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Sunday, 17 February 2019

‘Trashed’ by Norman Townsend

Published by Matador,
28 November 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-789015 09-6 (PB)

If you’ve been harbouring a secret passion for recycling and waste transfer tips then Trashed is a must read for you. Written with authority by somebody who definitely knows what he is talking about Trashed roars along at a great rate, certainly a good deal faster than most waste disposal lorries you ever come across lumbering along narrow streets or patiently waiting for more loot to be thrown into their gaping jaws.

Loot, in the form of precious metals that are extracted and recycled from redundant electronic devices provides Ayman Runihura - ex-Egyptian Commando’s - and his bunch of thugs with a legitimate excuse to drive lorries in and out of the rubbish tips. Runihura uses his lorries as cover to bring in and then redistribute all sorts of proscribed cargoes such as illegal immigrants, drugs and guns. With the help of backhanders to suits in authority, and strategically placed strong men in the waste yards, Runihura was happily raking in the profits from his various nefarious activities, that is until Paul Stafford appeared on the scene.

Major Paul Stafford has recently retired from the military and has taken over five recycling tips – one way or another there is good money in rubbish! Paul’s arrival disrupts the gang’s illegal activities so Runihura arranges a little warning to encourage Paul to fall into line. A bomb is exploded on one of Paul’s tips.  It kills two people and injures others.  More reprisals follow, but in true heroic style Paul seems without fear and he is having none of it.

Helped by Constables Lee Gibson and Nicole Martin from the local police, ex-army mates Captain Ryan Peters and Sergeant Garfield Lewis, and Special Forces, Paul investigates and discovers what is going on at his tips. He pushes back against the venomous international criminal gang who will stop at nothing to keep their supply chains open.

Trashed is packed with both action and tragedy.  Whilst descriptions of the gang’s activities would render it a no-go area for the faint-hearted, those who can cope with gratuitous violence and the physical abuse of women will enjoy the evergreen battle between the forces of good and evil. There is a hint of potential romance for Paul that will doubtless be expanded if, as I suspect, the charismatic Major Stafford lives to tell another tale.
Reviewer: Angela Crowther

Norman Townsend was born and raised in Oxford. He has previously worked as a photographer, salesman, labourer, warehouse manager and milkman. He moved to Andover thirty years ago, starting his career in the waste industry, before retiring in 2009. Trashed is his debut novel.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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