Saturday, 27 February 2016

Judicial Review: A Play by Patrick Brigham

It is the year 2000 and Sir Jerald Noakes, a leading City of London business tycoon, has fallen foul of both his own and the prevailing institutional greed. Very much a 21st century phenomenon, it seems that he has been chosen as a scapegoat by the British establishment, and soundly trounced for his misdemeanours. The fact that he is not from an old established UK family might have something to do with it, or that he is the upstart son of an √©migr√© family emanating from somewhere in central Europe. The play begins in court, where it appears Sir Jerald, having been found extremely guilty on all counts, is now awaiting his sentence. The play makes a mockery of money and the way it alters people’s attitudes towards one another; in this case, the piffling sum of £50 million. As the play progresses, the audience is introduced to the fictional actors who all have their own stories to tell, and who are all baffled by the amount of money and greed involved. It also juxtaposes a previous court case – experienced by a member of the fictional cast – which happened during the dark days prior to the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

The play within the play – written by a fictional Irish member of the Socialist Workers Party – is being performed at Reading University. It is one of the few places in the UK that still accepts and enjoys left-wing theatre and, as the play progresses, The Theatre of the Absurd. The director of the play has misgivings about the way it is progressing and both he and the writer – who seems to be permanently full of angst – are at loggerheads over the message the play is sending out to the audience. The director is worried about its political correctness, but the writer is not concerned at all with controversy, because of the emotional baggage he is carrying around, his working class roots, and his life experience. By halfway, it is discovered that Sir Jerald is terminally ill, and – out of compassion – he is released from prison by the Home Secretary. On release, and due to his rapid decline, everywhere he looks he is surrounded by treachery and humbug. No longer a tough nut, with his dictatorship now seemingly over, and in despair, he comes to realise that - during a lifetime in big business - he has only been loved for his money. But however much Sir Jerald’s tormentors believe they have him at their mercy, he still preserves a powerful and humiliating weapon, a final card, which he believes will allow him to die in peace. Patrick Brigham


Friday, 12 February 2016

"THE DANCE OF DIMITRIOS" - by Patrick Brigham

There is a womans body floating in the River Ardas!

The Dance of Dimitrios is a mystery novel that mixes some of the horrors of illegal immigration with everyday events. DCI Lambert, who works for Europol - the European equivalent of the FBI - is sent to Greece in order to solve a cold case. Detective Chief Inspector Mike Lambert knows about people trafficking and the problems caused to governments throughout the world. Greece is the gateway into Europe, for countless Middle-Eastern migrants, political refugees and terrorists.

The police think the victim is Islamic, but she is not!

The story involves the discovery of a woman's body found floating in the River Ardas, in Northern Greece. Believed to be of Middle-Eastern origin, she is buried in a communal grave along with other Islamic victims of drowning and promptly forgotten. When it is later revealed that she is actually an Englishwoman called Marjory Braithwaite - who has been living for some years in Greece - the British government turns to Europol for help. Realising that this probably means murder, DCI Mike Lambert is dispatched to Greece.

The Underwater road

The author Patrick Brigham has recently written four good mystery books, including Herodotus – The Gnome of Sofia, Judas Goat – The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, Abduction - An Angel over Rimini and The Dance of Dimitrios. He has also published his first play which is called Judicial Review.

Set once more at the end of the Cold War and Communism, his most recent book also features the jazz loving, classic car enthusiast and fictional police murder detective, Chief Inspector Michael Lambert. Faced with political intrigue and in order to solve cases which often involve Eastern Europe, he genuinely needs to understand intrigue and how an old Communist thinks, during the course of his investigations.

The Cafe by the River Ardas

There are few good books on the subject of international crime, especially mystery stories which delve into the shady side of politics. There are also few mystery novelists, who are prepared to address the thorny political issues of arms dealing and money laundering, people trafficking and terrorism in their mystery crime fiction. As a recently seconded officer to Europol - the new federal European police force –Police Detective C.I. Michael Lambert will bring a refreshingly new slant to good crime fiction books, as they emerge in the future from the pen of the author Patrick Brigham.

Where the murdered womans body was dumped


The third time out for DCI Michael Lambert, whom we have followed on his detective work in two of Patrick Brigham's previous crime novels, as Europol's representative, Lambert is brought into a case that is prefaced with the personal descent into tragedy of the title character, and then what seems to be just another death of a woman trafficked through illegal migration - a death that would be meaningless to a largely uncaring world and the dubious chief of police in a countryside Greek small town community.

But the dead woman is somewhat less than a statistic, and the engine of the piece, as it becomes clear she was a cantankerous British expat retiree whose career had spanned international journalism - with some significant espionage on the side, and a later-life pursuit as...a crime novelist! The journey of Lambert, partnered again with noble Greek police officer Electra Boulos, spans from Greece to Sofia's capital Bulgaria, to Turkey and to strained conversations between straight-arrow former army officer and latter-day Europol detective Lambert and a snooty guardian of Britain's intelligence establishment.

Brigham assembles quite an ensemble of characters, well-drawn and credibly portrayed each in their own way, from - among others - the police of various countries to the ruthless and amoral denizens of the worlds of people-trafficking and terrorism, to unfold by careful degrees his tale that progresses steadily from a world that hints to that of Zorba to a real world of the worst perils of the 21st century. And not, by the way, without a few humorous sidelights about the world of books and publishing.

The author of his previous Judas Goat: The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, and Abduction: An Angel over Rimini, has us engaged all the way, with a final tease as to Lambert's future. After the enthralling enjoyment of The Dance of Dimitrios, one can but hope that we shall be following Lambert's footsteps at least once more.

5.0 out of 5 stars for Patrick Brigham who once again again shows off his crime-writer paces in The Dance of Dimitrios
By Amazon Customer on February 10, 2016

- Clive Leviev-Sawyer, Editor-in-Chief, The Sofia Globe


Something for A Quiet Time- by Patrick Brigham

Amazon UK - Amazon US - Enable Ginger Cannot connect to Ging...