James Gault reviews Meditations on Murder by Rob Burton
Once in a while in your reading, you come across a guru of imaginative humour. My latest discovery in this field is the author of this book. This is a novel full of side-splitting belly laughs and wild fantastic inventions of plot and character.
It’s a fairy story the like of which you won’t have seen before. Spurned by his long term partner, Charlie Simpson seeks revenge on her and all those associated with her. He sets out to become the most unlikely mass murderer the world has ever known. But supernatural forces take over his mind and his aggressive emotions. The result is a whirlwind of fantasy, crime and violence as Charlie struggles to extricate his evil side from the kind considerate helpful good person that has been suppressing his potential. Laughs follow in copious quantities.
Two warnings about this book! The author decides to delineate a couple of his characters by having them speak in dialects that he freely admits are unintelligible. Being a Scot myself, I didn’t expect to get too much of the South London version. But my youth was steeped in West of Scotland twang, the poems of Robert Burns and the folk songs of the Scottish Battles for Independence. I thought I might at least get the gist of what a spirit from mediaeval Oban was trying to say, but no. A tribute to the writer’s linguistic invention! The good news is that you don’t have to understand any of this obtuse dialogue.
The other warning is this: a strong imagination freewheeling around in the world of ghosts, spirits and fantasy can come up with the most gruesome scenarios. This author doesn’t hold back. If you’re not up to full-on evil, there may be a couple of bits you would prefer to skip over quickly. For me, this is not a reason to avoid the book. You stand to lose too much if you do. Look on what I’m saying here as a warning of the ‘this piece contains some flash photography’ type.
All in all, a worthwhile read! In the blurb, Rob promises us a sequel. When does it come out?
In reply to my last question, author Bob Burton sent me this information:
The up and coming Adventures of Charlie and Nye.
Nye gets her own Novella. The Castle of the Red-Haired Maidens. (A real place near Oban) in Meditations on Murder she won't tell how she was horribly murdered in the 12th C. This Novella covers that backstory. It will be available soon on Kindle as an ebook only. A free copy to anyone who subscribes to my website at https://www.rob-burton.co.uk/
Charlie will have another outing in The Twelfth Rune, a Dan Brownish romp through Cornish Myths and Legends as he attempts to save the world