My Books and Reviews

Cover picture by Desmond Brambley

Cover picture by David Plumb












Amazon 5 Star ***** 9th July 2016

Dr  J

Richard Frankland is a very talented and knowledgeable writer, who keeps us gripped with a different kind of thriller. .Every new release in this series ups the game, and Shadows in Sunshine is another expertly crafted adventure that takes us to new and exciting levels. Ian Vaughan is a hero with a well-deserved reputation and I look forward to hearing more.

5.0 out of 5 starsANOTHER WINNER
By P.G-S on 2 Feb. 2016

Richard Frankland has DONE IT AGAIN! Wow. Shadows in Sunshine had me spellbound. I had previously read, Cast of Hawks and Batsu and also found both these novels,written by Richard, just as gripping. In Shadows and Sunshine, Ian Vaughan ( the main character in all three novels) certainly has his work cut out. Now working for the SIS, his role brings about suspense, tension, excitement and mystery on the island of Madeira. Richard’s research is impeccable and makes the reading of his stories both believable and memorable. I wish to congratulate Richard and thank him for another splendid read and I look forward to his next novel.

5.0 out of 5 starsAnother great read from Richard V Frankland in the Ian Vaughan …
By Ann O on 23 Nov. 2015

Another great read from Richard V Frankland in the Ian Vaughan series. Whilst it is a stand-alone story, I believe it does help to have read the first two books in the series and as with the first two, I couldn’t put this one down. Set in Madeira, the author brought the locations to life with vivid descriptions and the storyline kept me on tenterhooks. Keep them coming Richard – I need to know what happens to Ian.


Michael Edward Parsons posted on Facebook 10th October 2015

Great read enthralling tale from start to finish and an excellent follow on from the first two Ian Vaughan thrillers, Richard Frankland knows how to keep the reader engrossed in the story. Can’t wait for the next instalment, keep up the good work Richard Frankland.


B & J Staples Review sent via ‘The Bookshop’ Lee-on-the-Solent’ 3rd October 2015

Batsu, A Cast of Hawks and Shadows in Sunshine were amazing. The attention to detail and the thrilling plots were second to none!
Sorry it has taken us so long to get through, both of us have had a really busy year thus far.
We hope that Ian Vaughan is going to have lots more adventures, he deserves to live and thrive!
It would also be great if his wife one day comes through her mental trauma and they become re-united.’


Helen Cooper Senior Librarian Tavistock Library 29th September 2015

I read it in one sitting, I just could not put it down.

The plot is brilliant, the characters believable and the ending a real cliff hanger.  I hope the next book is almost completed as I don’t want to wait a long time to find out what happens.  I’m always impressed with his research and he has the ability to make quite complicated plots very ‘readable’.   As always I was left with questions which hopefully will be answered in the next book.  One thing intrigues me – how can such a pleasant gentleman write menace the way he does?
I will continue to recommend his books to my customers and will wait with anticipation the next volume.


Pat Adams letter dated 22nd Sept 2015

Have just finished your latest book, Richard. Most enjoyable, I found it difficult to put down. Hope it is not long before we have the next  instalment of Ian Vaughan’s adventures.


Amazon 5 Star *****

Ian Vaughan’s journey gets better and better

By MG on 1 April 2015

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Having read Richard Frankland’s earlier books I was looking forward to this one and I wasn’t disappointed. Once again I really enjoyed this, the third in the series. The action is fast and each book (starting with A Cast Of Hawks) has been pretty much impossible to put down. I particularly enjoyed this one because most of the action takes place in Madeira, an island I know well, so I recognised and could picture a number of the places described. In fact as I read it in an apartment at one of the locations I almost started checking the carpet for bloodstains!
I like the way the main character, Ian Vaughan, is developing. Unlike, say, James Bond, he didn’t arrive fully formed as a super hero but began in the first book as an ordinary family man and it has been interesting to see his journey. I also like the attention to detail and the way in which whenever Vaughan gets into a scrape he finds a realistic way out of it, rather than resorting to hand grenades hidden in his socks, a laser guided missile in his fountain pen or other unlikely gadgets.
Although each book is a stand alone thriller, there is that thread running through as the character develops, and it leaves me waiting with baited breath for number four. There’s enough reference back to previous events that you can start here (though not too much to slow the pace) but if you’ve not read Richard Frankland before my recommendation is to start at the beginning and enjoy all three books while waiting for him to write number four. If you’ve already read the first two this one is a worthy addition to the bookshelf.
I look forward to the day when you won’t have to seek out Richard Frankland, but he is as widely known as the likes of Lee Child and Ian Rankin.

