Book Review: The Feiquon Heist, by D C J Wardle

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing   |   Publication Date: 12th January 2016

The Feiquon Heist My Review

The Feiquon Heist Kindle CoverThe Feiquon Heist is a superbly written caper of social pecking orders, rising and falling aspirations, plus, THE most impromptu bank robbery you could ever imagine!

The would-be thieves are a funny old bunch. Each of them are brimming with truly individual traits, being quirkily charming and outwardly content with their quiet, uneventful noodle-eating day. Then why on earth would they contemplate breaking into the bank that’s paying their wages and putting food on their tables?

Following the sad passing of Old Papa Han the bank is left to recruit a new manager. Modernising the ramshackle building is a work in progress, with new staff and security measures to boot. Some employees are finding it difficult to adjust to the changes in their lives, both inside and outside the bank walls. Most are doing what they can to accept the new order of things, but sometimes that comes at a price.

Bought together through circumstance and opportunity, the gathering of kindred spirits hastily plot the crime. Considering it was based on the vaguest interpretation of an idea, which came to a security guard via a pig, the moon, and his villainous deceased aunt, you would think they would at least have a contingency plan in place, not sitting around in their underwear (don’t ask), scrambling around for plastic bags to wear on their hands as no one thought to bring gloves to prevent fingerprints being left! Little do they know, the poor little bank is already under fire from events outside their control.

That security guard is Mr Keung, who is undoubtedly the brains *coughs* behind the operation. This extraordinarily loyal employee invites both an ex-burglar and a man living with a guilty secret to share in his chaotic vision, and it feels like the best idea he’s had in ages. What is it they say about too many cooks and all that …?

Despite this shady escapade at the bank, and the wretched past that has shaped each of their lives, there’s still a politeness to the trio’s behaviour. Their story shows that occasionally there’s a good reason why some people may do a ‘bad thing’.

Sometimes it looks like things are changing because everything’s different for a while. It’s only really a change if you can look back a long way and no longer recognise where you came from.

Set in an off-the-beaten-track town in South East Asia this marvellous, warm-hearted tale has oodles of classic, standout moments, both humorous and poignant – it’s a little bit special, and I loved it.

Rating: 5/5

(Huge thanks to Kate at Authoright for arranging a  review copy of this little gem.)

The Feiquon Heist Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

“Three people, three problems, one solution. That’s why the three of us have to rob this bank. What’s more, we have to do it tonight!”

The colossal roll of thunder that roared from the night sky, close above, shaking the floor and rattling the windows in their frames did nothing to steady Kheng’s frayed nerves or suppress his increasing anxiety as he cautiously led his co-conspirators through the dark corridors of the Maklai Provincial Bank. Still, once they’d made it through to the safe room, all they had to do was take the money that they needed and make their way back out.

It was a simple plan, and would solve the ever-growing burden of problems that had been forming since Old Papa Han had passed away. It had never occurred to Kheng that his co-conspirators might have some very different ideas of their own about how the robbery should eventually play out. He was even less aware that he was far from alone in his attempts to capitalise on the evolving circumstances of recent weeks.

Deciding to plan a heist of the provincial bank in a sleepy backwater town in South East Asia wasn’t going to be the straightforward solution that Kheng had imagined, even if he did have the advantage of being the bank’s longest- serving night guard.

BUY THE BOOK

The Feiquon Heist Author Bio

(Courtesy of Authoright)

DCJ Wardle is the author of humorous novels “The Feiquon Heist”, ‘Trading Vincent Crow’ and ‘Vincent Crow: Export’. In January 2013 he was author of the month on http://www.lovewriting.co.uk. Holding post-graduate qualifications in development managements as well as community water supply engineering, over the past sixteen years, he has worked in developing countries in Africa and Asia managing emergency and development programmes.

He currently lives and works in South East Asia.

    TWITTER     |      FACEBOOK     |     WEBSITE     |     GOODREADS

Book Review: On Track for Murder, by Stephen Childs

Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing  |  Date of publication: 1st September 2015  |  Edition: Paperback (Review Copy, provided by Authoright)

On track for murder My Review

On Track for Murder by Stephen Childs COVER ONLY

Well, I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There’s much more to the plot than I’d originally thought. Events move pretty swiftly, not in an exhilarating way, you understand, but by confidently holding your attention throughout.

