I am so very excited to be the first stop on the blog tour for Letterbox by P.A.Davies.
EXCERPT: For the first time since being in the room, the dark figure leant into the light revealing a large, bulldog looking face sat upon a thick neck. His nose looked like it had been broken several times, no doubt the result from years of street fighting and a three inch scar ran up his left cheek, the legacy of an inaccurate gunman. His dark piercing eyes shone in the bright glow and remained unblinking as he stared at the man across the table. When he spoke this time, the tone of his voice was like a low growl, demanding an answer to his question. ‘Have y’bin turned?’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: At approximately 09.00hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; it contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life!
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbors a dark historic secret, following a life a lot less ordinary … as a furtive, yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.
As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.
Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old!
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government!
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard … And listened to!!
MY THOUGHTS: If you had told me that I was going to love a book about the 1996 Manchester bombing, I would have laughed at you. ‘Not my thing,’ I would have stated confidently. It was something I would have passed to my husband, probably rolling my eyes while doing so.
When Caroline Vincent (Bits About Books) asked me to read Letterbox by P.A.Davies she very cleverly didn’t tell me what it was about, just that she thought that I might enjoy it. She was right.
I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have preconceived ideas about the IRA. I can’t imagine having to live through that era on either side. I can remember being horrified at the violence and the waste of life by both sides. Wonderered why they couldn’t just sit around the table and sort it. Which, eventually, they did. While I don’t condone the actions of either side, I now have a deeper understanding.
Author P. A. Davies does a great job of providing a balanced view of the bombing in this powerfully written, enthralling piece of ‘historical faction’. I, quite unexpectedly, found myself drawn into the Connor family, enjoying watching Liam grow up, experiencing his anger when he finds out the truth about his father, his devastation at his father’s death, and his subsequent indoctrination into the IRA. I loved his sense of loyalty, his need to protect his best friend. I wept for Margaret, for the treatment she received both from her family and the SAS, and then her senseless death at the hands of an enemy far more lethal and widespread than the IRA and the British Army combined
Letterbox was an unexpected pleasure. One I won’t hesitate to recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: P.A. Davies
This is P.A. Davies at his favourite writing space: Costa Coffee Café
P.A. Davies grew up in Manchester, UK, a place he has lived in and around all his life – he loves Manchester and is proud to be part of the multi-cultural, modern city that houses two Premiership football teams and is the birthplace of many a famous band, such as Oasis, the Stone Roses, Take That and Simply Red.
For most of his life, he dabbled with writing various pieces, from poems to short fictional stories just for fun. However, following advice from a good friend he decided to have a go at writing a novel. Thus, his first novel ‘Letterbox’ was conceived, a fictional take on the infamous IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. It took him over a year to complete but while doing so, he found it to be one of the most satisfying and interesting paths he had ever followed. It comes as no surprise that the writing bug now became firmly embedded within him.
P.A. Davies’ second book was published in May 2013, ‘George: A Gentleman of the Road’, a true story about one of Manchester’s homeless. His third novel, ‘The Good in Mister Philips’, is an erotic novel (arguably set to rival Fifty Shades…!) and his fourth, ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’ (Dec. 2015) is again a fact-based tale, this time of Manchester’s darker side. The thriller ‘Absolution’ (Oct. 2017) is his fifth novel. Currently, P.A. Davies is writing his sixth novel, titled ‘I, Muslim.’
To label P.A. Davies’ writings would be difficult because his works diverse from thrillers to touching novels to true-to-life tales embedded in a captivating story for the author is an imaginative and versatile storyteller.
Author Website: www.padavies.co.uk
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/padavies.ukauthor
Amazon Author Page: author.to/PADavies
Books by P.A. Davies
Absolution (2017) getbook.at/Absolution-PADavies
Nobody Heard Me Cry (2016) getbook.at/NobodyHeardMeCry
The Good in Mister Philips (2014) getbook.at/TheGoodinMisterPhilips
George: A Gentleman of the Road (2013) getbook.at/GeorgeAGentlemanoftheRoad
Letterbox (2011) getbook.at/Letterbox
Thank you to author P. A. Davies and Bits About Books Caroline Vincent for providing a digital copy of Letterbox for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.