Amazon 5star *****
By Martin & Jane Reid on 29 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback

Shadows in Sunshine by Richard V. Frankland is the latest and most exciting in the Vaughan thriller series – a brilliant plot surrounded by lots of inter-woven sub plots. The story – set mainly on the island of Madeira – is cleverly scripted to lead from a simple beginning to an exciting conclusion with artistic and flowing themes wound around the main plot to keep the readers interest going.Richard V. Frankland uses very expressive language throughout with much detail to keep the most demanding reader occupied, and has obviously researched his material with great care because he has been able to put an incredible amount of local knowledge into his story.This story is certainly the most gripping yet and the ending leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the next novel.

5 OUT OF 5 STARS FOR ‘SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE’  25 – 1 – 2015  – AMAZON  5 Star *****


Another winner from Richard V. Frankland! Intricate plots, dynamic action, stunning location, believable characters ( such a change from totally impossible super-heroes ) all combine to give the reader another fast-paced instalment in the Vaughan saga. These books would make a wonderful series of films although, to be fair, the author is so apt at descriptive prose that it’s very like having a film reel in front of your eyes. As a side-effect, the island of Madeira may very well acquire an influx of new tourists all heading to Bruno’s restaurant. Well done Richard Frankland !

Amazon 5 star *****

Richard V Frankland can justly take his place alongside other great British thriller writers

By Howard Peters on 17 Feb. 2015

Format: Paperback

A hugely enjoyable tale, that was slickly paced… and all-consuming. The research the author has carried out has been done with extreme accuracy, it is obvious to the reader he has a deep affection for the island of Madeira which clearly shone through in every twist and turn of the plot. It is a tremendously enjoyable and gripping novel with a very believable hero… Ian Vaughan and I look forward to the the next book in the series. Richard V Frankland can justly take his place alongside other great British thriller writers.

Amazon 5 Star *****

A Great Read

By Naoyoshi Yamakawa on 18 Mar. 2015

Format: Paperback

Apparently the author has taken the Ian Vaughan thriller series a step higher involving the current geo-political issues following the Arab Springs, which makes the scene of the events all very realistic. The detailed depictions of Madeira is interesting and set the story in the vivid environment, although I haven’t been to the island. Occurrences of multiple and simultaneous conspiracies merging into the assassination event is very dynamic and dramatic, together with the author’s usual details on the sailing. I certainly look forward to the fourth Ian Vaughan series.

“A cracking good read”
Paperback edition

by claire nelson

Richard Frankland has done all his research to provide a highly accurate and intriguing novel.
6th December 2015
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“Another great yarn. ”
Paperback edition

by Ray Nickson

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the books of Richard V Frankland about 3 years ago.
This authors books have got me back into reading for pleasure.

Having enjoyed ‘A Cast of Hawks’ and ‘Batsu’ I was eagerly waiting for ‘Shadows in Sunshine’, to be published.

The author obviously knows about sailing, and equally obviously, thoroughly researches his locations.

I’m guessing that the main character, Ian Vaughan, will appear again soon. I look forward to reading his next adventure.


Michelle Glenholmes 10th April 2016

Comment: How fantastic are your books!

Not only is there a thrilling story line but the locations covered are so familiar to me, made it come alive all the more & totally encaptured me. (I now live in the Chichester area and Madeira was a second home whilst growing up as my mother is from the stunning island).

Also the beautiful artwork used on the cover of your books has made me go old school; proud to have all three books on the shelf rather than on a kindle.

Can’t wait for your next book.

“What a delightful read”

Paperback edition 25th May 2016

by A.V. Matthews

What a delightful read. A most unusual plot which keeps the reader’s attention right until the end. Nice to read something which has NOT got the “F” word scattered throughout !
I now look forward to getting the other two books and getting my nose into them !



Amazon 5 Star ***** 9th July 2016

Dr J

Richard Frankland is a very talented and knowledgeable writer, who keeps us gripped with a different kind of thriller. A fast-paced, expertly crafted adventure spanning oceans and continents, this is a great read.


Margaret Robinson 20th June 2010. (Letter)

A great book, thrilla minute at every turn, kept me on the edge of my chair all week.

Look forward to the next book.

Brian 16th August 2010. (Notelet)

I enjoyed your book immensely. It was full of exciting drama from the first page to the last with an intreguing plot to captivate the reader. Well done.

Ann Owen 25th August 2010. (Letter)

I don’t normally enjoy blood and thunder books but I found this one quite gripping and on occassions could not put it down. Chris, my husband, has booked it for our next holiday.