The unease begins with eighteen year old Abigail Sergeant’s perilous journey in 1897 aboard the SS Elderslie. The young woman is tasked with taking sole care of her brother, Bertrand, who presents with learning difficulties.  The ordeal of the voyage takes it toll on the young lad, as they hit menacing seas. This is the least of Abigale’s problems when they reach their final destination of Australia, as before they disembark they fall victim to an unsavoury crew member, Stanley Larkin.

They leave the vessel behind them with Larkin secured in the Brigg. All they look forward now is seeing their father for the first time since they left England and embracing the new way of life that lies ahead.  The reunion starts badly and quickly falls away, as there’s no one to greet them at the station, except a familiar face they thought they wouldn’t see again so soon. His malevolent presence is truly unnerving.

Any exciting prospects they envisaged are short lived, as what follows is a run in with their fanatically-religious step-mother, who could give Cruella DeVille a run for her money any day of the week.

The step-mom from hell dislikes how the ‘witch girl’ has been encouraged by their father to keep up to date with new technologies and read fiction from the likes of Jules Verne. And she really cannot come to terms with Bertrand and his unusual behaviour, which positively offends her. Before the children get chance to make themselves at home a brutal death occurs.

Convinced of the accused’s innocence the authorities grant Abigale five days to provide proof, or they will hang. How can a young woman alone in Australia investigate a murder without any leads to go on? This is where our dashing yet shy Constable Ridley appears. Eager to make a name for himself as a detective, Ridley accompanies Abigale to try and solve this crime riddle before it’s too late, but he’s left behind when his charge is often two steps ahead of him (not intentionally, I might add!).

Any impropriety is observed in strict 19th century fashion and the entire situation tests Abigale’s failing resolve. She has to dig deep and apply her ‘modern technical knowledge’ when faced with some pretty dire circumstances. Despite her best efforts it’s impossible to confirm the actual culprit until the end, as several names are thrown into the hat of shady people!

All-in-all an entertaining, historical murder mystery where the villains are obnoxious and brusque and an unlikely heroine must try to save the day in an unfamiliar territory. It might be a little tamer than my usual crime reads, but there’s still plenty to keep the little grey cells occupied without wearing them out.

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks to Kate Appleton of Authoright for providing a paperback copy of this book for review.)

On track for murder Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Travelling from England to Australia in the late nineteenth century, Abigail Sergeant and her brother, Bertrand, are looking forward to their new life. Leaving behind the prejudices that would likely have seen Bertrand committed to an institution before he reached adulthood, Abigail hopes their new life will offer freedom and security. But what awaits them on the shores of the Swan River dashes any prospects of a blissful life. A murder is committed and Abigail’s family is thrown into turmoil. The evidence is damning. Only the guilty would be found standing over the body clutching the bloodied murder weapon.

But something is not right. Police are convinced they have their killer. Abigail is certain they are wrong. As their one potential witness is missing, Abigail persuades the detective to allow time for a search. But that time is limited. Chasing across Western Australia with a reluctant Constable Dunning as her chaperone, Abigail is determined to uncover the truth. If only she had an inkling of what that may be. Through deception, kidnap, sabotage and arson, Abigail finds a resolve she didn’t know she possessed. Her understanding of mechanical principles surprises everyone, as does her tenacity. She turns out to be a capable young woman. But is that enough to save an innocent from injustice?

BUY THE BOOK

Stephen Childs was born in London, England in 1961. He is the eldest of four siblings. Stephen travelled to New Zealand with his parents in the early 1970s.

Completing his education in New Zealand, Stephen took up work as an audio engineer in the film and television business.

Although his career covered a wide range of activities, shooting historical drama series’ was one of his favourite roles. In 2013 he moved to Perth, Australia, with his wife and youngest son.

His time is taken swimming, reading and walking along some of the most fabulous coastal walkways in the world.

TWITTER