Another holiday read. Browsing the shelves of 'BOOKS ETC.' in Gatwick airport when suddenly the word Aberystwyth jumped out at me - but surely I was wrong and had misread the title as the picture on the front had nothing to do with the town I know so well. The brash colours of this typically American looking 'Dime Thriller' even has printed on crease marks to make the book look well thumbed. I wont say that I couldn't put this book down, just that I bought it at 7.00am and it was finished by 11pm the same day - helped by a 2 hour time difference between the UK and Cyprus.
Extract from the back cover sums up a lot. "Schoolboys are disappearing all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town's private investigator, soon realises that it is going to take more than a double ripple from Sospan, the philosopher cum ice-cream seller, to help find out what is happening to these boys and whether or not Lovespoon, the Welsh teacher, Grand Wizard of the Druids and controller of the town, is more than just a sinister bully. And just who was Gwenno Guevara."
I am lucky enough to know Aberystwyth without having lived there. I was once an honorary member of the Aberystwyth Wine Club and travelled with them on three occasions around various wine regions of France. It is on trips like that you find out about the quirky characters of the various teachers, lecturers, lawyers etc with their understandings of Welsh, English and French languages. For those that do not know Aberystwyth it is not in North Wales, Mid Wales or South Wales but seems to be a small kingdom on its own with its own rules on life - hence the ideal setting for a quirky book like this.
Importantly, if you were a student at the local university then you MUST read the novel to relive the memories of the many landmarks featured. If you live in Aberystwyth then you will probably have already read a 'passed around' copy. My favourite memory - The Milk Bar where I shared a cup of tea on many an occasion with Chris Samuel who, at that time, managed what was then the best wine outlet in Aberystwyth but which has now, unfortunately become a standard UK off licence.