Published: 28/08/2016
ISBN: 9781785893056
eISBN: 9781785896286
Format: Paperback/eBook

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About the Author

John Bean hs had a long career as an editor of technical magazines and then as a press release agent for several UK companies. He has also had published two previous novels. Firstly "Ten Miles From An... read more

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Trail of the Viking Finger
A Northern Family Saga
by John Bean

As Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Carl Jung, wrote: “history is not contained in thick books, but lives in our very blood”.

Set mainly in Yorkshire and Tyneside, this historical novel deals with the descendants of the Byrne family, whose founder was a Danish Viking – Bjorne the Red. Trail of the Viking Finger follows the lives of the Byrne family over a 900-year period, from 1066 onwards. In particular, John Bean is interested in the shared DNA of the family and comments on how several behavioural characteristics, often violent, move between each generation. Although the story is fictitious, Trail of the Viking Finger uses much of John’s own family tree as a basis to this story. John weaves the characters in and out of historical situations throughout the centuries as they deal with the ever-changing society, making it a fascinating, unusual read.

In particular, John explores how the Brynes react to British social and political events throughout history including the post-Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the Peasants Revolt, The English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World War One. Whilst exploring the family politics of the Byrnes, John also mirrors some of his own life experiences in Trail of the Viking Finger, one of which includes the result of having an unsuccessful operation to cure Dupuytren’s Contracture – known as the ‘Viking Finger’. After the operation, John learns that his DNA was recognised as being of Anglo-Saxon or Danish Viking origin, something that has been descended from his ancestors.

This book will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction as well as those who are particularly interested in family trees. In addition, readers of Edward Rutherfurd’s historical novels may compare Trail of the Viking Finger to his works, not least his first, Sarum, with its 10,000 year storyline.

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The Trail of the Viking Finger is being reviewed in the East Anglian Daily Times, and already covered in local Suffolk weeklies (+ on line versions) for Bury St. Edmunds, Newmarket, and Haverhill.

Discussions under way for coverage in Yorkshire newspapers.

On a recent holiday I took with me a copy of Trail of the Viking Finger, which I had bought almost five months ago but had delayed reading. Once started I was entranced and had to be persuaded by my wife to put it down so we could enoy the holiday.
I finished it over three sunny days and confess to shedding a tear several times.
Knowing you for some years I could detect a good deal of your personal biograpical detaiil such as: Tyneside,Yorkshire, India and suffering your Viking fingers and the odd outburst of raging temper. Well done John, you exercised your mind and mine to good effect.
Best wishes, Ian Macintosh.

Books Monthly

East Anglian Daily Times

Bury Free Press

Greyhound Wickhambrook

Haverhill Echo

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