Jim Napier, the well-known reviewer for The Sherbrooke Record, managed to find a book with a plot that resembles that of The Beggar’s Opera. The Hanging Shed by Gordon Ferris is set in Glasgow during World War II; my novel is set in Cuba. But because of those similarities, Napier reviewed the two books together. He gave a very nice review to both.
“They are two very different takes on a grimly familiar tale: the sexual assault and murder of a young boy and a suspect facing a mountain of damning evidence, unable to account for his actions at a critical time and fighting to prove his innocence. Set againt very different backgrounds, each draws upon a strong sense of place to engage the reader and each juxtaposes one man’s plight against a troubled society with its own agenda. Both make for compelling reading.”
As to The Beggar’s Opera, Napier praises it as “a nuanced account of the struggles of two men to comprehend the sudden and unexpected turns in their complex lives. Blair nicely strings the reader along, casting doubt on what’s real and what’s imaginary, while serving up a tale that combines a penetrating commentary on Cuban life with a whodunit full of twists and turns … readers can look forward to following the further exploits of the enigmatic Cuban police detective.”
You can find the entire review of both books by going to Napier’s website Deadly Diversions and clicking on Great Beginnings: Debut Crime Writers make Strong Start. Napier has certainly piqued my interest in The Hanging Shed, Ferris’s third book, but the first in a new series: I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.