Monday 28 October 2019

Book Review~ Silent Money by G D Harper

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28 September 2019

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

Michael Mitchell is ambitious, talented and determined to succeed. But he learns the hard way that he will never achieve his goals in life – unless he plays by a different set of rules. He partners with a small-time crook to help the Glasgow underworld launder the proceeds of their crimes. As the operation grows, he is forced to become more and more ruthless to protect what he has built up. Shocked by what he has become, he decides to leave the criminal world behind him and start a new life, respectable and honest. But the past has a way of catching up. Finally, he gambles everything on one last desperate attempt to break free.

What did I think about it...

Michael Mitchell, plays a dangerous game, discontented with his role as assistant branch manager of a Glasgow bank, he realises that his financial skills could be put to much better use, the only problem is that in order to make his fortune he needs to work under the radar as far as the law is concerned.

Bringing 1970s Glasgow alive in the imagination, the author takes us into the dark and often very dangerous world of financial crime, right into the playground of petty criminals and the nightmare of small town thuggery, when so easily being in the wrong place at the wrong time could be a deadly mistake. However, regardless of sailing close to the wind, Michael Mitchell succeeds in creating an empire which, whilst founded on hard work and creativity, is also dangerously volatile.

For all his faults, Mitchell is a very likable crook and whilst I couldn't always reconcile with how he was running his empire the author succeeds in making him extremely personable so although Mitchell's motives to succeed are highly questionable I actually liked the man and bizarrely wanted everything to work out for him. The story is incredibly detailed in terms of how 'dirty' money was laundered and maneuvered, I became quite fascinated in the way vast sums of cash could quite simply disappear, so huge kudos to the author for explaining everything so well and in such meticulous detail.

Although I was never privy to life in 1970s Glasgow, nor have I ever been involved in financial crime, I found that much of the story resonated quite simply because the hedonistic days of the early seventies are explained so well that they really come alive. The excitement of watching the bright and beautiful people strut their stuff in nightclubs with the strident blare of TSOP and Van McCoy's Hustle booming out from forceful speakers took me right back in time, so that I could hear the beat of the music and smell the pungent aroma of stale beer and the macho allure of Aramis aftershave.

The author writes this detailed crime genre with meticulous detail and delivers strong characters with a gutsy story which never fails to entertain from start to finish. In Silent Money it has been fascinating to observe Michael Mitchell's personal story and of his connection to the other characters who pop up in the series. I've now read the whole of this series and it has been really interesting to see just how the story has eventually played out. Silent Money gives us the origins of the story which is continued in Love's Long Road and concludes with A Friend in Deed. 

All three books can be read as standalones although it does make sense to read in some semblance of order.

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About the Author

GD Harper has won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition and placed third in the Lightship Prize for first-time authors.

Twitter @harper_author

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