Publication Date: 28th January 2020 – The Book Guild
Estimated Page Count – 368
Standalone story but is the second DCI Daniel Appleman thriller
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Telephone Call’ by Michael Pakenham. Many thanks to The Book Guild, the author and Rachel’s Random Resources for my review copy and for including me on the tour, in exchange for my impartial and honest thoughts as a reader.
What’s it about?
When Rosemary Sherwood overhears a disturbing conversation between her husband, Harry Sherwood and an unknown caller, she has no idea that her life’s about to change forever. Fleeing to France for fear of her own safety, Harry threatens to kill their son if she ever dares to breathe a word of anything she overheard.
Torn between hiding out in France and re-connecting with her estranged son, Rosemary returns to England twelve years later believing that she and her son are now out of danger…
A web of deceit and lies has been woven over the years to cover up the antics of Harry and his friends, who are no strangers to violence and murder and who will stop at nothing to ensure they aren’t exposed.
Private Detective Daniel Appleman takes on the case, but can he track down these men before they wreak havoc on the Sherwood family?
The book has a very strong start, as we are introduced the villains of the piece while they are planning their perverse activities, and I was keenly drawn to the possibilities of the plot, which I will say from the outset, was a great one.
I am only providing thoughts as one reader in a sea of millions, certainly not as a literary critic or writer, so I can only comment on my own personal reading experience. I felt that at times, the dialogue between characters provided a little too much information – by no means all the time, but sometimes. There was some extraneous detail that detracted a little from the story as I experienced it, which I have already said had a great plot. Occasionally I also felt that some characters behaved too erratically, and it actually took me until halfway through the novel until I was fully invested in the non-villainous ones.
Having said that, once I was beyond the half-way point, I raced through the story and genuinely really enjoyed it. The pacing is good, the plot is intriguing, and it all builds up to a very decent conclusion. I particularly loved Avo (short for Avocado) and was very relieved for him!
A, B, C and D provided me with comic relief at some points. They were good characters and balanced the darkness of the general theme of the book very well.
I haven’t read the first DCI Appleman book, but this is absolutely fine as a standalone.
A little heart-breaking at times, the Telephone Call is a well-plotted, fast-paced novel which I enjoyed. It is violent, with some memorable villains and the themes are disturbing, but if this is the way you like your novels, I think you’ll like it!
I’ve read all the other blogger reviews so far and I would urge you to balance mine out with the rest, which are brilliant! The tour banner is below:
About the author:
Michael Pakenham is part of a well-known Irish literary family. Generations of his family lived at Langford Lodge on Loch Neagh outside Belfast. His father was killed in the Second World War and the estate was sold. His mother then took Michael and his sister to Tucson Arizona until the end of the war. On returning to England, his mother bought a farm in Hampshire and Michael has lived in the county ever since. Having served in the Grenadier Guards – the fourth generation to do so – Michael returned to take over his mother’s farming enterprises until he sold his farming interests in 1990 and started his writing career. This will be his eighth book and the second in the Daniel Appleman series. He lives outside Winchester with his wife. He has three children and a string of grandchildren.
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