Troubador Dust on the Nettles

Released: 15/02/2013

ISBN: 9781780884073

Format: Paperback

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Dust on the Nettles


Nick Kellaway runs a secretive hedge fund, based in offices in Mayfair and Geneva. He has grown rich through managing other people’s money in unconventional ways. In the summer of 2007, he sets detailed plans in place to profit from the gathering financial storm clouds as the global economy sinks into recession. But Nick has never been quite allowed to forget the road not taken. Nor has he entirely forgotten Janice Day – supposedly killed in her youth – with whom he once dreamed of travelling that alternative road. On the evening of 25th July 2007, a phone call from a woman claiming to be her reawakens a concealed past that has never ceased to haunt Nick and now threatens to disrupt everything about the rich financier’s lifestyle he now lives. Readers are taken on Nick’s troubled journey, from the revolutionary student politics of the 1960s and 70s – through rape, murder, espionage, financial scams and brushes with terrorism – to the great financial crisis of 2008. As his world is stripped bare, there is no place left to hide. Or is there? Dust on the Nettles is a multi-layered psychological drama where fiction mingles with real historical events. It will appeal to readers of thrillers.


The Crack Magazine


Roger Boylan,

Books Monthly

The Book Specialist

Deeply evocative of an era, the Sixties and Seventies, and places, notably Geneva, London, and Oxford--although the story also takes us around the Aegean and into the Communist Bloc--Dust on the Nettles is primarily a brilliant character study, a psychodrama with elements of John le Carre's spy thrillers. Like Le Carre's characters, Nick Kellaway, the narrator, is an enigma, and remains one, although we follow him through forty years of his life, through numerous love affairs and various episodes of violence and terrorism (the Baader-Meinhof gang loom large in the story). Quite likable when not being a thorough bastard, ruthless enough to succeed in the world of finance, he's strangely naive about his own mortal enemies until it's almost too late. Blake renders him as intriguing and multilayered a character as Milton's Satan, and in prose that soars at times he brings to life that long-ago world when he and I were young.

by Roger Boylan

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