A late-night gambling session ends in a bet for Richard Gaunt: can he walk to Oxford by lunchtime the next day? Gaunt sets off, and as morning breaks and the dreaming spires near, his evening's winnings look set to double. But when men in a Jeep reverse into him, scooping him off the roadside, Gaunt enters a yet stranger world.
Taken to a country house, he is kept hostage by a man with impeccable manners, Mr Khan. Traumatised by a tour of duty in Iraq, Gaunt's life has collapsed around him. His behaviour drove away his childhood sweetheart and put even debt-collecting jobs beyond his reach. So when the mysterious captor offers Gaunt 10,000 pounds to marry Adeena - a beautiful girl kept in the house against her will - he decides to accept. After initial suspicion, Adeena realises that Gaunt is her only chance, and the pair forge a plan of escape.
©2011 © Paul Torday (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
An avid reader who usually has more than one book on the go at a time.
I was completely hooked on this one from the first moment. Ex army officer with psychological problems from what he's seen in Aghanistan and Iraq that aren't being properly addressed and how he copes with, amongst other things, losing his fiancee and being kidnapped. I was, however, disappointed at the ending but that's a trivial point - it was a great read!!
No. The direction of the story was revealed far to early.
You can see where the story is going early on but the hero who is ex Special forces is so thick he can't see it till the 11th hour. So you spend most of the book waiting for the inevitable to happen.
Jonathan Keeble has a great voice and brings the characters to life, just a shame the writing didn't give him more to work with.
Yes avoid Paul Torday novels
Words are my music and audiobooks virtually my favourite art form. Very fussy about narrators and intolerant of lazy performance.
Paul Torday is a very good writer. His prose flows without ever drawing attention to itself. All his stories are quite different, though a persistent theme may be the difficulty of certain men in quite fitting into social expectations - they may have just the tiniest touch of Asberger's.
Anyway, this is a story which carries you along and while plainly fiction it is believable enough that you want to keep listening.
The reading by Jonathan Keeble is excellent. All the voices are good.
I'm going to get some more Torday audiobooks.
"Not a comedy!"
I won't give it away, but this book is not about what you think it's about. Both the title and the playing-card symbols used on the artwork seem to be part of the misdirection.
Furthermore, it's told like a comedy, but turns out to be thought-provoking and disturbing. That dichotomy is one of the things I liked about the book, yet at the end of the day, it feels misleading.
Jonathan Keeble is one of my favorite readers, and this is another fine example of his work.
The story caught my interest at the beginning but then it became a bit predictable.
The narrator, on the other hand, was excellent.
I chose this book because I enjoyed Torday's "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."
Unfortunately, this book was not up to the stature of that book.
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