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Monday 25 October 2021

‘Legacy: The Fortieth Step’ by Stephen Timmins

Published by Diamond Books Ltd,
10 April 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-83840264-8 (PB)

John Hannay is the grandson of Richard Hannay, the legendary hero whose exploits were recounted in The Thirty Nine Steps. Major-General Sir Richard Hannay, KCB, OBE, DSO was a soldier, war hero and spy-catcher, who during his adventurous lifetime, made a personal fortune, many good friends and just as many dangerous enemies. It is the legacy of evil perpetrated by his grandfather’s enemies that has had the greatest impact on John Hannay’s life. After the death of his father, John’s mother died by violence, and John himself was tortured; his experiences at the hands of these ruthless enemies has scarred his life since he was eight.

As the story opens, John has received a series of threatening phone calls, then a different caller warns him to ‘Get Out’. Soon after this, he is attacked in his house but, forewarned, he manages to escape, having killed one of his assailants using his grandfather’s Webley revolver. Traumatised, John goes on the run, bitterly aware that his skills as a restaurateur and market trader have not equipped him to triumph in the sort of adventures in which his grandfather excelled. Fortunately, his grandfather’s legacy of loyal friends helps John to not only survive but also build up his own network of allies, notably the beautiful, intelligent and warm-hearted Robbi, her tough, ex-SAS brother, Dave, and the enigmatic Palmer and several others. With his new team of friends, John survives some vicious attacks and hair-raising adventures as he tries to discover what his enemies intend. As he uncovers an unforeseen threat to his country’s security, John realises that the only way he can hope to avert national disaster is by using his personal skills and strengths, even though it means pushing himself further than he had ever believed he could endure.

Legacy is the first in a trilogy featuring John Hannay and, because it is a serial, it is important to read the books in order. It is a fast-paced and, at times, violent thriller with a physically and emotionally damaged protagonist who has to overcome the scars of his childhood in order to defeat enemies inherited from his family’s history. It is remarkable that, despite his damaged and vulnerable personality, John Hannay is an engaging character who the reader wishes to succeed. The villains are truly villainous but many of John’s new allies are interesting and likeable, especially the delightful Robbi. The concept behind Legacy is fascinating as it carries forward the story of Richard Hannay’s descendant into a contemporary setting. Recommended for readers who enjoy swiftly moving thrillers.

Reviewer: Carol Westron

Stephen Timmins was brought up on an eclectic diet of historical romance and crime novels Stephen had always wanted to write thrillers and mysteries. Diverted after graduation into the media rat race, it was many years before he started to feel that he had both the experience and the slowly developing ability to write full time. The Fortieth Step, trilogy is his 21st century update of the Richard Hannay novels.

Carol Westron is a successful author and a Creative Writing teacher.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  Her first book The Terminal Velocity of Cats was published in 2013. Since then, she has since written 5 further mysteries. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.
To read a review of Carol latest book This Game of Ghosts
click on the title.

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