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Thursday, 22 July 2010


Publishers have been left gasping by the recent news that eBooks now outsell Hardback Books on Amazon - is this the start of a new cycle. Seventy five years ago this week Allan Lane launched Penguin with their cheap and cheerful paperback line which did a similar thing to hardback sales back in the day. And then there were those saying that these new paperbacks were a fad and would never catch on, just as there are those saying the same thing about the new industry giant, the eBook.

Now I come into contact with a lot of people involved in the book industry - from writers, to publishers, to journalists and even some of these well informed people don't realise how versatile the eBook truly is. Many think you need an expensive reader to read the books but this is not so - they can be read and enjoyed on the computer screen, on smartphones, iPad's. Go to Amazon and you don't need a Kindle to download eBooks - when you select your book a free AP Kindle for PC will download to your computer within seconds together with your book purchase. Many eBooks also come in PDF or ePub formats which are as close as you can get to a universal format. And reading on the screen is actually better on the eyes than conventional books, especially the eInk technology which is astounding.

Go to Amazon and download one of their many free eBook to test the format and when you see how good the experience is then browse the countless book titles, most of them a great deal cheaper than their conventional book version. And if you're stuck for something to try might I suggest my novel, A Policeman's lot. It's at an amazing price, cheaper than a new paperback and the Kindle AP, if needed, will download along with it.

These reviews are from: A Policeman's Lot (Kindle Edition)
Gary Dobbs (AKA Jack Martin) continues his string of fast paced books with "A Policeman's Lot." Not a western per se, as are his Jack Martin books, "Policeman's Lot" still has some of that western sensibility and it even features Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show on a visit to England, Wales in particular.

The story takes place a number of years after the Whitechapel murders but ties back to those murders in a most interesting way. I won't give more away because the twist at the end is original and took me well by surprise. Yet, it made perfect sense within the storyline of the book.

"A Policeman's Lot" is only availble at this time on Kindle or as a PDF file. Fortunately, I have a Kindle and was able to enjoy it.


This tightly plotted and cleverly conceived crime fiction novel is set in the Welsh town of Pontypridd in 1904. Our central character is police inspector Frank Parade, who on a normal day has his hands more than full. Parade's job gets even more complicated when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show comes to town. There is Bill Cody, larger than life, and not all that cooperative, especially as one of his employees turns up with his throat slit. And thus begins a murder investigation that generates a slag heap of difficulties for Inspector Parade and produces a string of corpses.

Dobbs has done his research and packs a lot into his novel. We become immersed in a time and place on the cusp of the twentieth century. Old methods of law enforcement are yielding with the introduction of new technologies. Economic changes create new problems and social pressures.

And there's the entertaining collision of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show with turn of the last century, coal-mining Wales. Cowboys and Indians wander through some of the scenes, and Bill Cody himself figures into the plot at key points. Well drawn, he is a self-important presence used to being regarded as a living legend. Meanwhile, Inspector Parade is a thoroughly enjoyable creation. Happy he is when he's on duty, which is nearly all the time. Such is a policeman's lot.


It was no surprise that I would like this book. The author had previously entertained me with two fine westerns(as Jack Martin).

Inspector Frank Parade of the Welsh town of Pontypridd heads a two man police force that is busy enough. When Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show arrives with it's five hundred performers and eight hundred livestock, never mind the thousands attending the shows, things get a lot worse.

Then the murders start up, involving a sixteen year old series of unexplained deaths. Throw in a thief, once arrested by Parade, who had threatened his life and had escaped prison by murdering a guard, a number of home break-ins, and superiors who want a fast, easy solution, and you have a fast moving novel that doesn't let up until the end.

And what an end.

The author uses Parade and Buffalo Bill to offer his own unique solution to the greatest unsolved serial killer mystery in history.


Brian Drake said...

May I also include a shameless plug for my ebook, "Reaper's Dozen--12 Tales of Crime and Suspense." If you like hard-boiled tales, you'll love these ones. Or so people tell me.


Brian - shameless plug away