High up in the Andean mountain range, a special convoy is at the start of a difficult journey. The precious goods within will ensure the riches of a secretive group.
Archie Malcolm is a student, working for the Navy and looking for love. He’s a bell-ringer at the local cathedral, wondering where his life is going, when he is given his first task: to reduce the rise of illegal substances entering the UK. The opportunity for him to lead his own team of men is irresistible and he embarks on a journey that takes him to the Alps. The mission ultimately brings him closer to home than he could ever imagine and starts to conflict with former friends and those he loves and admired. When he finds the task given to him far greater than he could ever have expected, he turns to his friends for help. Will Archie discover the truth behind the corruption on his doorstep and bring down those responsible... And will he find love? Will his friends save him or will they be his downfall?
The Ringer is a fast-paced action novel with a gripping plot and an ingenious unique bell-ringing story thread. Join the elite team who have been given a compromised mission that results in a rollercoaster read and an adrenaline-fuelled ending. It will be enjoyed by fans of exciting action adventure novels and is inspired by authors including James Patterson, Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer.
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Overwhelmed by the support and positive comments about the book. Press has included local newspapers and magazines, colleagues websites and review forums, facebook groups and alumni pages.
Bromsgrove Standard, www.bromsgrovestandard.co.uk, November 2011
The Bookseller Buyer's Guide, Autumn 2011
Archie Malcolm is a naval officer, young, fit and keen to prove himself. Life is good; he has great friends, a hobby that keeps him out of trouble and he may just have met the love of his life, but it doesn’t seem quite enough. Archie is eager for a challenge and gets just that when his naval Commander tasks him with a mission that has so far turned up only empty leads. It seems the UK is cracking down on drug smuggling and new intelligence sends Archie and his hand-selected team off to the French Alps to investigate.
Meanwhile in South America, the seductive Natalia Morales, daughter of a notorious crime lord, is heading for the UK to see through her part in the family business. Local contacts await her arrival but unfortunately for Archie the centre of the drug plot lies closer to home than he expected. Friendships will be called into question, betrayal is definitely on the agenda and the ultimate question rides: will Archie get the girl?
With a gripping opening and a page-turning plot, the book tracks Archie’s progress as he works to uncover the drug plot and winds up tracing its roots to the last location he would have considered. Unexpectedly, his love interest Emma carries a fair section of the narrative and she faces problems of her own that inextricably link back to Archie. The plot is ripe with twists that keep the reader engaged up to the end.
I should explain that the title of this book refers to the hobby and frequent pastime of its protagonist – bell ringing. Campanology (which is the technical term for bell ringing) is a running theme in the book, not only playing a part in the action but also inviting us fully into Archie’s world and illustrating the social and practical concerns he faces in this aspect of his life. The book will certainly appeal to a niche market on this basis and bell-ringing enthusiasts will be thrilled at the level of detail and exposure the practice is given.
As someone who knows very little about campanology (and indeed had never heard the word campanology prior to opening the book) I did not feel isolated by the level of detail, rather I felt a satisfied sense of knowing a little more than I did before I read it and certainly for Archie at least there are more complex considerations to bell ringing than just pulling the rope.
The action builds through Archie’s two worlds – his naval duties and his bell ringing – to a climax of Bond-style villainy, and should I ever enter a bell tower I suspect this book will be on my mind as a result of the highly visual reference. I shan’t tell you anymore; you will have to read it.
What is interesting is that the author uses an omniscient point of view and so throughout the novel the story plays out from every angle. The reader is fully immersed in each location and the roaming viewpoint gives opportunity to understand and empathise with each character’s motivations and desires at that given moment, no matter how small their part in Archie’s tale.
A sidestep from my usual genre fiction (fantasy/sci fi) this book is more akin to the action/thriller fast paced novels that fill airport bookshops and make for popular holiday reading. For me, in reading this book, complex multi-layered plots in imagined worlds gave way to a story that was driven more by the pace of reality and a need to know what comes next, which worked absolutely fine and provided a refreshing change to my usual reading material.
The Ringer is an easy read and a commendable debut novel, especially when you consider that it was written on a busy train on the author’s daily commute to and from a corporate office job. Escapism is a definite bonus and with a combination of descriptive prose and snappy scenes the reader is propelled from the UK to South America, the Alps and then drawn back again as Archie and the other characters converge to an unexpected climax. Find out more at www.troubador.co.uk.
by Elloise Hopkins