Tuesday, 18 August 2020

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY BOOKS - by Patrick Brigham




Mystery Books for Dark Nights - by Patrick Brigham

 

AMAZON UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00BGZTKFE

AMAZON US - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BGZTKFE

Monday, 2 December 2019

The London Property Boy - By Patrick Brigham



With a national property crash and the breakdown of his marriage to Lavender, property developer Michael Mostyn has hit rock bottom. With legal battles, a court appearance over his son Mark, followed by an acrimonious divorce, Mike is forced to leave his provincial home, desert his much loved elderly mother, and move to London. Starting again as a West London estate agent, and in order to reinstate his lost fortunes, Mike moves into the murky and the intriguing world of property dealing. Tangling with the Irish Republican Army en route, he reluctantly finds himself in the hands of MI5, who see him as a possible recruit. In this rite of passage tale, Mike discovers a variety of available women, but in his quest to find happiness, he meets and marries the mysterious Communist academic, Nadezhda Antova, and once again finds himself embroiled with the British secret service.






Sunday, 10 March 2019

Full English Brexit or Petit Dejeuner? - By Patrick Brigham

If I could choose, my question would be, “Is the British appetite ready for a sudden influx of high-calorie torment, or a continued and moderate consumption of continental angst?”

The first choice - and a somewhat mixed metaphor – is rather like a game of snakes and ladders, which rather depends on a roll of the dice to determine the outcome. Chance, because it is as unclear as a cup of lukewarm English tea to most of us - including the British government itself - what the positive outcome could possibly be.

The second choice and more of the same is about staying put in a known environment, and continuing to benefit from a union which has so far proved to be very successful over a number of years, and a bit of a no brainer, you might say. Well, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The alleged UK political elite has generally raised a Gallic finger, not only to their voters, but unquestionably to each other. For affirmation of this sweeping statement, please hit the YouTube button and watch Prime Ministers Question Time.  Not exclusively on the subject of Brexit and the future of one of Europes greatest and oldest nations, Westminster these days is about political infighting, and dare I say it, personal malice and vindication.

Dominated by a very skilled and determined prime minister - but only in the House of Commons - it seems to me that Theresa Mays politics are more Churchillian in nature than one might presuppose. Never giving in - despite what her parliamentary votes may tell her - she still sticks to the My deal, or No Deal mantra, rather like a deranged telephone answering machine, knowing that a further parliamentary rebuttal is around the corner.

I often wonder if it is her intention to quash Brexit, by attempting the impossible task of trying to make it happen and then failing dismally. If it turns out that supporters of such a deranged suicidal attempt are a tad disappointed, well, good!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

HOW TO BURY THE BREXIT – by Patrick Brigham


Michael Gove has been offered the job of Brexit secretary in the wake of Dominic Raab’s resignation, as Theresa May battles to shore up her authority, but he is demanding a shift in the government’s negotiating strategy first, Whitehall sources say. Although he declined the offer, he agreed to support Mays proposals, but that was yesterday. Today he has changed his mind once more, and a very junior minister has taken his place, and now Gove is trying to gang up with the extremists. With friends like that, who needs enemy's? 

After two or more years of gobbledegook - alternative facts, psychotic events, imperialist nostalgia, wishful thinking, political fiction, and downright lies – we now get to the bit where logic, facts and reality, at last, get an honest hearing.

So, how do you make sure that Brexit has finally “shuffled off this mortal coil, is no more, has had its last squawk, fallen off its perch and is f****** dead?” Auntie Theresa has the answer. Rely upon the support, for the final Brexit negotiation, of the silliest politician in parliament, Michael Gove.

A man renowned for his huge vanity, obsessive self-serving, and nascent perfidy, who else could good old Theresa manipulate and cajole into taking part, other than - Bojo’s old friend and Co-conspirator - the puffed up Michael Gove. Yes, Prime Minister, with a final Coup De Gras, who better to lay some of the blame on for future failure, than UKs most ardent Brexiteer and disingenuous spin doctor?


