Troubador The Reiver

Released: 28/01/2021

ISBN: 9781838595289

Format: Hardback

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The Reiver

by

For four hundred years between the 13th and 17th centuries, the Border Reivers terrorised people on both sides of the border. Often encouraged by the respective crowns, Reivers, or Raiders, showed no mercy to those they were attacking. Murder, arson and theft were commonplace and victim’s families were said to have been ‘bereaved’. Then, as the countries united, offenders were threatened with execution or deportation, and things slowly calmed down. Raids within the border lands became a thing of the past. 


Two hundred and fifty years later Cumberland and South West Scotland are a long way from the battle fields of World War 1. It’s easy to imagine that the violence and horrors of the conflict will only be felt many miles away in foreign lands. Nothing could be further from the truth. The murder of a soldier, arson attack on a barracks full of new recruits, horrific crash of a troop train transporting reinforcements south to the front line and an attempt to sabotage a local munitions works suggest an even more deadly raider has found his way to the border lands. It falls to habitual pipe smoker Inspector ‘Smoking Joe’ Johnstone of the Carlisle City Police to track him down and eliminate the threat. But can he do so before more lives are lost or before he himself becomes a victim of ‘The Reiver’?

Cumbria Life

The fact that this story is woven around true events lends credibility to the battle between the two, very believable, central characters. The author clearly knows Carlisle and the Borderlands meaning he is able to ensure the action happens in real settings, many of which can still be seen today. This helps the local reader visualise things in a way that lends a vivid reality to events. A must for anyone interested in finding out about the history of the area through a well presented spy thriller.

by A.A from Carlisle


Probably not the best book from a purely writing perspective but a cracking and highly believable story. You're straight into the action from the first page and events race along at a fair pace. Inspector Jack Johnstone, the habitual pipe smoker and wrestling champion, is a wonderful character as is his arch foe, the German spy Heinrich Kohlmeir. Those of us of a certain age will remember fondly (or not) the historic settings for the book, many of which are now gone or have undergone significant change.

by Deborah, Carlisle


Interestingly different. What an intriguing story. Lovely to have a new talented author from Cumbria. A definite Christmas stocking filler. I will look forward to the next book.

by Jenny Brown


Really enjoyed this would highly recommend it.

by Rachel


Mike Routledge

Mike Routledge was educated at Durham University. Since then he has at various times been both a primary and secondary school headteacher, school inspector and Associate Head of Education at a university college. His passion for the outdoors has taken him river canoeing in remote parts of Alaska, sea canoeing in Arctic Norway, trekking across glaciers in Svalbard and skiing throughout Europe. He has written several education texts but the 'The Reiver’ is his first novel. A proud Cumbrian he lives with his family in Cumbria.

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