Author: Gary Raymond
Genre: Literary Thriller
Format: Paperback 180 pages
Release Date: 30 June 2018
Publisher: Parthian Books
Today it is my great pleasure to join the blog tour for Gary Raymond’s book ‘The Golden Orphans’. My thanks to the publisher Parthian Books for the advance copy for review and to Emma Welton at Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to join the tour. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About the Book
Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…
Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…
The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.
You can order your copy of ‘The Golden Orphans’ from Amazon at:
The book starts at the funeral of Francis Benthem to which only one person sadly has turned up. Francis used to be a lecturer of fine art at St. Martin’s which is where our narrator first met him and learnt everything he knows today. Francis was our narrators mentor and had made quite an impression on his life although he hadn’t been in touch with Francis recently.
Some Russians make a brief appearance at the funeral, they do not acknowledge our narrator but merely throw a fistful of dirt on the grave and depart back to their Bentley. It makes our narrator angry that Francis has been associating with people of this ilk and that he was not living up to the memories the narrator has of him from back in London.
Quite perturbed by the thought of who his beloved mentor was associating with he sets out on the path to try and find out what the connection was.
The book is set in Cyprus which instantly attracted me to this read as I haven’t read many books set in this country. The author describes the island beautifully and it really comes across that this is the kind of place where you could go to reinvent or as the case may be, lose yourself in a different environment.
We never really get to know much personally about the narrator. We don’t even learn his name. The only thing that we really learn about him is that he has left behind in the UK his partner Clare with whom his relationship is rocky at best. To be quite honest, they don’t even seem to like each other. I think it’s this fact that makes the decision for our narrator to stay in Cyprus and explore a bit easier.
I got the sense the narrator is a bit of a lost soul and didn’t really know what to do with himself. He doesn’t seem particularly happy with his life in London, his relationship with his girlfriend is not the best and his career is not going the way he maybe thought it would. After making the decision to stay in Cyprus things definitely get a lot more exciting for him!
The author has created a really interesting concept with ‘the Golden Orphans’ and has woven this all together rather nicely for what was a really enjoyable read. It’s a fairly short book and I finished it within a day but it definitely left its mark. There’s a lot of action crammed into these few pages.
If you’re looking for a book you can devour in one go then give ‘The Golden Orphans’ a read.
About the Author
Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’, The Review Show, and is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator.
For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks