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Trouble Tree (Macmillan Caribbean Writers) Paperback – 7 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Caribbean (7 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405071052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405071055
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,812,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"I couldn't put it down - a fascinating and edifying read." --Bob Berlinghof, Caribbean Compass

"...I found it one of those rare, can't-put-down, sleep-deferring reads ... I congratulate John Hill Porter and commend Trouble Tree to all Barbadians who value a good story, well told." --Peter Simmons, Sunday Sun

"A dramatic tale of love and betrayal." --Barbara Nelson, The Sunday Gleaner

About the Author

John Hill Porter was born in the USA during the Depression. He studied International Relations on scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, and spent 2 years as a Special Agent in the US Army Counterintelligence Corps. He worked for 12 years in advertising with Ogilvie & Mather, managing major accounts in UK and Europe. In 1970 he joined the US Peace Corps as Director of Public Affairs, travelling to Africa, Latin America and Jamaica. In Washington in 1972 he founded his own company, which became the international PR arm of Porter/Novelli, with over 100 offices in some 60 countries. Porter has spent time in virtually every Caribbean island. Since retirement in 1992 he and his wife have resided in Barbados. His previous essays in publication include The Weather Conspiracy (1977) and Urban Fairs and Festivals (1981). Trouble Tree is his first work of fiction.

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The elevator chimes as it reaches the lobby floor. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mads on 22 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
Excellent storyteller. I read this book while in the Caribbean which made it all the more intense but it was an interesting and clever story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great character driven action - highly recommended 4 May 2008
By Rachel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An intriguing and quick-to-read debut novel. This was one I really enjoyed. A suspenseful story with some twists I didn't even see coming. I think anyone who has ever been to or wanted to go to the Caribbean will appreciate the insider's details about island life. Great entertainment. First rate.

The basic plot is that a New York detective - Ben Cumberbatch - is attacked in an alley and suffers injuries that cause short term memory problems. His investigations into who might be responsible for his attack and his father's murder lead him back to his father's homeland - Barbados - where he encounters fascinating characters, a love interest, and more action. The ending is a total surprise - no formulaic plot here -and makes me think there is a sequel coming.

The characters are what I like most. Interesting people with enough detail and backstory to give them depth, but not so much as to distract from the action. This is the kind of story you want to read on vacation, because it'll take your mind right off your work, your worries and everything else. I highly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A First Novel With Lots of Appeal 13 Oct 2008
By SUSAN LATOUR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you like mysteries, you'll think Trouble Tree is a great read. The plot is skillfully crafted with twists that surprise you just when you think you have it all figured out. But don't reserve this book just for your mystery buff friends. There is more to it.
Trouble Tree stands on its own as an engrossing work of fiction peopled by interesting characters. Many are endearing; all are believable. The protagonist, Ben Cumberbatch, is a good guy - not a saint, not a contrived effete, and not a hard guy who has no heart - but a character with character, someone you like and care about as he tries to find out who shot him and his father, as he traces his family history in Barbados, and as he falls in love.
That certainly is more than enough to recommend the novel, but there's even more. Ben Cumberbatch is a New York detective. As he tries to unravel what happened to him, he leaves New York and returns to the Caribbean to the island of Barbados where he spent his childhood summers. Through his memories amd his dealings on the island you learn a lot about Barbados, especially its redleg history, and you get a taste of Bajan culture through the charming Bajan sayings and remarks that are interspersed throughout the story. One of my favorites is "all two of us," another way to say "both of us."
The portrait of Barbados that John Hill Porter presents in Trouble Tree is a central part of his novel. This is his first novel, but it reminds me of Tony Hillerman's many mysteries and what they have done for Native Americans in the American Southwest. Whether reading this novel by John Hill Porter or Tony Hillerman's mysteries, you are entertained and, at the same time, you get to know and better understand another culture. This painless enlightenment is surely icing on the cake and another excellent reason to recommend Trouble Tree to a lot of readers.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
History with a twist 14 May 2008
By V. C. Ferenbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a highly entertaining mystery novel set against a backdrop of Barbados history. The protagonist, a detective from New York, suffers a head injury and travels to his ancestral home to recover. The book illuminates little-known features of Barbadian society, specifically focussing on the descendents of the 'red-leg' indentured workers drawn from jails and debtors' prisons and their complicated relationship to the other elements of the island's racial mosaic. This story begs to be continued...
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