I have said all along that May was playing a clever game, and that by extolling the virtues of Brexit, she was actually damning it. How else do you bury such a profound schism, other than by standing next to the cliff edge, and encouraging everyone to jump?

But, even the nostalgic British are not mad enough to jump on a whim, nor a blind person to cross the street without being convinced the road was clear, which it obviously isn’t. In the next few weeks, even the dumbest amongst us will have to try to understand the facts, and retreat from this mindless and bloody dangerous cliff edge.

I wouldn’t like to play poker with Theresa May, would you? But, even though you admire her courage and brinkmanship, it may well have cost her job as Prime Minister. Against all odds, she did do a thoroughly statesman like job, and didn’t she do well?

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

On To The Next Book - by Patrick Brigham


Autumn is over in Northern Greece, the signs of winter are approaching, and I now have to light my pellet stove in the evening, to keep warm. But that is not the only change, because once again as an author, I am moving away from my usual murder mystery genre with another stand-alone novel, and into the realms of literary fiction. Why the change, I should explain?
I had a life before moving to South Eastern Europe, and I had a life before I moved to London in the 70s. In fact, when I seriously started writing in the late 80s, I believed that the past was all there was. My then warts and all novel was to be about my early life, a rather haphazard marriage, the tragedy of an early divorce, the consequence of near bankruptcy, and my ultimate comeback.
As a young man, it was hard enough for me to deal with all these problems then, but later on it became even harder for me to write about it; I was still far too close. This all happened nearly forty years ago, well before my first attempted at this cathartic novel, which I fondly imagined was going to knock the world of publishing dead. But then I put it away, filed it under the past, and then promptly forgot about it.

Recently opening a bulging box file, having first removed the dust and cobwebs, I rediscovered the early attempt of my great novel, only to find that – far from being cathartic and serious – it was rather funny. From the typed foxed pages, there seemed to be a very little tragedy in my early life, just change. Through the consoling prism of maturity, it now transpires that things which once hurt me, now only amuse me. ‘Did that really happen? What a fool I must have been?’

What was good, was to rediscover strong characterization, and even a good plot. After all, it was my fictionalized history, so there must have an element of truth in it, although, my warts and all prospectus seemed very little like the new me. Perhaps, after all,  the book is about misplaced ambition, youthful endeavour, romantic fantasy, jealousy, rage and intrigue? Or maybe, it is a book that explains how we all feel when we are young, fall in love and make mistakes. I will ask you again in a few months time when it is finished!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

What If I Change My Genre?


Suddenly, it was not so important. Having spent twenty five years in Eastern Europe, describing the political changes, and analyzing the people behind the throne, it was clear to me that the public was becoming a little tired of Communism. Mr. Putin was doing his best to revamp the past, but the Cold War was now over, and with just the slightest taint of intrigue remaining, it seemed to be time for me to move on. Even the Oligarchs were becoming old hat, and few readers could care less if another Knightsbridge mansion was bought at an inflated price by some Moscow gangster. It also seemed that DCI Michael Lambert - my ever present police detective - might also have chased his last miscreant halfway across Europe.

Happily tucked up in bed with Countess Beatrix, Lambert - who had recently become the Honorary British Consul in Acona - finally seemed content to simply smell the roses. And me? I am just the author, so it has always been clear that one day, I might easily become the victim of my own fictional characters, and that - if they wanted to put their feet up and do nothing for a bit - there was very little I could do about it. Or was there? There was always the possibility of a change of genre for me, and perhaps DCI Lambert was not the only person due for a well deserved rest?


I live in a very provincial and isolated community of farmers and artisans in the very north of Greece, and while I got on and wrote about Lamberts trials and tribulations, they remained largely ignored. A great place to live in peace and quiet, as well as for fresh fruit & veg, it never occurred to me then that underneath all their peaceful toil, was a tribe of people who together had survived not only the wrath of Atturturk; and the great migration, but the horrors of two World Wars. Decent, hardworking and uncondescending, what would they be like if there was a disaster, what would happen if there was a terible flood, and how would I cope with writing in a new genre?