Overall rating: Amazon 4 out of 5 Stars
A cracking good read
12 September 2011
I needed an easy to read book with a sailing flavour and that’s what I got. The author certainly knows his sailing, and also has a nice readable style that makes you want to keep turning the page. Plenty of action, plenty of sailing and good storylines.
I am eagerly awaiting his next book
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 Amazon
Location:Hampshire, England
Brilliant Interesting Modern day Topical Maritime
Brilliant, interesting, realistic (yes, really!), modern-day maritime story on a very topical international subject. Recommend most highly to those who yacht, those interested or engaged in the maritime sphere, and those interested and engaged in international anti-terrorism incl. kidnapping.
Not too difficult to go through the pages as well, but not too easy. Also there’ll be a sequel, which is always good when you’re choosing new fiction, right?

5.0 out of 5 stars A Cast of Hawks, 20 Aug 2010
By pec – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
Richard Frankland’s debut novel is a stunner!It sails along at a great rate of knots. (A play on words since a lot of the book involves sailing ! ) Our hero is a decent and honourable and -even more importantly – believable man , who is coerced by terrorists into sailing them across the Atlantic. If , like me , you have absolutely no sailing knowledge whatsoever , you’ll like the fact that the author , while not talking down to us landlubbers , makes us realize exactly what is happening. A really clever piece of writing.The story has everything — suspense, action , humour and pathos. A couple of the side-heroes were engaging and I particularly liked the use of our fine men of the coastguard! Looking forward to the next book!

5.0 out of 5 stars A Cast of Hawks, 2 Aug 2010
By BLACKBROOK – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
My wife and I both enjoyed ‘A Cast of Hawks’ very much indeed. It was not my wife’s usual type of novel however she enjoyed it very much. The author Richard Frankland has an extremely descriptive style in his writing that transports you into the adventures of Ian, the main character of the book. The plot was fast moving and we quickly became hooked on what was to happen next. Would make an excellent film also so hope someone spots its potential. Thank you for a great read.

5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT READ, 17 July 2010
By MO – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)

5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood please note, 26 May 2011
By Cheryl Hill – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
This is a fantastic book with a brilliant very believable story. Like other reviewers I could not put it down and normally i am an historical novel girl. I think it would make a great film with somebody like Orlando Bloom in the lead. Very impressive for a first novel and I hope Mr. Frankland has more in the pipe line.

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 28 Nov 2010
By GI – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
A good read, will keep you interested from the first page to the last. Lots of sailing stuff – but only enough to help you understand what’s happening, so if you’re not already a sailor you’ll learn a thing or two.A well structured plot, plenty of action and excitement.

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping fact action story, 14 July 2010
By Sherman Glendenning (Portsmouth, England) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
The story skillfully weaves the plot from peaceful English south coast harbours to the centre of American national security. The tension and pace of the story smoothly build to a dramatic ending. The characters are utterly believable and the author has used his expert knowledge and well informed detail to inform as well as entertain. Thoroughly enjoyable, a must read for anyone interested in sailing, action and adventure.

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, 9 July 2010
By Moo – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
I did not expect to enjoy an action packed book but I did. It was exciting and excellent for taking on holiday.

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read – hard to put down, 13 Mar 2012
By MG – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
I read this recently while on holiday. Normally a book will last me a week, reading a few chapters morning or evening. But this one lasted just two days! Once I started I couldn’t put it down. It’s very well written and the story has pace and excitement right from the beginning. The writing is so mature and interesting it’s hard to believe it’s a first novel. Can’t wait for number 2.

5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday Reading?, 26 Oct 2011
By Ty – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
A believable story which rarely stalls, has enough different characters, skates across our visceral fears, has been carefully written and selectively indulges in its own knowledge, but takes you into unknown areas of emotional stress and political attitudes – a page turner, but not a day’s read, with some underlying serious themes.

5.0 out of 5 stars Cast of Hawks, 19 July 2010
By Avid Reader – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
This book was not just good, it was great and totally unputdownable. The best thing for me is that it is based locally, it’s not often that you get to read a book that is set around the area you live in. Can’t wait for the next one.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story, 14 July 2010
By Alamo – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
Excellent Story and very well written. The author’s expertise and knowledge on sailing as well as on international business makes the story very vivid and gripping. Dealing with terrorism, it also gives interesting insights into cultural aspects of different parts of the world which obviously comes from the author’s experiences.

