A ruthless gangster's father returns from the dead to fix his mistakes only to cause more problems that snowball into warfare between two gangs.
I have read all of this author's books and I must say this is so different to his usual work. Thankfully, Simon remains true to his complete wacky stylings and his unique voice in this book.
Johnny is a family man who loves his wife Linda and his daughter Vicky. Tired of a life of crime his dream is to give up the family business and retire to the simple life on an island. Things get complicated when a rival gang, his brother and his employees all decide to implement their hidden agendas at once. To make matters worse, his dad Jimmy appears from beyond the grave and causes more damage than good.
Johnny suffers the ultimate betrayal and a loss unimaginable, whilst trying to stay one step ahead of everyone. A game of cat and mouse ensues in this life or death struggle to live the dream.
Once again Simon delivers a challenge to the reader. From the characters to the plot, nothing remains stable or normal. This was a gripping read that I highly recommend to those readers out there who are tired of the ordinary.
I give this book 5 stars for being another difficult mind f#@k from Simon.
Drug lord, Johnny Knight’s enemies are either dead or licking their wounds. Now tired of his life, he wants to live his dream in the Caribbean with his family.
That dream turns to a nightmare when his father’s ghost appears to correct a mistake he made in the past. The present is altered, destroying Johnny’s dream.
His father shows Johnny the error of his ways, making him easy prey. All he has is his dream to hold on to as his empire crumbles around him.
Simon Oneill and I were meant to have a normal chat at a local coffee shop, but Nooooo! This is Simon Oneill!!! Nothing is normal where it comes to this eccentric Paranormal genius. Instead he managed to piss off the local mob and we find ourselves hiding in a dark alley. He had called for help on his mobile. While we wait, my back is aching from crouching behind a dumpster for the last...let's see...CENTURY!!
Simon is as cool as a cucumber in a day spa. He silently leans back against the wall and start tapping his fingers on his knees. There is a happy little jig playing in his mind, but for the life of me I cannot tell what it is. To get me out of my frazzled state, I decide to break the silence.
"So, Simon. Besides hiding from the mob, what else do you do for fun?"
"Romantic walks on our local Jurassic coastline where we often collect awesome fossils to decorate our beach garden. That and beachcombing for driftwood and unusual-shaped pebbles, crystals whatever interesting things we can rummage for. A glass or two or three of red wine helps me relax in the evenings."
"I see. When did you first start writing?"
"Just after the new millennium was born I had a hankering to write. My wife and I wrote a paranormal TV series but the producers couldn’t get financing so it went the way of dinosaurs many of which can still be found on our beach. Then we had a light bulb moment and decided to convert each episode into a novel and Phantom Bigfoot was born 10 years later."
"But this books is so different to what you normally write. Why did you write this book?"
"Flip Side is a twisted version of my own life which in recent years became a nightmare of back stabbing and bullying. So I created Johnny Knight a guy ready to retire and live his dream. Big mistake! The back-stabbers creep from the woodwork to get him."
I snort. "I know right? What I great story. I wish I could write like you. What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to write?
"Don’t stop writing no matter what the trolls say."
"Fucking trolls! I bet they love you to attack your writing style. I don't think they have any idea what it is like to put your heart and soul out there like that. How long did it take you to write this book, BTW?"
Simon shrugs. "2 months, although I admit that was the final version – it started in 2006 when as a script it was read by Ian McShane who loved it, then Timothy Dalton, Gary Oldman, Clive Owen, Hugh Grant, and George Clooney – okay Hugh and George passed on it but that was to be expected."
"Yeah I guess. What's your next project?
I think with all the fuss from Hollywood, I might have to write a screenplay version of my horror comedy Magic Is Murder. As for next novel, watch out for Hot In Bigelow, an alien erotica comedy.
"That sounds great! I better keep my reading list short. I am sure it will be another best selling success!"
Simon chuckles shyly. "I measure success to be when a complete stranger loves my book enough to give it a great review or a great actor loves my script enough to want to star in it."
"Really? Wow! You are such an enigma!"
"No I'm not. I guess Phantom Bigfoot best describes me – you can find me or him in my Duane Phantom Bigfoot novels – I love all animals and hate hunting for pleasure which is what my Bigfoot novels is all about – stopping hunters bagging Bigfoot, also 30% of all income from Bigfoot goes to animal charities. I love real ale and used to be a champion beer maker and was sort out for supplying parties. I have a bottle of barley wine – that’s ultra-strong beer fermented with wine yeast – stored away for the last 15 years. When a script is greenlighted I’m gonna glug that baby down. I also make wine, faves are made from blueberries, elderberry, blackberry and cranberry. The hardest thing is waiting for them to mature."
The lights of a car blinds us as it enters the alley. Simon and I hold our breath. Our hearts are beating frantically. The car stops. We look at each other. The driver door opens. We freeze up as footsteps click-clack their way to us.
"Thank God I found you!What the hell happened?
Simon explains the whole story. She looks at him and smiles lovingly.
"That's not the mob. You are hiding from extras in this movie they are shooting around the corner dear. Now get in the car?"
Simon and I look sheepishly at his wife and abide.