I’ve never really been one for politics. Sure I know who the main politicians and world leaders are and the messes they make of the countries they claim to represent. I have a basic grasp of several political issues but I would be lying if I said my knowledge was more than basic. During my time at Coventry University I dated a mature politics student who had the unique ability to bore anyone within earshot ad nauseum with his views. I suspect that this was what deterred me from looking further into these issues. After all Rob thought he knew it all.
Recently however I was privileged to “meet” someone who not only has a sound grasp of the political issues of the day, but who has the ability to weave them into suspenseful political thrillers built on characterisation and his ability to state more than one side of an issue in such a way as his own opinions are not forced down the reader’s throat. David Menon gives his readers the facts in such a way as to allow them to make up their own minds. This is a rare ability as most political writers make no secret of their own stances and leave little space for readers to decide for themselves.
In his novel The Wild Heart Menon delves deep into the troubled past of Northern Ireland and the complexities of the Peace process without prejudice. He sums up all sides of the arguments and explores the menace of divided loyalties and treachery, along with the vengeful consequences of long held grudges. His protagonist, Ian Taylor, has kept himself to himself and has indulged in some less than savoury actions as a result of the death of his lover. But Ian has now met someone else and while the relationship is by no means central to the story it serves as a kind of emotional and moral compass. Ian’s sexuality is a minor factor as whoever he was involved with would mean a lot to him, which is why he is reluctant to involve his new partner, Mark, in discussions about his past. At more than one point Ian faces danger and, in truth, is wary of exactly which side he is now on and who he can trust, but he and Mark show incredible spirit and courage, I am incredible surprised and, indeed, disappointed that David Menon has not yet found the acclaim he richly deserves.
You can get your own copy of The Wild Heart from Amazon.
But this is not Menon’s only political thriller.
He has also written the DCI Sara Hoyland series of political thrillers.
There are, as I understand it, three or more DCI Hoyland books. So far I have read only the third Outside the rain. This excellent fast-paced book will make you breathless as there are more twists and turns than a labyrinth. Outside the rain deals with the Israeli-Palestinian issue relating back to the Holocaust and anti-semitism throughout history alongside the growing distrust of Muslims in this post 9/11 society. It features security services a bombing as well as the false arrest and imprisonment of a man based solely on mistaken identity when in fact the real perpetrators are at large and far more dangerous.
DCI Hoyland uses her personal loss through the bombing as her drive and determination to get to the bottom of things. She also embarks on a new relationship with the intended target of a failed assassination attempt which might compromise her, but she shows determination and humanity throughout and is a character to be reckoned with. I simply can’t wait to read more about her.
You can get your own copy of Outside the rain and David Menon’s other books here.
David is also responsible for Sorceror (make no mistake, there is no magic or boy wizards in this tale so don’t let the title and what it suggests put you off.) It is the first in the Superintendent Jeff Barton series and pitches him against a gruesome discovery of human remains at a now disused care home for boys. The investigation leads to horrific discoveries of torture, sadistic sexual abuse and murder. Anyone who feels empathy with the villains in this piece can only be of their ilk as they have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
There is also Gypsy. Danny, a successful BBC correspondent, returns to his hometown of Matlock on assignment, but he has a hidden agenda; to discover the truth about the murder of his best friend, Nigel Slater, thirty years before. This brings him in contact with an old flame and her husband, who was his childhood nemesis, and now has serious problems of his own. Danny is forced to confront things he would sooner not have known. Danny’s sexuality is not the be all and end all, although some narrow minded readers might view it as such. The story and its revelations is far bigger than any of that.
Check out David Menon’s Amazon page and discover a writer whose pen is dipped deep into political conviction.
David is a terrific writer whom I am also privileged to call a friend and I wish him every success in the future and hope that one day he gets the acclaim he truly deserves.
I really look forward to hearing more from this exceptional author in future.