January 19, 2020 · 3:25 pm
Here is the final cover for my latest novel GROUND RULES.
An alternative, black & white version was described as ‘rather scary’ and ‘not colourful enough’, so I decided on this one. I hope to get a proof copy of GROUND RULES back to me by the end of January, so hopefully a paperback will be in print (and also a Kindle version) during February.
A big thanks to all those reviewers that said they liked forensic geologist Jessica (Jez) Spargo. Because of you she has a whole novel to herself!
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as east lothian, edinburgh, Forensic Geology, geologist, geology, Ground Rules, Haddington, Jessica, Jessica Spargo, Jez, Jez Spargo, John Spargo, Mining, Murder, Murder mystery, scotland, Spargo, The Man Who Played Trains, tunnels
August 13, 2019 · 5:41 pm
I am relaunching THE MAN WHO PLAYED TRAINS
Why have I done this? Because my latest novel, shortly to be available on Amazon, is GROUND RULES, featuring Jez Spargo, the feisty forensic geologist from The Man Who Played Trains.
Feisty, because that’s what one reveiwer called her – “I loved Jez, the author has created such a strong, intelligent and feisty character in her. Even her father is lost without her! Their bond is strong and it is the backbone of this gripping thriller – I could easily picture them in real life.”
This one comment led me to write GROUND RULES.
— OOO —
Two of the many 5- and 4-star reviews of The Man Who Played Trains:
‘GROUND RULES’ by Richard Whittle will be available on Amazon in Spring 2020
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Tagged as art thefts, crime, edinburgh, Forensic Geology, Goering, Ground Rules, Jessica Spargo, Jez Spargo, John Spargo, Kilcreg, mystery, Nazi art, Nazi germany, Scottish mining, Scottish novel, Spargo novels, tungsten mining, u-boat, wartime art, ww2, wwII
February 2, 2019 · 4:10 pm
Les Miserables? Have I read Victor Hugo’s novel? Rather like Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the answer is no. Have I seen the stage play? I didn’t think so, but my wife says we saw it together, many years ago (and though I am sure that particular perfomance was great, it clearly was not that memorable. For me, anyway).
I saw Les Miserables again last night, at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre*, courtesy of my daughter-in-law who bought (very expensive) tickets. Would I have gone otherwise? Probably not.
I have run out of superlatives to describe last night’s performance. I have commited the crime of having used the word “stunning” so many times in the last few years that there seems to be nothing left. My Thesaurus suggest ‘breathtaking”, or “splendid” (now there’s a word I haven’t heard for millenia). No, not splendid. “Outstanding”, is probably more appropriate.
This was a Cameron Mackintosh production, billed as a musical. I am not a fan of musicals, having been brought up having to listen repeatedly to my parent’s LPs (long playing records, for those of more tender years) of The King and I, Carousel, and South Pacific. At the risk of alienating some of my readers I have to admit that I hated them. But Les Miserables? For me, this version is not really a musical, it is an opera, a popular opera. Don’t be put off. I’m not a great fan of opera either. Madame Butterfly is okay, but more than that…
Superlatives have failed me again and I have to say that what I saw last night was stunning. Outstanding. Though I have seen some superb acting in the past, I have not seen scene changes and scenery like I saw last night (not that I am saying that the acting wasn’t just as stunning and outstanding, because it was).
Standing ovations for all of them. I am not easily impressed. I was very impressed last night (but I’m guessing you know that by now).
*Image: Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre. Please forgive me for ripping it off from my programme.
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Tagged as acting, Cameron Mackintosh, edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Javert, Jean Valjean, musicals, opera, theatre, Trevor Nunn, Victor Hugo
September 29, 2017 · 4:31 pm
I am one of those writers who doesn’t particularly want to be famous (fat chance of that anyway). I simply want to write novels that people enjoy reading.
My reviews on Amazon are mainly 5-stars. Check out The Man Who Played Trains
THIS NOVEL HAS BEEN REPUBLISHED
CHECK THE REVIEWS ON AMAZON (ABOVE) AND THEN CLICK HERE
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Tagged as 5-star reviews, adventure, bestseller, edinburgh, mines, Mining, Mining Engineer, mystery, nazis, scotland, Spain, Spargo, submarines, Thriller, U boats
May 20, 2017 · 9:18 am
THE MAN WHO PLAYED TRAINS
The gripping new thriller from the author of ‘Playpits Park’
Press information for immediate release: 10/05/2017
The Man Who Played Trains is Richard Whittle’s compelling second novel, following the acclaimed debut Playpits Park. A gripping thriller that will appeal to fans of Martin Cruz Smith, Jack Higgins and Robert Harris, The Man Who Played Trains is an addictive and complex story of conspiracy, murder, secrets and a race against time to discover the truth. It publishes 25th May 2017.
