The Hoard/The Threshing Circle by Neil Grimmett-reviews
by Neil Grimmett
Genre: mystery, suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 5, 2014
The Hoard is a thriller set in the secretive, dangerous world of a Royal Ordnance Factory; a vast, surreal place full of some of the most volatile elements on the planet.
Thirty years before the main story, the nitration house at the ROF in Bridgwater exploded in a fireball that could be seen for miles around. The entire crew was killed, and the source of the explosion was never found; authorities claimed that the charge in the nitrator had gone critical and that the chargehand was unable to stop a lethal cook-off. But Gunner Wade, the man the nitration crew sent for help that day knows differently: they were murdered; and he was branded a coward.
Now Byron, the son of one of the victims, enters the sprawling Gormenghast-like compound of the top secret factory to discover the truth about his father’s death. But what he finds in the dark heart of this world is a hidden hoard of super-high explosives; illegally produced and drenched in the blood of those killed to conceal its existence
Inspired by a massive explosion that killed six men at the real-world ROF Bridgwater facility in 1951 – no cause was ever found – The Hoard is a gripping, grim novel that offers a glimpse into a self-contained apocalyptic landscape scarred both by the birthing of the materiel that fuels war, and the hearts of evil men who would do anything for greed.
REVIEW: THE HOARD is an intriguing storyline of suspense, mystery, murder and betrayal focusing on the Royal Ordnance Factory-a munitions compound where in 1951 an horrific explosion killed several employees leaving many unanswered questions and grieving families. Fast forward to 1979 when Byron Kerslake, the son of one of the victims, begins an investigation of his own only to realize that what began in 1951 has yet to be completed.
Told from several close third person points of view, Neil Grimmett’s THE HOARD is a colorful mosaic and infinitely detailed look at greed and betrayal where several interlocking plot points will coalesce in a finale of retribution and remorse. There is a slight ‘historical reality’ as the storyline takes some of its premise from the original ROF Bridgwater, UK disaster where an experimental high explosive was developed and the ensuing cause of an explosion that killed six men was never uncovered. THE HOARD is a fictitious account of the what-ifs and whys.
The ensemble cast of characters is rich in back story; intricately woven throughout the storyline wherein the reader is pulled into the technical and minute details of an industry caught between right and wrong. The premise is infinitely slow to develop as Grimmett’s world building brings together the past with the present focusing on survivors, secrets and the primary players in a high stakes game of avarice and greed.
The storyline is rife with graphic violence and torture, graphic language and imagery. THE HOARD focuses on the cataclysmic events and the aftermath of an explosion where whispers of murder push a young man to uncover the thirty year old secrets that refuse to be silenced any longer. The destructive nature of greed fuels the beast and all those who follow in its’ wake.
THE HOARD is a thrilling, startling and suspenseful tale that will capture your imagination. The storyline unfolds revealing a building path of destruction where the ultimate in retribution will find that revenge is a dish…best left unserved. Neil Grimmett’s ability to weave a storyline unravels like a flower-one petal-or one page-at a time.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy
THE THRESHING CIRCLE
by Neil Grimmett
Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 19, 2014
A young couple arrive on the Greek island of Crete and begin prying into the execution of a beautiful English woman during the German occupation sixty years before. They enter a labyrinth of forbidden love, betrayals, murder, greed and vendettas, old and new.
Then they disappear.
A feisty Scottish woman and an irascible, Zorba-like Greek form a reluctant allegiance in a desperate attempt to find and rescue them. They both have very different motives for their involvement. Their search will take them to hidden rituals, ceremonies, remote gatherings, famous monasteries and villages abandoned after decades of vendettas. To the remote island of Gavdos and finally back to a place that, “Even God does not know exists”.
They will encounter characters good and evil; some modern and pragmatic, others ancient and magical.
All the time they are being stalked by the sons of man who seeks to complete the crimes of his father and sate his own greed and insane desire for vengeance. These men are more animal than human and have been raised in the remote mountains for the sole purpose of carrying out the brutal will of their father.
The mystery of the real, hidden Crete runs deep, and THE THRESHING CIRCLE explores some of the myths and romance while not shying away from its often violent nature.
By the end choices will have to be made. If such actions are really possible on an island where many Cretans still believe that: “The Cycle of Blood”, can never stop flowing.
REVIEW: THE THRESHING CIRCLE, written by Neil Grimmett, is a storyline of mystery and suspense, where the past meets the present; where the sins of the father follow each successive generation; where revenge is the ultimate act of betrayal.
As the storyline unfolds, the reader is pulled back in time to 1942. Near a mountain village (on the Greek island of Crete), witnessed by the members of the village and an army of sadistic soldiers, a young woman named Marianna will be executed by the Nazis. As her infant lay screaming for the mother she will never know, a villager will take the young child and escape to places unknown. Fast forward sixty two years where a young British couple-Patrick and Eleni- in search of the truth will traverse a minefield of lies, deceit, murderous revenge and betrayal in the hopes of uncovering the truth. Enter Scottish ex-pat Kirsty and respected village elder Barba Yiorgos who take on the mission, when the authorities discount the story, to find and locate the now missing British couple. As the clues begin to unfold, Kirsty’s support and faith in Barba’s ability will shatter when another story from the past goes in a decidedly different direction.
THE THRESHING CIRCLE is a fascinating and intriguing crime story rich in Greek and Crete culture. From the small towns and villages, through the ancient ruins of a time long ago, the social nuances and idiosyncrasies of a people who remain locked away in their protective bubble, are the backdrop to a story rich in Greek and Crete heritage, old fashioned beliefs and deadly family secrets. The world building takes the reader on a tour through small cafes, the food and drink of the locals, as well as a cross-island tour in search of the truth. There are moments of betrayal, pain, vengeance, graphic sexual violence and imagery that run full circle from a time when the world was at war with itself to present day when a family is at war with everyone else.
Neil Grimmett will seduce your mind in this thrilling and suspenseful journey that follows two families, three generations and six decades. Where one family needs closure for the pain and heartbreak for an unimaginable death; still another family demands retribution for the sins of the past. There is a dark malevolence weaving itself through the story but in the end, justice will be delivered in much the same way a young woman met her murderous demise.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy
Neil Grimmett has had over eighty five short stories published. In the UK by among others: London Magazine, Stand, Panurge, Iron, Ambit, Postscripts Magazine, Pretext etc. Australia, Quadrant, South Africa, New Contrast. Plus stories in the leading journals of Singapore, India, France, Canada, and the USA, where he has appeared in Fiction, The Yale Review, DoubleTake, The southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, Descant, The Southern Review, West Branch and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He has appeared online in Blackbird, Plum Ruby Review, Tatlin’s Tower, Web Del Sol, In Posse Review, m.a.g., Word Riot, Blue Moon Review, 3AM, Gangway, Eclectica, The Cortland Review, Segue, The Dublin Quarterly , Ducts, Sugar Mule, Mysterical E, Thuglit and over thirty others. His stories have also appeared in the anthologies: ENGLAND CALLING, BOOK OF VOICES and Italy’s ISBN’s Top International Stories. He has made the storySouth Million Writers Notable Short Story list for the last three years.
In addition, he has won the Write On poetry award, 7 Oppenheim John Downes Awards, 5 major British Arts Council Awards, a Royal Society of Authors award and was just awarded a major grant from the Royal Literary Fund. He has been signed over the last ten years by twelve of the leading literary agents in both the UK and USA. His current agent is Jon Elek at United Agents who is just going out with his 2nd literary thriller, THE HOARD.