Rather like Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov - permanently receiving tragic news from the village or through a third party - Goddess of The Rainbow was my tribute to the largely forgotten and neglected part of Greece in which I live. An area which had sustained more grief than most parts of the Balkans during the 20th Century, what was it that made the people of Evros so resilient, and able to maintain their pride? In sixteen chapters of intertwined short stories, ranging from love to hatred, greed, kindness, selflessness, goodness and an unwavering hope for the future - I try to explain what it is that makes these people so special. Even the Greek Orthodox priest - who is experiencing a crisis of faith - when the floods come and the rain never stops, he too is influenced by the courage of ordinary people as they face the trauma of flooding, their lives fractured by disaster, as he has been by his own doubts. And, murder mystery? That seems to be taking a sabbatical too.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Blogs and Book Reviews


Murder Mystery 

At some point, readers become so used to seeing your blog, that they hardly notice it anymore. Usually an advert straight from the pages of Amazon, Goodreads, or some other, for a writer this is very convenient. But, does it work? There are so many books on the internet these days, written by hardworking authors, that the average person is spoiled for choice.

Varying in quality from unreadable, to 'this should be entered for the Booker Prize,' without the support of book reviewers, nobody would know if a book was good or bad. Gone are the days when an habitual reader followed certain writers of distinction, because these days their choice is greatly influenced by the review system. And, it is how this works in practice, that I am addressing readers and reviewers today.

Literary Fiction 

Recently the megalith Amazon has decided two things. Firstly, that a review only qualifies for publication within their book sales blurb, if it has been purchased from Amazon or Kindle directly. Secondly, they have also made it a rule, that any person wishing to publish their review on Amazon, must have spent a minimum of 40 Pounds - in the case of Amazon.co.uk - or a similar amount in the various Amazon web outlets.

Many reviewers are not that wealthy, and cannot keep buying books to review, any more than impoverished writers can send them paid for freebies. Many of the foregoing are pensioners, people who out of necessity have to stay at home, and even some I know of, with disabilities.

Added to this somewhat arbitrary ruling by Amazon, there is the problem of finding people who might wish, during the normal course of events, to provide honest book reviews for writers, but who are inundated with great piles of books to read. Considering the restrictive conditions which are ever present with Amazon - or does the expression tyrannical better fit my blog- then perhaps they might loosen the reigns a bit, and make it easier for those on fixed incomes, or retirees, to contribute to the world of literature.

We need more reviewers, who make honest observations in their remarks, and don't treat the famed art of book reviewing, like a sausage factory. This would improve sales for authors, and probably for Amazon too, but this leaves me with the question, does Amazon care about books, or is it only money?

Patrick Brigham is a long term self published author, who like many other writers, would like to lift his head out of the water, and smell the fresh air!

Buy Author Patrick Brighams Books from Amazon here



Saturday, 12 May 2018

PRESS RELEASE


Author Patrick Brigham



Goddess of The Rainbow, is unlike most of Patrick Brigham’s famed fiction, because – for the time being at least – he has deserted his usual Murder Mystery genre. Even though there are possible signs of murder, and the occasional hint of international intrigue, this time his tale takes place in peaceful Greece. And this time, his story is about the rain.




Greece, a largely tranquil country, is not usually given to ostentatious bouts of indignation, and has recently been experiencing considerable austerity, which has left most people confused, as well as short of cash. Patrick Explains –

“When the heavens open up and swamp the town of Orestiada with incessant rain, it causes everyone to somehow change. Feelings and reactions, which have long remained dormant within the largely provincial Greek community, come to the surface.”

In Goddess of The Rainbow, and obscured by years of prejudice, the entrenched views of this generally unsophisticated community are challenged, as the river waters rise, and the fields become flooded; peoples’ future looking bleaker by the day.


A series of short stories, they all occur in the Greek town of Orestiada. Stories, which simultaneously interlink and become a part of the whole, centre around Iris – the local DHL courier – who in Greek mythology is not only Goddess of The Rainbow, but also the Messenger of The Gods, thereby connecting the individual tales of this sixteen chapter book.

