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The Smoke (Creeping Narrative Book 1) by [Broadbent, Tony]
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The Smoke (Creeping Narrative Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Tony Broadbent lives in Marin County, California.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1105 KB
  • Print Length: 1 pages
  • Publisher: MP Publishing Limited (21 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007EDNOKE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #368,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
The cat burglar turned hero isn't exactly an original idea, "The Saint" did it a long time ago in print, on TV (from 1962-69 starring Roger Moore), and in film (including a series of British films in the late '30s, a few French versions in the '60s, some made for television films in the late '80s and a lame 1997 Hollywood version starring Val Kilmer). Here, however, the hero/cat burglar operates in London ("The Smoke") in 1947, when postwar austerity made England a very bleak place indeed. Unaffiliated with any criminal gangs, Jethro is a master "creeper" who keeps a low profile and has never been nabbed. Told entirely in first-person narration, the story details how he gets tangled up with both a nasty mobster and British Intelligence.
London comes alive through Jethro's eyes, and it's a wholly convincing portrayal of the postwar era, with low morale due to widespread rationing (clothes, food, alcohol, tobacco) and the psychological scars of the war. A cockney who fled London for a career in the Merchant Marine and then the Merchant Navy only to return and start a new career thieving, he's a sympathetic figure. Of course he only steals from the rich, who are likely to be insured, and he spreads his wealth generously among friends and family. But when he inadvertently steals from a Russian spy, it leads to the unbalancing of his carefully tailored life.
The book is strong on details, both in terms of description and slang. The author has obviously gone to a lot of trouble to get the period lingo right, and it is fairly well sustained throughout, but at times comes across just too campy. One minor annoyance is that he provides a glossary at the start, but then when using slang terms in the text, awkwardly pauses to explain them the first time they appear, interrupting the flow.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite a page turner. Well paced story which maintains the interest of the reader with the historical background of the London of post war shortages, rationing and black market underworld characters. A good read. Well worth the effort and time to indulge in some nostalgia for those of us who can remember those days, or an interesting history insight for anyone who wants to relate to that vanished era.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite the fact I have read the two books in the Felony and Mayhem series, by Tony Broadbent in the wrong order - it did not distract in any way from my enjoyment or understanding.
The plot moves along at a good rate and the characters are well portrayed. Our hero, Jethro, is a likeable rogue with typical cockney roots. He also has solid values, kindness and principles considering that as well as being a stage hand in the London theatres he is also a cat burglar!
The secret service involvement also conjures up what I would believe to be perfect examples of post-war, senior staff within MI5 demonstrating their dedication to protecting the country from the emerging communist threats to the British way of life. (Demonstrating their stiff upper lips, good breeding and superb manners.)
The villains came in two varieties, London gangland, (territorial villains who are quick to show their strength), and International spies that are cruel and ruthless. Both types are equally scary and challenging to Jethro's peaceful existence.
Jethro's colourful friends, his fence "Buggy Billy" / Ray, the coppers and his relatives all help to complete the picture of post-war London and the attitudes, hopes and way of life. The fledgling aspirations of the population in these austere times and how they celebrate their camraderie, coming up to Christmas, was very evocative of how I remember the early 1950s. Tony paints great images in the imagination of his readers.
I am looking forward to future editions in the Jethro series.
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