The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker

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The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: All the action, twists and turns you could hope for, set in a shady side of Manchester which you hope you'll never see - even if you know the city as well as Robert Parker obviously does. Robert Parker popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 310 Date: January 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1494998561

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When we first meet Ben Bracken he's a free man, but it's the first time in many long months. Twenty minutes before he had escaped from HMP Manchester, better known to many people as Strangeways. He had been an army captain but he'd been forced into a situation where he felt that he had no option but to act against the law and this resulted in his dishonourable discharge and the prison sentence. It did nothing for his relationship with his parents either. Right now he's not got that many people he can call friends but he's buoyed by a feeling of patriotism, despite what's happened to him.

One friend he does have is Jack Booker who has some shady connections with Manchester's criminal underworld. When Ben books into a hotel in Booker's name he's about to make two discoveries: an attempt on Ben's life makes it clear that someone wants Jack Booker dead - and in a distraught telephone conversation Jack tells Ben that his father is missing. Do Jack's ties to a criminal organisation called the Berg have anything to do with this? An why does the group's leader, the elderly, almost avuncular Felix Davison seem able to control so much without ever leaving his home on Salford Quays? Ben didn't intend to get involved, but it's not long before he realises that he has no choice.

If you are looking for a nice steady, relaxing read, click away now. This is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you'd like to be set down in a city which you'll recognise if you know anything of it, but seeing the criminal underbelly rather than the pleasant, welcoming parts which you might expect and if you like to hit the ground running and not stop until you've turned the final page - then you just might have come to the right place. Ben Bracken doesn't have the luxury of being able to relax - he's a driven man and aware that his freedom could be fragile. You'll sense that the dangerous edge is only lightly sheathed and can be in use at any moment. This man is a trained soldier: the enemy might be different, but he's still a professional.

It's a good story and I read it in a couple of sittings, keen to know how it would work out. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more fiction from Manchester, we can recommend Bitter Blue by Cath Staincliffe. For another thriller with an army background, try I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty. You might also appreciate Tommy's World by Billy Hopkins.

Would you like to vote for the name of a character in the next Ben Bracken book? You can do so here! Now there's a novelty!

You can read more about Robert Parker here.

Bookinterviews.jpg Robert Parker was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.

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Buy The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Baby and the Brandy by Robert Parker at


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