Firstly I wish to thank Caroline Vincent of Bits about Books for inviting me on this Blog tour for LETTERBOX by P.A. Davies
Paperback 268 pages
Publisher MJD Publishing (1st edition;1 April 2012)
eBook 605 KB (22 Dec. 2011)
Letterbox is strong, powerful, emotive. A harrowing novel about the 1996 Manchester IRA bombing – what a haunting tale and heartbreaking insight into the lives of those, responsible for the bombings and of those, who by their very being had no choice but to be implicated in it… their lives will never be the same…
At approximately 09.00 hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; It contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15 hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the Second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.
Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life.
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbours a dark historic secret and follows a life less ordinary … as a furtive yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.
As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.
Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old.
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government.
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb-laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard …
And listened to…
Paperback (signed): https://padavies.co.uk/shop/
Paperback or Ebook from Amazon: getbook.at/Letterbox
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I knew that this was going to be a hard read before I opened the book as I could remember this time in history all too clearly. I remember thinking that this just could not be justified, not the senseless loss of innocent lives and I have read this book and it is extremely well written but I see couldn’t justify it. It hasn’t changed my mind but it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a brilliantly written story because this feels raw and honest of how one man was affected by the political decisions that were made. This is one voice. It is about how he justifies what he does, I didn’t have to agree but I did understand.
It seemed very strange reading a story written from the other side of the coin. Liam was like me really as none of the atrocities that were happening, just across a few miles water, really affected him, not directly. He lived in a cocoon with it all being background noise. That was until the day his father was arrested for his involvement as a former top IRA soldier. Liam and his sister had no idea of the things he had done in his role of terrorist. When the family were told he had been killed, Liam became a weapon of vengeance and his sister a victim of a darker substance.
This is the author’s first book and well it is extremely addictive with a perfect balance of fact and fiction woven in seamless chapters. Now here is where it got me, I had got to know this likable lad who was at an impressionable age. It just took the wrong person to whisper in his ear at the right time. I loved how I became privy to Liam’s most private thoughts. His reasoning, intense hatred and at times how he could cut his self off from his mission to feel the devastation first hand. An instigator of life and death, the taker and giver of life in a surreal state of mind. A strange combination as he was on the inside looking out and I on the outside looking in. It was like we had swopped roles or at least the eyes we both looked through. He understood the horror and I felt I understood the why.
An emotional piece of history made very personal. Highly recommended!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
P.A. Davies grew up in Manchester, UK, a place he has lived in and around all his life – he loves Manchester and is proud to be part of the multi-cultural, modern city that houses two Premiership football teams and is the birthplace of many a famous band, such as Oasis, the Stone Roses, Take That and Simply Red.
For most of his life, he dabbled with writing various pieces, from poems to short fictional stories just for fun. However, following advice from a good friend he decided to have a go at writing a novel. Thus, his first novel ‘Letterbox’ was conceived, a fictional take on the infamous IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. It took him over a year to complete but while doing so, he found it to be one of the most satisfying and interesting paths he had ever followed. It comes as no surprise that the writing bug now became firmly embedded within him.
P.A. Davies’ second book was published in May 2013, ‘George: A Gentleman of the Road’, a true story about one of Manchester’s homeless. His third novel, ‘The Good in Mister Philips’, is an erotic novel (arguably set to rival Fifty Shades…!) and his fourth, ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’ (Dec. 2015) is again a fact-based tale, this time of Manchester’s darker side. The thriller ‘Absolution’ (Oct. 2017) is his fifth novel. Currently, P.A. Davies is writing his sixth novel, titled ‘I, Muslim.’
To label P.A. Davies’ writings would be difficult because his works diverse from thrillers to touching novels to true-to-life tales embedded in a captivating story for the author is an imaginative and versatile storyteller.
Author Website: http://www.padavies.co.uk
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/padavies.ukauthor
Amazon Author Page: author.to/PADavies
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR
Absolution (2017) getbook.at/Absolution-PADavies
Nobody Heard Me Cry (2016) getbook.at/NobodyHeardMeCry
The Good in Mister Philips (2014) getbook.at/TheGoodinMisterPhilips
George: A Gentleman of the Road (2013) getbook.at/GeorgeAGentlemanoftheRoad
Letterbox (2011) getbook.at/Letterbox