.

This is a creditable first in series for the Ad Man; it'll be interesting where his newly discovered street awareness (and indeed, libido) take him next.

(We'd like to thank AuthorHouseUK for providing us with a copy for review.)

Further Reading: If you enjoy a good thriller, we also recommend Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben or Triple Crown by Felix Francis to while away the autumn nights. If you enjoy a bit of an anti-hero, then perhaps it's time to learn more about the original lady-magnet in For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben Macintyre.

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Buy The Ad Man by Timothy Dickinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Ad Man by Timothy Dickinson at


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