BLOG TOUR- SECRETS OF THE ITALIAN GARDENER

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TITLE: SECRETS OF THE ITALIAN GARDERNER

AUTHOR: ANDREW CROFT

PUBLISHER: RED DOOR BOOKS

PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 11TH 2017

Thanks so much to Red Door for the gorgeous ARC copy and for inviting me to take part in this blog tour! Make sure you follow the tour using the poster above. #SOTIG

BOOK DESCRIPTION…

Mo, the wealthy dictator of a volatile Middle Eastern country, enlists a ghostwriter to tell his story to the world and enshrine him in history as a glorious ruler. Inside Mo’s besieged palace the ghost forms an unlikely friendship with a wise and seemingly innocent Italian gardener who slowly reveals that the regime isn’t all it appears to be. As a violent rebellion threatens all their lives the ghost struggles to cope with a personal secret too painful to bear.

SECRETS OF THE ITALIAN GARDENER takes the reader on a heart-pounding journey through the bloody downfall of a doomed tyrant in the company of a young couple struggling to cope with the greatest private tragedy imaginable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Author Andrew Crofts has spent much of his ghostwriting career among the dictators, politicians, arms dealers and billionaires who hold the reins of power and control the wealth of the world. When working for them, he was stationed in their lavish palaces and heavily guarded compounds in the wildest parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as in tax havens like Monaco, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

MY REVIEW…

WOW. I had no idea what to expect from this book all I know is that I was intrigued by the title and the absolutely beautiful front cover. But don’t be deceived by the pretty, floweriness of it… This book isn’t at all innocent and left me reeling by the end!

Despite this title being a relatively short novella that can be read in a sitting, it is a beautifully craved and clever story full of depth and intrigue.

The protagonist is a ghostwriter ( and although written fromhis perspective, we never learn his name). He has been installed behind the walls of a powerful dictators palace. The middle Eastern despots name is Mo, and he is very busy man with numerous demands from various sources being placed on his time. So the ghostwriter experiences prolonged and frustrating waits inbetween their meetings. He decides to while away the time by  wandering the beautiful, tranquil gardens and as he does he meets Lou, the elderly Italian gardener who we learn is part of a well known aristocracy and also a close friend of Mo’s. He comes across as an interesting philosophical man who appears wise and kind but he is not as it seems.

Its hard to slot this book neatly into a particular genre but I would describe it as political thriller. It’s pacy and becomes surprisingly sinister as we learn all is not as it seems within the palace walls. I loved the tense, uneasy feeling that built in its intensity as the palace comes under threat from the outside.

Andrew Crofts is a genius story teller, the although the book begins quite simply it builds beautifully. And although it is highly political the balance is perfectly redressed by the emotive personal story of the writer. The threat of a middle eastern conflict  skillfully interwoven with the more personal story of tragedy, loss and grief. It will leave you pondering and asking yourself questions about your own morality and what decision you would make if placed in the circumstances laid out in the book ( I won’t say anymore- YOU NEED TO READ IT!!!h

I believe this is Andrews first foray into writing fiction as he was previously a ghost writer himself. He achieves the transition and writes a flawless fictional debut that is unique and utterly readable. An incredible thought provoking story built around brilliant characters and told in such an intriguing way that you won’t be able to put it down .

 

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