In it there is a murderous estate agent, and his equally murderous wife, an aspiring artist looking for recognition in Athens, an estranged couple separated by time who rekindle their love, a Greek- Australian from Melbourne, and a visiting bus load of Russian women from Moscow. They have been invited by Thanos the mayor, in order that some of the winging local bachelors might find a suitable wife.

There is an illegal Syrian immigrant, a disgruntled typically Greek mother who doesn’t want her son to marry at all, and a Greek Orthodox Priest who has lost his faith. All that and more; stories which come together so beautifully in the last chapter, and both fascinating and enchanting, they can be read and enjoyed individually. But put together, they serve to make the whole novel greater than its component parts.


With change comes romance, and although we see this tale through the prism of devastation, we can also see hope, love, and finally laughter. Patrick Brigham is an Englishman who has lived in the Balkans for twenty five years, and knows and understands the people well –

“Each country is very different, but Greece has its own dignity, and a special place in my heart.”

Living for the last ten years in Evros, which is also the name of the river delta, which separates Greece from Turkey, Patrick is only too clear about the character of the Greeks who live in this part of Eastern Macedonia.

“Having been forced out of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923, and experiencing the ravages of World War Two, this was then followed by the revolution of 1948. Afterwards most people from this part of Greece had a strong will to survive, and I admire them for this, their hard work, their resolve, and cheerfulness.”

All Patricks books are available from Amazon.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Goddess of the Rainbow by Patrick Brigham


Because this is a very Greek story involving the rain, and how flooding changes us, moves the finger of fate, and causes us to reflect on our lives. A series of short stories, they all happen in the Greek town of Orestiada. Stories which simultaneously interlink and become a part of the whole, center around Iris – the local DHL courier – who in Greek mythology is not only Goddess of The Rainbow, but also the Messenger of The Gods, thereby connecting the individual tales of this sixteen chapter book.


In it there is a murderous estate agent, and his equally murderous wife, an aspiring artist looking for recognition in Athens, an estranged couple separated by time who rekindle their love, a Greek- Australian who is from Melbourne, and a visiting bus load of Russian women from Moscow. They have been invited by the mayor, in order that some of the winging local bachelors might find a suitable wife.


There is an illegal Syrian immigrant, a disgruntled typically Greek mother who doesn’t want her son to marry at all, and a Greek Orthodox Priest who has lost his faith. All that and more; stories which come so beautifully together in the last chapter –fascinating and enchanting – which can be read and enjoyed individually, but put together, serve to make the whole novel greater than its component parts.







Friday, 30 March 2018

With My Little Eye - By Patrick Brigham



In the beginning it was fun. The Balkans still had all the trappings of Communism, and although dull and dreary for most ordinary citizens, I was having a great time. It was just before the changes, and I was having drinks in the Sobranie in Sofia. Some members were laughing at the poor state of the Bulgarian economy, and along with various apparatchik’s; together with my chum Villie, who ran Balkan Holidays in London, we all agreed it was very nearly over.

People who had reached the top of the greasy pole never complained, because they had it all, and the rest of the population were regarded as irrelevant. The mantra then was “The state pretends to pay us, we pretend to work, and we all steal the rest,” and for a while the system worked well, because that was what everyone believed.

THOSE WERE THE DAYS!

Now, Sofia has changed, looks like any other part of the EU, is bright and inviting, but for me it is no longer where I want to be. I liked the greyness and the intrigue, it was like a mini Russia, full of delightful conspiracies, and totally unpredictable. But, after twenty years living in an Eastern European circus, Greece became an easy and comfortable alternative. So, here I am.

Who needs excitement, when you can look out of your window and gaze in wonder at the little patchwork of fields, the chats with the locals about…… err, tomatoes. Okay, it’s not exciting, but it is quiet, as cheap as chips, and I can write in total peace; something I have been happily doing for the last ten years, in this charming and hospitable country.


I started writing seriously in the 80s in London, on a blinding black screened Amstrad analog computer. I still have all the floppy disks, if only I knew how to open them, but they were probably destined for the rubbish bin anyway. In the early 90s came Microsoft, the Internet and email, and in 1995, I started to write seriously; firstly as editor of the Sofia Western News magazine, an English language monthly, and then my first novel.

