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Thursday, 16 March 2017

‘Blood Sweat and Schemes’ by Rob Watkins

Published by The Book Guild Ltd,
25 August 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-910878-87-3

Life on the road for Bob the salesman is seldom dull. He never knows for instance when his boss, Charity, is going to show up. Not to check up on him, but for a ‘quickie’ in the back of his van. What started as a one off ‘fling’ at a boring party ten years earlier has now become a regular occurrence, always instigated by Charity. But there’s a problem – two in fact. Problem 1 is that Bob is happily married to Sue – although ‘happy’ in their case is an understatement – and he’d rather not have to ‘go through the motions’ so to speak with Charity. So why does he do it? Well, that’s Problem 2: Charity is also Sue’s boss. Sue is mainly responsible for the success of the company and has risen through the ranks to become a shareholder.  Bob adores his wife and understands how much the company means to her – and unfortunately so does Charity. And that’s the hold she has over him. What Charity wants, Charity gets, when and wherever she wants it. Time and again he tries to escape her clutches; time and again she promises that this will be the last time; he can go back to his wife, his two daughters and he’ll never have to do this again – except – just one last time?

The book starts as a bit of a romp and I enjoyed the first few pages. Then the darkness crept in and I settled in for a pleasurable experience. I wasn’t disappointed. Slowly and inexorably the tale moves to its deadly and inevitable conclusion. On the way, though, we experience the control, manipulation and sheer vindictiveness that provide the most delicious motive for murder.

As I turned the pages – and yes, I read it at one sitting - I could feel all the dread and hopelessness that Bob was experiencing and I wanted to throttle the bitch myself – and no I’m not giving anything away here. What else can I say? Great writing, great insights, great satisfaction. Read it.
Reviewer: Di Shelley

Rob Watkins was born in Worcestershire in 1961. He studied Fine Art after he finished school. His passion for art has prevailed in recent years as he went into business as a painter and decorator. He specialises in creating eye-catching murals. Prior to this, he ran a large food processing plant and worked as the night supervisor at a car dealership. Three years ago after his wife experienced a traumatic life changing experience which affected her health Rob looked for a change of career which meant he could work from home. His first novel How to Kill a Minority Shareholder was  published in 2015

Di Shelley (nee George) was born in Buckinghamshire, and brought up in a house surrounded by books. She was taught to read at an early age, (for which she is eternally grateful to both her mum and dad). Prior to winning a scholarship to Aylesbury Grammar School she attended Waddesdon Church of England School where, at the age of 9, her first piece of fiction was published in the school magazine. Later, she honed her craft both as a freelance columnist for the Bristol Evening Post and as a freelance broadcaster and producer with the BBC. She now resides in the West Country and can usually be found at her computer with a glass of wine to hand!

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