My grateful thanks to Emily Glenister at The Dome Press for a copy of Smart Moves by Adrian Magson in return for an honest review and for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for the book. Not only do I have my review to share today, but I have a copy of Smart Moves to give away to a lucky UK reader. You can enter at the bottom of this blog post.
Smart Moves was published by The Dome Press on 16th August 2018 and is available for purchase here.
International troubleshooter Jake Foreman loses his job, house and wife all in one day. And when an impulsive move lands him in even deeper water – the kind that could lose him his life – he decides it’s time to make some smart decisions.
The trouble is, knowing the right moves and making them is a whole different game. And Jake, who has been happily rubbing along things he always suspected were just a shade away from being dodgy, finds it all too easy to go with the flow. Now he’s got to start learning new tricks.
If he doesn’t, he could end up dead.
My Review of Smart Moves
Jake is not having a good day. Losing his job is just the start of his troubles!
Now, if I’m honest I shouldn’t really like Smart Moves. With a fairly ‘blokey’ man as a protagonist in Jake who often views women in quite a sexist way and sometimes shares similar humour with his friends, Smart Moves ought not to have appealed to me. However, it did completely! I thought it was a great book. I think it’s because at the same time as being a little bit sexist and ‘macho’, Jake is an enormously likeable person. Life keeps kicking him when he is down and he is actually quite diffident and self-effacing behind his public persona. Much of the sympathy for, and empathy with, him comes through the brilliant first person viewpoint, Jake’s sense of humour and the fact that he’s incredibly stoical so that I was really desperate for his life to improve. I think this is very skilled writing. Here’s a man, Jake, whom I found myself entirely supporting almost in spite of myself – so much so, in fact, that I’d like to meet him again in a future book.
Smart Moves begins at a cracking pace and doesn’t let up so that it’s a quick and highly entertaining read. From the very first moment I had a terrible sense of foreboding as far as Jake was concerned and he does lurch from one less smart move to another as the story progresses, but each is a really well crafted and self contained adventure as he runs frequently questionable errands in a variety of countries. Whilst I may have had willingly to suspend my disbelief at times, I think Adrian Magson may well have been introducing me to a whole world totally outside my own experience and I found it fascinating. I don’t usually make comparisons, but Smart Moves did remind me of Fargo in many ways because it has a similar pithy dark humour and sense of intrigue.
I was drawn into Smart Moves by the hectic pace initially and became ensared by great writing, smashing chapter endings that drew me on and a character I truly believed in. I love an author who knows when one word can convey everything without embellishment and Adrian Magson has that ability in spades. Smart Moves is quirky, funny, pacy and exciting. What more could you want for a book?
About Adrian Magson
Adrian Magson is a freelance writer and reviewer, the author of 22 crime and spy thrillers, a writer’s help book, a YA ghost novel and 2 collections of short fiction.
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Giveaway – A Paperback Copy of Smart Moves by Adrian Magson
For your chance to win a paperback copy of Smart Moves by Adrian Magson, click here.
UK only I’m afraid. Giveaway closes at UK midnight on Monday 27th August 2018.
Please note that I am not responsible for sending the winner’s prize and that I will not retain personal details once the competition closes.