Mining engineer John Spargo is distraught when his mother is attacked in her home and later dies from her injuries. He also discovers her home has been thoroughly searched. Determined to track down her killer and discover the truth behind her death, John finds a connection between his late father’s wartime mine and the wreck of a U-Boat. The connection deepens when he discovers the diaries of the U-Boat captain and a wartime mission to spirit Göring to safety along with a fortune in stolen art. When John’s daughter Jez is kidnapped, he is contacted by a mysterious consortium. Her life hangs in the balance unless he can find the stolen art. What is the link with his father’s abandoned mine? Who was the U-Boat captain? Did he survive and hide Göring’s treasures? John races against time to discover the truth…and in doing so may unearth secrets that were better left buried…
Richard Whittle says: ‘I’m definitely a fan of the secrets people keep, and like to explore the dynamics of those who keep them – and those who want to reveal them! The second world war in particular provides a wealth of ‘conspiracies’ and outlandish plots for a writer to sink their teeth into, and there’s something compelling about exploring the impact of history on the lives, ambitions and emotions of contemporary people. My central characters, people like you and me, find that they have been dragged into situations beyond their control and from which there seems little chance of escape. For them, crimes are most definitely involved.’
|Richard has been a policeman, a police marksman and police motorcyclist, a diesel engine tester, professional engineering geologist and Chartered Engineer. He has worked in civil engineering, geothermal energy, nuclear and mining industries in seventeen countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas and is able to draw on a wealth of personal experiences. Well known in his field as a technical writer, he spent time as a book reviewer for technical journals and regularly contributed to professional publications. As a spare-time novelist he had several short stories published. In 2002, writing as Alan Frost, he was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association’s Debut Dagger Award. More recently, his self-published novel, Playpits Park, has been downloaded as an eBook more than 4000 times. Richard has been a trustee of a Scottish Charitable Organisation, acting first as its project manager and then its technical advisor. He now writes full time. He currently lives in the Scottish Borders, not too far away from Edinburgh.
THE MAN WHO PLAYED TRAINS by RICHARD WHITTLE:
PUBLISHING DATE: 25th May 2017
DIMENSIONS: B format paperback. 520 pages
CATEGORY: Thriller, war thriller, conspiracy thriller, action and adventure
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Tagged as Bought at Gunpoint, Carinhall, edinburgh, Goering, Jack Higgins, John Spargo, Karinhall, Kidnapping, Martin Cruz Smith, Missing Art, New Novel, Press Release, robert harris, scotland, u-boat
May 19, 2014 · 2:56 pm
Today I heard a single clap of thunder. I wondered if we were due for more so I checked Netweather’s lightning strikes map. The strike I heard was the one shown in orange, just to the south of Edinburgh. We seem to have got off lightly – look at the thunderstorm over Wales!
December 8, 2013 · 12:30 pm
My posts haven’t flowed as freely as I would have liked, partly due to other commitments and partly to the fact that my pocket sized ever-present camera remained in my trouser pocket throughout a 3 1/2 hour wash cycle at 40degC. All credit to Canon, after drying and replacing the camera’s battery, the camera still worked – though the pictures have been ever so slightly hazy, as if looking through a lightly steamed window. No surprise there. Maybe I should have added one of those glass cleaning tablets to the washing machine.
Lunacy? Well, perhaps leaving the camera in my pocket was lunacy. But that’s not what I meant. My ever trusty (new) camera was put to use at the Straiton shopping centre yesterday. When I drove in, all spaces were full… except one. So I swung into it.
Stopped just in time, luckily.
Driving in Straiton’s car park is a nightmare. It must surely be one of Britain’s most badly planned, tight cornered, maze-like one way systems ever.
June 24, 2012 · 4:08 pm
Spotted at Scotland’s Royal Highland Show.
I did wonder where they would put the stretcher. Perhaps, if they cycled in a synchronised way, they could balance it on the back, over those bags of defibrillators and other life-saving electronic gubbins (when I passed my first aid tests – rather a long time ago – we would have had bags of leeches).
Seriously – this is a fantastic idea! A great bit of lateral thinking by somebody in the NHS. Perhaps NHS could be spelled out in bigger letters? Don’t be shy, this is great stuff.
May 12, 2012 · 7:11 pm
Beware – because the police boxes on sale in Edinburgh are not the same pattern as those in London.
Beware also – that these are smaller on the inside than the outside.
November 15, 2011 · 9:33 am
The Mozart concert at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall last Saturday was advertised as Mozart by Candlelight. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected the candelabras to have real candles, not these days, not on stage in a crowded concert hall. The Mozart Festival Orchestra performed in Regency costume, an excellent bit of theatre that for me made up for the disappointment of the electric bulbs. I suppose I should have looked at the small print (A sublime evening of Mozart masterpieces performed in an evocative candle-lit style setting). At least I now know what ‘candle-lit style’ means, i.e., not real.
One member of the orchestra appeared to have injured his leg and came in supported by an NHS crutch. I suppose it would have been asking too much of the management to provide him with a crutch more in keeping with the Regency style.
Oh – the performance? Faultless, I would say. I’ll admit that I’m not a huge Mozart fan and that we took our Granddaughter more for the atmosphere than the music – hence my slight annoyance with the ‘candle-lit style’. The NHS crutch was less of a problem. It seems nobody else noticed.