Mr W is away working in the Netherlands this week; over the preceding weekend I read More than you can say by Paul Torday and it occurred to me that Mr W would also enjoy it so I dispatched him with it on Monday morning (4am start...) and by Monday evening (lots of delays on the plane) he reported that he'd finished it and enjoyed it a lot. It's been soooooo long since I actually wrote about a book on this blog that I thought I should make an exception for this as I think it's the first fiction book that he's read all year.
You might be familiar with Paul Torday for his book Salmon Fishing in the Yemen which I think was a Richard and Judy choice a couple of years ago; I think I read that at the time but it certainly didn't stay with me in the way that this book did. The plot could be considered ridiculous but somehow it becomes more plausible as the story continues:
It tells the story of Richard, an ex soldier who has left hte army after fighting in Afghanistan. He's struggled to settle down into normal life, tried to run a restaurant, tried to resume his relationship and failed. Although we know this at the start it is only as the book develops that we find out the details and this story. He turns to gambling and this is pretty much where the book opens. Gambling one night in London he takes a bet to be in Oxford by 1pm the following day, travelling only on foot. As an ex-soldier, a 52 mile route march isn't too daunting so he takes it up, unsure if his shoes will make it. But on the way he is kidnapped. It's difficult to say too much more without giving the plot away but it is a story of many twists and turns that I really couldn't put down.
A reviewer on Amazon says "if you want gripping storylines then buy his books" so I am actually tempted to seek out more of his books at the library. This one was not by any means great literature but it was hugely enjoyable and an absolute page-turner and I've not seen it mentioned on any of the blogs that I follow.