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by Michael Wood
ISBN 1-905621-02-7 - Pen Press Publishers Ltd.
Michael Wood asked me a while back if I would write a review of his book for Footsteps. The title seemed appropriate and although having little time to read for pleasure, I took up the offer to review the thriller. I have to say I really enjoyed the book, probably due to my links with the fells and can heartily recommend it to anyone here.
Apart from the obvious title link, the book engages personal memories for those who know the fells. Indeed, apart from sorties into northern Scotland and Manila, the main plot of the book takes part in Lakeland revolving around local small-town journalist, Ben Foxley, and his attempts to trace a serial killer. Although Michael admits he used a certain amount of licence with his locations, the ability to conjure up my own imagery for some of the scenes worked well for me. Without giving the game away, it was interesting to have images of Dale Head in my mind and in the concluding scenes just having AW's Pictorial Guide Book 6 open on the appropriate pages really helped consolidate the experience.
I found the book strangely enticing despite the fact that the murderer was revealed early on. I have to say that, although the plot was not that original, it was a really great read and I ended up reading it in three sittings. I haven't done that for a long while. I guess if the book had been set in the Swiss Alps I would've been less engaged, but knowing the terrain really created a fabulous sense of place. I think the book is an absolute recommendation for members of the Society and in this respect would make an excellent gift for any hill-goer. On one note, however, it might just make you turn around on lonesome walks on mountain tops to check who’s behind you, and certainly make you eye people with clip-boards in a whole new light. I'll let you read it to find out why!
The book can be ordered through most good book shops, and is available on line through Amazon and Waterstones.
reviewed by Peter Burgess