Welcome to my books

I have published five novels, all available as ebooks, Eileen McHugh, One On One, A Search For Donald Cottee, Mission and A Fool's Knot, and a set of travel stories, Voyagers.


Eileen McHugh is the biography of an artist whose work is yet to be discovered. Mission and A Fool's Knot are African novels set in Migwani, Kenya. They address themes of culture and change in a small town in Kitui province. The place is real, the events are largely fictitious. A Search For Donald Cottee is a parody of Don Quixote set in a Benidorm caravan park. The modern Don seeks to do good in a world of vice, back-biting, spite and dubious parentage. His Yorkshire mining village origins pursue him. Voyagers is a set of travel stories where the travellers find out much about themselves. One On One is an espionage thriller, with a romance thrown in.

 

The book pages have more detail or extracts from the text. Click the cover image to load the page.

 

On the right are links to more of my writing.

Eileen McHugh - a life remade

Eileen McHugh - a life remade is a novel about an unknown sculptor. She flourished in the early 1970s and then her artistic life was cut short. The book's narrator, Mary Reynolds, has befriended the artist's elderly mother and has been given the notebooks and sketchbooks that the sculptor kept during her creative years. Mary Reynolds sets about remaking the life and work of an artist she judges worthy of recognition.

Eileen McHugh is available as a free download here.

One on One

In her trademark series, One-On-One, Christine Gardner, freelance journalist and television presenter, puts powerful people into the limelight. Her latest subject is Salleh Abdullah, once known as Trevor Cartwright, a British expatriate mathematician and convert to Islam. He has amassed a fortune and now international notoriety via his deft trading on financial markets using methods that thus far have defied all analysis. In just two years his fortune in equities has grown so great that his holdings in multinational companies are causing concern. To date, he has resisted all contact with the media, but Christine and he share a past, a past that both of them keenly recall. Cartwright finds her request to record episodes of One-On-One impossible to refuse. This will be Salleh Abdullah’s first media exposure. But who is Christine working for? Is she freelance? Or does she appear in someone else’s script? Perhaps her husband, Anthony Green, who watches his wife’s encounter with Salleh Abdullah from his office desk, can answer. Set on a private island in the South China Sea where Cartwright regularly retires to work, One-On-One follows the progress of Christine Gardiner’s project as allegiances begin to shift.

A Search for Donald Cottee

Donald Cottee is a comic tragedy about individualism. Donald, nicknamed Donkey, is an internet Quixote, bent on doing good works. Donkey Cottee and his wife, Poncho Suzie, have retired to Benidorm on Spain’s Costa Blanca from their Yorkshire mining village. Don has left behind his incessant self-education and Suzie has turned the corner of her illness. Their new life is parked on the La Manca campsite from where they pursue their ambition of eternal holiday. To record the precious experience and make its potential paradise available to all, they blog. But they can never escape their Yorkshire origins. Episodes from the past reappear. Meanwhile, Don’s environmental campaigning and Suzie’s quest for business success fill their time. However, they discover that friends are transacting the businesses of their own lives. There is money in vice, more in property, even more in trading people. In a world where competition is the norm, where a dog’s only possible diet is another dog, Don and Suzie are determined to do good works, be honest and loyal to all, to support what is right. But then, in the final analysis, when the jigsaw of lives is broken apart, it appears that perhaps the pieces never did fit. So finally, still trying to do good, Donkey Cottee and Poncho Suzie leave us with an enigma. Or is it a riddle?

 

Mission

Michael, a missionary priest in Kenya, has just killed Munyasya, a retired army officer. It might have been an accident, but Mulonzya, a politician resentful of the power of foreigners, tries to exploit the tragedy for his own ends. Boniface, a young church worker, and his wife, Josephine, have just lost their child. They did not make it to the hospital in time, possibly because Michael made a detour to retrieve a letter from the Mission. It was a letter from Janet, a former volunteer teacher who was the priest's neighbour for two years. It is the old and now dying man Munyasya who has the last laugh, however, when he reveals that he was probably in control of events all along. Thirty years on, the same characters find their lives still influenced by his memory. Mission charts the lives of people who find themselves involved in a momentous event. It discovers how they arrived in that place together and where the event leads them thereafter. Throughout, the culture of people in eastern Kenya, by virtue their own strength of identity, transforms the characters, despite the speed at which the culture is itself changing.

 

A Fool's Knot

John Mwangangi is an idealist. He turns his back on a successful legal career in London to return to his home in Migwani, a small, poor town in eastern Kenya. His ambition is to assist his country’s development, to create a model that others might emulate. But in trying to rediscover his roots and his very identity, old tensions resurface and new battles have to be fought. John gradually finds himself isolated by irreconcilable demands, excluded from his own culture, never fully admitted to the one he adopts. His father seeks proof of his son’s integrity and insists that John’s daughter be initiated into adulthood, an act that John’s wife would never sanction. And when the tensions force the family apart, John finds solace in the company of Janet Rowlandson, a young British volunteer teacher, who becomes more than a friend. It becomes clear that someone will try to force the issue. A Fool’s Knot is a sensitive portrait of a man’s attempt to reclaim his cultural identity and, at the same time, stimulate change. The contradictions he must confront in his campaign against the grinding poverty of his people lead almost inevitably to conflict.

 

Voyagers

Voyagers is a set of short stories loosely based on a theme of travel. Stories such as Strangers, Protesters and Initiates have been available for some time from article sites. Now the full set is published in book form. In Brunei, a teacher discovers his future, while an Australian couple are initiated into a new culture. Memories of Vietnam come all the way home, while an aid worker in Sri Lanka seeks advice. A cultural tour of Italy turns on aesthetics and a dream journey to Turkey becomes less than wondrous. In the old Yugoslavia, a group of explorers find that a quiet bar may contain a threat. In England, an idyllic Devon village reveals lives less than perfect, while in London an aged writer meets a revolutionary leader with a score to settle. And in a distant future, but nowhere special, a traveller finds that not only luggage can go missing.