Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Madness March 18th John Holt.."Epidemic " & "The Marinski Affair"

 March Madness for March 18th Welcomes author John Holt: 

 2 books to win..."Epidemic" and "The Marinski Affair"
Image of John Holt
Born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor, until I retired in 2008. I had always wanted to write a novel but could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, The Kammersee Affair, written in 2008. was inspired by a holiday in Austria. We were staying in Grundlsee. 

The next lake, Toplitzsee, was used by the Germans during the war to test rockets, and torpedoes. There were rumours of gold hidden in that lake. Despite extensive searches the gold was never found. In my book, however, it is found, only in the next lake, Kammersee.
The books that followed, The Mackenzie File, The Marinski Affair, and Epidemic, feature Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective. My fifth book, A Killing In The City, another featuring Tom Kendall, is currently with my publisher and should be available within the next few weeks. I am currently working on another novel featuring Tom Kendall, and have made a tentative start on an Adventure novel.

Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective, is asked to investigate the death of a young newspaper reporter. The evidence shows quite clearly that it was an accident: a simple, dreadful accident. That is the finding of the coroner and the local police. Furthermore, there were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing. But was it an accident, or was it something more sinister? Against a backdrop of a viral epidemic slowly spreading from Central America, a simple case soon places Kendall up against one of the largest drug companies in the country.

I must admit that when I opened the package from New Books Magazine and found Epidemic was my latest review book, I really didn't think that it was going to be my cup of tea. Published by Raider Publishing, the book has that 'self-published' feel to it, and the blurb on the back really didn't appeal to me.

However, I'll give anything a chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Epidemic centres around Tom Kendall - a Miami Private Investigator, who along with his ever faithful secretary Mollie runs a small Detective Agency. Tom Kendall is possibly the most laid-back, even lazy, PI that I've ever read about. He is asked to investigate the death of a local newspaper journalist. The death has been put down to 'accidental death' but the family are convinced that it was murder. Tom is not that keen to investigate - it all seems cut and dried to him, but he agrees to take on the case - encouraged by Mollie.

As Tom digs deeper into the background of the case, one name begins to crop up on a regular basis, that of Trenton; a large American drug company. Trenton are also very involved in the numerous cases of Rican Flu that are being reported on a daily basis all over the world.

The plot is very well thought out and makes the reader consider just how and why these super viruses suddenly occur - and the role that drug companies play in the cure and prevention - and possibly the start of the virus. This is a complex plot with many characters, but the stars of the story are definitely Tom and Mollie.

John Holt writes a good thriller, with great pace and good plot. With some tweaking of dialogue, I'm positive that John Holt's Detective Tom Kendall could be a real success in the future.

The Marinski Affair
The Marinski Affair
The Marinski Affair began as a dull mundane case involving a missing husband. Okay, so he was a rich missing husband, but he was nonetheless, still only a missing husband. The case soon developed into one involving robbery, kidnapping, blackmail and murder. But was there really a kidnapping? And exactly who is blackmailing who? Who actually carried out the robbery? Who committed the murders? Who can you trust? Who can you believe? Is anyone actually telling the truth? What have they got to hide? And what connection was there with a jewel theft that occurred four years previously? All is not as it seems. 

Tom Kendall, private detective, had the task of solving the mystery. He was usually pretty good a solving puzzles, but this one was different, somehow. It wasn't that he didn't have any of the pieces. Oh no, he wasn't short of clues. It was just that none of the pieces seemed to fit together.

This is the second of John Holt's books I've read. His strengths are for characterisation, and especially, for well thought-out plots. I very much like Detective Tom Kendall and his offsider, Mollie. Well worth a read. "

Please remember you MUST leave a comment on this post to have a chance at winning this book!

PLUS...Join this blog and be in the running to win not one but TWO books written by your host Soooz under her pen name of Stacey Danson..."Empty Chairs" and "Faint Echoes of Laughter"

Make certain you leave a link or an email where you can be notified of your win.


  1. I can recommend both of these. I do like John Holt's writing.

  2. John is a prolific writer of mystery and crime. The main protagonist, private detective, Tom Kendall, is like a bulldog with a bone, because once he gets his investigative teeth into into it, he doesn't stop until he hits marrow. As intelligent as Morse, his new upcoming release, 'A Killing in the City', may well be the icing on the cake.

    Rags Daniels

  3. John is an excellent writer. I've read the first part of A Killing in the City, and fully expect to enjoy the whole book very much when it comes out.

  4. Classic thriller ingredients, great characterisations - certainly sounds worth a read!

  5. Genial John. I consider myself very lucky to count John among my friends. Similarly to Gerry, to date I have just read the opening chapter of A Killing in the City, but that was enough for me to know that I would enjoy the rest of the story. As one of the reviewers above commented, John has a good eye for a plot and his characters are well-developed. Definitely a recommended read.

    PS. Please do NOT include me in the draw, Soooz. I have both these works already - courtesy of dear old John!

  6. I like Johns writing style. What more can I say.


  7. My thanks for participating, folks.

    Names are in the hat and here we go..................

    Congratulations Andy are the lucky winner of both "Epidemic"
    and "The Marinski Affair"

  8. i like that Epidemic takes on the big pharma company, best adversary i can think of, and questions the circumstances of the flu. good going.

    i also think it's interesting about the lake and the gold, the kind of situation that brings up interesting speculations about history.

  9. John spins a great tale. He manages to combine intelligent plot lines with his own wry humour. The resulting interaction between Kendall and Mollie is a joy to read.


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