Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The Only Way...I love a local book!

Title: The Only Way
Author: Victor W. Watton
ISBN: 978-1-98-334447-3
Rating: 7/10
Genre: Murder, Crime, Thriller, Religion
Type: Paperback

"After more chat and signing away a fair bit of money on the credit card (none of these firms seemed to like cash), we loaded the van and I set off for Redcar with Pete following in the car. The A66 goes through what is still, despite media moans that we no longer make anything, an industrial heartland. A haze of pollution, fuelled by vast columns of smoke and steam from what is left of the steelworks, covered the horizon making the clear blue sky grey and forbidding as we headed eastwards to the coast. As grey as my spirits, and as forbidding as the task ahead of us."

This book was recommended to me by my boyfriend. He knew the author and wanted to know my opinion of the story. I was looking forward to reading this book as it was all based local and I love to read a book where I can visualise what and where the author is talking about. As I have previously shown when I read Apples by Richard Milward, I love a local book. The book is set in a variety of different places around the country Stockton on Tees, Yarm, Redcar, Leeds, Newcastle, London and other places. I absolutely loved being able to read about my own hometown and picture where exactly Watton is talking about.

I have to be honest, although I was looking forward to reading the book I was a little sceptical about it being about the Church of England. I am not the most religious of people and although I would always respect someone else's beliefs and opinions, I would have to try to keep my opinions to myself if the characters were going to start trying to preach to me. However, this was not the case. The story is very informative and Watton clearly knows his facts about religion. He is an expert on religion and multicultural issues and this is shown in the book. His information is informative and concise. It taught me new things and informed me of how the church system works. Not only was the book informative it also had an engaging story.

We arrive in the story to find Simon, the main character, a vicar to a parish on the outskirts of Leeds, in a loveless marriage to his wife, Sarah, whilst on his way to meet Jasmine from university, his "mistress" in a hotel in Ripon. Not your usual vicar hobbies! It is during the time Simon and Jasmine, the "mistress", are staying in the hotel they find a body and soon realise they have opened up a big can of worms whilst trying to escape the killers. They move all around the country, regularly travelling from the North to the South and enlist the help of their old university friend Pete. Pete is the bookshop owner tech-savvy guru they need in order to stay off the radar of the killers. The characters end up in a variety of dangerous and exciting situations where they find out a lot more about the Church of England and the members involved and the secrets they hold.

Between Simon, Jasmine and Pete they weave in and out of trouble, discovering and finding out more and more about who these mysterious people are that they have fallen into the clutches of. Will they escape and find out the answers? Will they get caught up in everything and have nowhere else to turn?

The characters are well written and the book kept me engaged. It is very specific with the detail of the religious aspects as Watton obviously wants to inform people and educate them as well as entertain them with a fiction book. I did find the beginning of the book a little slow as it takes so much time to describe the characters, the roles in the church and the peril which the characters found themselves in it took a little while for the book to get going and to get to the fast pace sections of the story. I also found the continued use of "babe" and "darling" a bit much to read, not my choice of terms of endearment but each to their own!

Overall I would recommend the book as I feel this book was a very good first fiction book for the author and I am interested to find out what happens to Simon and Jazz in future books. This book has been independently published and I cannot advertise independent publishing more. They are people who really care about what they write and we should all buy more of these kinds of books to encourage future publishings.
Rating: 7/10
10-Word-Review: Fantastic local knowledge and a great read plus independently published!

Next, I will be reading a book which, again, has kindly been sent to me by Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services. Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach. I really hope to have this book read and reviewed by Christmas. I would love to achieve 22 books read in 2018. Fingers crossed...Steph xx

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