by Richard Cobourne
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Pub Date 17 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2022
Troubador Publishing Ltd., Matador
Life hasn’t turned out how Danny Owen expected it to. Formerly an investigative journalist, now he writes about the music industry and celebrity, focusing on the glitz, glamour and gaudy stars. Currently involved with the ‘Martha Moving Out’ tour, he has no choice but to do the best job he can, despite the fact that rehearsals are clearly not going well. Not suspicious on its own, but things take a dire turn when the star herself is kidnapped and held for ransom.
With the tour in ruins, Danny is forced to work with the promoter, his once sworn enemy, in an effort to save Martha and get the story of a lifetime. Flung into a world of people smuggling, blackmail and international organised crime, the two former enemies pick their way through a minefield where one wrong move could not only blow their rescue attempts but could also end their own lives. In a world of people only showing their best side, trusting the wrong person could be the last thing you ever do.
A Note From the Publisher
Average rating from 3 members
What a fun read, full of interesting characters and some details on the work that takes place behind the scenes of a rock concert tour. The characters are briefly sketched, with more details offered in the few chapters that are written from that character’s point of view. The primary protagonists are Danny, an investigative reporter who now works in radio and Daisy, head of publicity for the music tour that is bringing rock star Martha out of retirement. They are working closely with a police task force from Scotland Yard who, in turn, gets help from some international police forces.
The reader is quickly made aware that the rock tour is a vehicle for some illegal activities which are being committed by the promoter, Novak who is working with an international crime boss, Baka. Both Novak and Baka have long been in the sites of a special organized crime task force at Scotland Yard, and the head of this force is willing to work with Danny and Daisy as they seem to have an inside track.
Early in the book, Martha is kidnapped by Baka in the attempt to get Novak to agree to different terms for the illegal activity in which he has become involved. Danny and Daisy’s top priority is finding Martha, while the police are more interested in the organized crime angle. There is duplicity on all sides, with everyone agreeing to be open and transparent, but then holding back information from the other parties.
The book moves at a quick pace which is accomplished in part by the short chapters and the short sentence structure that help the reader increase their reading speed. There is considerable intrigue as Danny and Daisy, along with several others, try to locate Martha and try to understand Nowak’s place in the organization. The intrigue pulls the reader along without relying on unnecessary cliffhangers and tension to maintain interest in the book. It is easy to read, and the writing encourages the reader to read “just one more chapter’ before putting the book down.
Overall, it is an interesting, well written action thriller. It is easy for the reader to see the places as well as experience the action, which increases the enjoyment of the book. The descriptions of the characters are more detailed in terms of emotions and behaviors than specific appearances, allowing the reader to create their own image of the various people in the book.
For the most part the conclusion is satisfying up until the last page. On the last page the author throws in a huge cliffhanger that leaves the reader with the feeling that in order to find out the result, they will have to read the next book. I have no objection to leaving some issues “open-ended”, allowing the reader to craft their own results for some issue; but I dislike having something added in the final page or two of a book that clearly creates a set-up for an entirely new drama for one or more of the characters of the current book. Unlike relationships that develop over the course of several books in a series, this is a ploy that seems to put one or more of the characters in jeopardy, then abruptly stops, leaving the reader no choice but to read the next book to find and resolve the next issue. Different readers have different responses to this type of writing. In general, I stop reading the series because it seems there may be no real end in sight.
My thanks to Matador Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Bandwagon by Richard Cobourne
A great debut novel about the music industry and the ‘circus’ surrounding it.
From the off, I knew I was going to enjoy this book - a detective story but the police were almost peripheral figures. The real detectives here are Danny, a disgraced journalist working on local radio and Daisy, the PR for the tour company.
The story is about a star, Martha, who having been at the top, slid into obscurity after becoming addicted to drink and drugs, something which she’s now dealing with. During the final rehearsals she disappears and Daisy and Danny delve into her disappearance whilst trying to hide it from the rest of the media. We also find dodgy promoters, dirty money and links to organised crime.
It does flip backwards and forwards to explain the back story, how Danny ended up in radio after “canning” a huge story, how Danny, Martha and Daisy know each other and very importantly, how Danny know Nowak, the dodgy promoter and money man behind the comeback tour. All these stories are essential for the novel to coalesce and they segue seamlessly without detracting from the pace of the novel.
It’s a fast paced book, without feeling rushed and the ending left me wanting more - I let out an audible aargh as I read the final words of the final chapter!
The links that the writer so obviously has to this world are used to great effect and adds to the authenticity of the whole thing.
All in all, a very enjoyable debut novel and I was glad to see that Daisy and Danny are set to return - I will be watching for that.
@sunnybookreviews who received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
A great read, romping along through London, Wales and Europe, giving so much detail that I imagined I was right there with Danny, Daisy and the other characters. A world of the music business, radio, TV and the high life, all expertly portrayed in a good story.
I felt there was slightly too much of what I regarded as rather superfluous detail, as in what brand of clothing, where the food was sourced, what the drinks were, which sometimes distracted me from the narrative.
And it’s a wonder they managed to do any sleuthing, considering the amount of alcohol they all put away!
But I really enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to the follow up!