The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond @GaryRaymond_ @damppebbles #blogtour

39849912Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
damppebbles blog tours ebook 155 Parthian Books Thriller June 30th, 2018

*Many thanks to Emma @ damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for this surprise of a book with an honest review*

The Golden Orphans really did take me by surprise. I kind of knew what to expect by looking at the cover and the blurb but I was quite wrong with my predictions. This is the winning formula!

The story takes place in Cyprus and the way the author has set the scene is glorious. The Cypriot lifestyle, the island’s history, the dodgy Russians, the abandoned city of Famagusta, the artistic element, how the conflicts that the characters deal with are instantly visible and palpable.

These guys you see walking around with their chests puffed out, looking all mean and dangerous, they all go home and cry, wanking into a watermelon. It’s all children’s games, and normal people like you and me get caught up in it, because like toddlers they have managed to make everything about them.

How a BIG story like this fit into 155 pages whilst not impacting on the wonderful prose only demonstrates Raymond’s skillful penmanship! In essence The Goldern Orphans is a straight-foward story that looks at the events over a matter of days, the characters and plentiful secrets make it for a thrilling read.

I have to admit, I scoffed and muttered ‘Of course!’ when the Russian guy was yet again the baddie… I actually joke with my husband now, with sarcasm- Oh, look we’ve run out of milk! The Russians did it! I’m really so over the Russian/Eastern European guys being the baddies. It’s a stereotype I really don’t like. Maybe because I’m Eastern European myself. But, I didn’t take this stereotype – I never do- as an insult. It simply takes away the ‘fresh’ element in books sometimes…

The book starts off with one of the strangest funerals and introduces mystery from the get go. I couldn’t help but keep turning the pages. As I got to know Francis following his death through the eyes of his ex-student, I found myself thinking- Now, there is an interesting guy. But Francis had got himself mixed in with the aforementioned Russian. And now Francis was dead, the Russian has a need to replace him… to do what? I tell you not because it’s one of the more unique reasons! They do say there’s method in madness!

Behind the front of laid back and sunny Cypriot way of life, secrets are buzzing away waiting to interrupt the daily routine and everyone seems to be at work for things to go kaboom. As the story came to conclusion, Raymond delivered revelation after revelation and the final twist made thr air crackle with electricity- ohhh!

Would I recommend it? Absolutely I would. It’s a few hours well spent!

You’re not into thrillers? Doesn’t matter! It’s not at all graphic with endless bloodshed or detailed torture. The Golden Orphans is more of a ‘still waters run deep’ kind of book with enjoyable prose and refined taste.

The Golden Orphans on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA ¦ Book Depository ¦ Kobo

About the Author:

18236789Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’, The Review Show, and is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review.

He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator.

Gary on Twitter ¦ Facebook

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  1. This definitely sounds like quite the interesting book. I love the premise, and the fact that you say a story like this is able to fit into just 155 pages and the writer also at the same time manages to pull it off are both reasons for me to check this one out at some point: great review! 😊


  2. Brilliant review! And I never thought of the ‘Russian bad guy’ stereotype before, now that I think about it’s something I often see in films, but yeah, I see how it takes away from the ‘freshness’. A bit like the Italians being Mafia 🤔


  3. Being Indian , our country has actually a friendly relationship with the Russians and we don’t dislike them , that said , I am definitely going to use the “The Russians must have done it” line from now on . 🤭

    I hope you don’t sue me for plagiarism


  4. This sounds really interesting! hahaha “the Russians did it”- I like your and your husband’s sense of humour 😉 But yeah I get what you mean- it’s cliche, a little dull and sometimes insulting to always make Russians/Eastern Europeans in stories the baddies. Other than that this does sound exciting! Great review!


    • If memory serves right (w/o checking Goodreads) I think Gary is Welsh? OK, I checked- yep, he’s from Newport in South Wales 🙂
      Ah, to be honest, I think most of Europe has an issue with Eastern Europeans 😀
      for a long time in Ireland people didn’t even bother asking me where I was from they automatically assumed I was Polish… so to take a dig back I automatically told irish folk they were surely from England.. that made them stop and stutter for a while… assumptions, eh! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your comment about “Don’t love thrillers?” Hahaha. Nailed it for me, Liis. While I don’t like gore, I don’t like the psychological aspects either. I’ll be passing on this, but you wrote one heck of a compelling review! I’m so glad this book had a positive result for you. Will you be digging into more books by Gary?


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