Thomas Hocknell is from Kent and lives in London. He has been a social worker, car salesman and gardener. He attended the Faber Academy and The Life Assistance Agency is his first novel. His regular Idle Blogs of an Idle Fellow aims to embrace random topics of modern living, but mostly complains about other people’s inability to make decent tea. He also writes for Classic Pop magazine, the Good Men Project and The Line of Best Fit.


Do you want to live forever? is THE question facing anyone pursuing immortality. But what happens when eternal life is disappointing, and everyone around you keeps dying?

Ben Ferguson-Cripps, a struggling writer with a surname that gets more attention than his creative endeavours, sets aside his literary ambitions to join the mysterious Life Assistance Agency. Their first case is to trace a missing person with links to the Elizabethan angel-caller Dr John Dee.

Pursued by a shadowy organisation – and the ghosts of Ben’s past – the trail leads through Europe into the historic streets of Prague, where the long-buried secrets of Dr Dee’s achievements are finally revealed, and Ben discovers there is far more to life than simply living…


OK so to start with I will admit that this isn’t my usual read but the title had me intrigued and having checked out Toms ‘ Idle blogs of an idle fellow’ ( which you can check out at only to discover him to be a VERY witty observer of everyday life with an uncanny ability to pick out the comedic elements of human behaviour and an ability to depict things that we can all relate to in a way that makes you laugh out loud. I was intrigued. Basically his one liners had me at hello. So I knew I had to get my hands on the book and see what it was all about

I didn’t quite know what to expect, I only hoped it contained the laugh out loud humour of his well written blog and I wasn’t disappointed! But I was surprised! Not only is it packed full of his trademark humour and wry observations ( I couldn’t resist including a couple of my favorites below)

I don’t like Paris it’s an anagram of pairs…

Like trying to mate in zero gravity, scott was desperate for connections

He lurched into the parking space as though he had dropped a cigarette on his lap

But it is superbly written. Not that this surprised me but what did was the subject matter, although it did explain his Twitter name TomANGEL! The historical character John Dee, Angel scrying and a secret society whose pursuit of the two fairly enept members of The life assistance agency across Europe were all unexpected. The two main protagonists are fantastic characters whose farcical road trip depicts them to be about as slick as dumb and dumber as opposed to Men in black! Cue many hilariously funny, laugh out loud situations and encounters!  But don’t be fooled… This genius book is a perfect balance between humour and historical fact. So you laugh while you learn and what struck me was the incredible amount of research that this novel would have demanded.

Its bonkers, it’s hilarious it’s fast paced and bloody brilliant! Very clever, very unique and extremely readable. Check this out and you will like me, be desperate for Tom to buckle down and get book number two out into the wild… One smart as a whip debut, one very talented writer with a glittering literary career ahead of him- grab this book by an author whose been listed as one of WH Smiths Fresh new talent…image