Most of my material comes from that time, because by then much of the old brigade were long gone, and replaced by their condescending money grabbing and thuggish first lieutenants, overnight I became an item of interest! This meant police interviews, tax-checks, heavy fines, and as many humiliating encounters as they could conjure up; which continued until EU accession in 2008. I still wonder why?


My first novel was a satire, and titled Horoditus: The Gnome of Sofia, it was reminiscent of Tom Sharp’s work. It centred round a ceramic garden gnome, which had been tampered with by MI6.

Remember that rock outside the British Embassy in Moscow, which MI6 turned into a telephone base station in order to receive information? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4638136.stm

Suddenly, Moscow Rules were no longer required, and in my book, spying in Sofia was entirely left up to a grinning garden gnome called Herodotus. In the background was a warring ambassador, his dubious wife – the daughter of the infamous Jim Kilbey – and of course, utter chaos as arrests were made, with a body discovered in a deep freeze.


My second novel was a murder mystery involving arms dealing, and this is when DCI Mike Lambert appears on the scene. Having discovered a dead man on a narrow boat moored on the Kennet and Avon canal, it opens a can of worms which takes Lambert well out of his comfort zone, ending with the assassination of a Chinese Banker on the streets of London. Based on real events in Peru – and the then President Fujimori infamous arms purchases – this book reflects a true course of events. Called, Judas Goat: The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, it explains the duplicity of many countries, in the obnoxious arms trade.


Abduction: An Angel over Rimini, brings Lambert into the world of child trafficking, and as in the little Madi case – which I studied very carefully – he goes on the trail of a missing child abducted from a campsite in Italy. A journey which takes him through Greece, where he meets police officer Electra Boulos, and in Bulgaria, where he comes across a corrupt children’s court judge; but there is still a lighter side. Tracking the smuggling group to a house in Greece, Electra saves the day in a shootout, and due to the resulting trauma she experiences, Lambert consoles her perhaps a little too much.


The Dance of Dimitrios takes place in Greece, Bulgaria and London, and brings DCI Mike Lambert and Electra Boulos back together again, but this time it is strictly business. A woman’s body has been found floating in the River Ardas, and assuming that she is Islamic, and an innocent victim of illegal trafficking, she is buried in a communal grave; name unknown. When Sergeant Boulos discovers through fingerprint analysis that it is the body is of an Englishwoman, Europol is informed, and DCI Mike Lambert is dispatched to Greece as a Europol liaison officer. Rather too close to Al Quaeda, Daish, and even MI6, Lambert has to navigate his way through countless obstacles and practiced lie’s, in order to get to the truth and to find the murderer.


AUTHOR PATRICK BRIGHAM

What am I writing now?

I have just finished the second edit of a new novel called Goddess of The Rainbow.


In it I am stepping away from murder mystery, because this is a very Greek story involving the rain, and how flooding changes us, moves the finger of fate, and causes us to reflect on our lives. A series of short stories, they all happen in the Greek town of Orestiada. Stories which simultaneously interlink and become a part of the whole, centre around Iris – the local DHL courier – who in Greek mythology is not only Goddess of The Rainbow, but also the Messenger of The Gods, thereby connecting the individual tales of this 16 Chapter book.

In it there is a murderous estate agent, and his equally murderous wife, an aspiring artist looking for recognition in Athens, an estranged couple separated by time who rekindle their love, a Greek- Australian who is from Melbourne, and a visiting bus load of Russian women from Moscow. They have been invited by the mayor, in order that some of the winging local bachelors might find a suitable wife. There is an illegal Syrian immigrant, a disgruntled typically Greek mother who doesn’t want her son to marry at all, and a Greek Orthodox Priest who has lost his faith. All that and more; stories which come so beautifully together in the last chapter –fascinating and enchanting – which can be read and enjoyed individually, but put together, serve to make the whole novel greater than its component parts.

CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY BOOKS - by Patrick Brigham

Amazon UK -  https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00BGZTKFE Amazon US -  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BGZTKFE Enable Ginger Cannot connect to Ging...