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Saturday, 25 April 2015

'The Dead Can Wait' by Robert Ryan

Published by Simon & Schuster,
9 October 2014.

The dramatic beginning has the soldiers involved in the development of a new weapon for the Great War dying in a mysterious way.  Dr Watson is requested by Winston Churchill to investigate what has happened.  In a rollicking thriller of John Buchan/ Rider Haggard style events move rapidly around the testing ground.  Finding out who can be trusted and who cannot is the crux of the situation.  Watson is worried about Holmes who is ill possibly mentally.

The story moves fast and furiously and very effectively - the violence is shocking when it comes. Watson has returned from the trenches where he was working for his old unit of the RAMC and is devoting himself to rehabilitating soldiers affected by shell shock.  He is taken to the country site of the work on landships but he faces a very difficult situation where he cannot be sure who is an enemy.

After various adventures Watson is in France and the book ends with the preparation for the obvious next adventure.
Jennifer S. Palmer
The first adventure of Dr Watson by Robert Ryan is called Dead Man's Land.

Robert Ryan was born in Liverpool and moved south to attend university. He graduated from Brunel with a M.Sc. in Environmental Pollution Science, intending to go into teaching. Instead, he spent two years as a mechanic for a Hot Rod team, racing highly tuned Fords (“the fag-end of motorsport”, as Bernie Ecclestone calls it) where he became addicted to the smell of Castrol R. Weaning himself off that, he became a lecturer in Natural Sciences in Kent, while dabbling in journalism. His articles on comic (or graphic novels as they were just becoming known) gurus Alan Moore and Frank Miller found their way into Nick Logan’s The Face magazine, which led to work for the American edition of GQ, The Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Arena. Eventually he took a position on staff at The Sunday Times as Deputy Travel Editor. It was while on assignment in Seattle that he came across the setting for his first novel, Underdogs – the ‘lost’ city beneath the sidewalks of downtown – that was called ‘Alice in Wonderland meets Assault on Precinct 13’ by Esquire.
He continues to contribute to The Sunday Times. He lives in North London with his wife, three children, a dog and a deaf cat.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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