5.0 out of 5 stars Hawk a great book., 29 Jun 2010
By Badger (uk) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Paperback)
As his first fiction book, I was concerned that it wouldn’t be up to the mark, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found this gripping, well paced and beautifully written. I really love the menacing picture on the front cover too! Great work.

Roger Smiths review for club newsletter Ebb and Flow 2011

A Cast of Hawks by Richard V. Frankland

I found out about the author after talking about sailing with his daughter Caroline who then told me about the book, which sounded quite interesting.

I wasn’t disappointed – The story involves a normal (sailing) family guy who, by quirk of fate gets dragged into a plot to attack targets on the east coast of the US. The action starts in and around Bosham in Sussex, where the family are getting ready for a sailing holiday and involves a kidnap and holding hostage of his family and a tough sail across the Atlantic in a Victoria 34 yacht. Here our hero (as he turns out to be) does what he sees as the right thing and ends up saving the day.

Although parts of the story might stretch the imagination a little bit (it is just a story after all) the attention to detail and knowledge of many of the subjects covered, together with the characters developed in the story make it much more believable. I would say it would actually give some of the James Bond stories a good run for their money and would make a pretty good film too.

Becky Chantry 11th July 2012. (Letter to publisher)

I just wanted you to know how glad I was that you encouraged me to purchase a copy of your novel in the Bromley Waterstones on Saturday.

I started reading on Sunday evening and was instantly enthralled – I even missed my bus stop on the way home from work on Monday as I was so engrossed!

I found the plot very enjoyable, particularly the multinational elements. I also loved the way small decisions and random events can have such significant impact. It very much reminded me of the inquiries after 9/11 and the London bombings. How if small actions had been taken the plots may have been discovered. It makes me wonder how many real life attempts may be foiled, with the General Public never finding out.

Thank you again for such an enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more of your work.

Helen Cooper Senior Librarian Tavistock Library  19th June 2013

Cast of Hawks.  Fast moving, exciting, frightening. Believable characters and well researched. Very ‘boys own’ – it is great for me as a branch librarian to be able to recommend a new author that fills a niche in the market.

4.0 out of 5 stars very good read, 1 April 2014


m h b

This review is from: A Cast of Hawks (Kindle Edition)

the book is a very good read with the story preventing you form putting it down, cant wait to see if the second offering from this author is as good.

By Carole Clement 14 December 2014  ‘A Cast of Hawks’

Fascinated to learn that you were an author I acquired A Cast of Hawks and have not been able to put it down since. What a brilliant book! and how fortunate to have chanced upon you that day. I shall definitely be recommending you to my friends and relatives and intend to seek out the rest of your novels to read. Thank you.


The best book of its kind:

Gripping. Intelligent. Believable.

A Cast of Hawks

by Richard V Frankland

Richard V Frankland has mastered the art of taking a reader through a rich tapestry of fiction; combining meticulously crafted plotlines with etymological finesse. This is a highly recommended book for the discerning bookworm.

Originating from the author’s own nautical experiences, the gripping tale begins with an innocent sailor; Ian Vaughan who is forced by a group of terrorists holding his family hostage, to travel the seas. The book follows the twists and turns of the locations and relationships, which evolve with such well crafted language that the reader is drawn through the fiction, into the real world of the characters. The interwoven multitude of plotlines and inferences has been expertly crafted into an explosive climax; demonstrating expertly planned research and attention to detail by the author.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is that through its multi-faceted plotlines, there is an articulation of fundamental human behaviour, laid out such a way that any reader is able to access and enjoy. The characters feel real, the plotline is believable, and the locations and events are underpinned by expert knowledge, which makes them tangibly realistic. Richard V Frankland’s own familiarity with the ways of the seas manifests itself expertly in the subtleties and nuances, which underpin the explosive drama that evolves.

This is a book that will hold your attention and capture your imagination.

If there is a most-recommended book to read this spring, A Cast of Hawks, by Richard V Frankland is most definitely it.

Fiona Aubrey-Smith MA(Ed) MMus PGCE BA(Hons)

Doctoral Researcher, NAACE Fellow & Head of Educational Development, UniServity


A masterful action packed thriller.

Masterful blend of fact and fiction has produced a truly magnificent action

story. How can so much excitement and action be blended into a single novel?

By Martin & Jane Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars
By P. G. Gomer-Smith on 12 Oct. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish to congratulate Richard Frankland, on the writing of his first novel, A CAST OF HAWKS. I personally, have no knowledge of sailing, but found the sea adventure in this story extremely exhilarating. A very gripping story from beginning to end which had me reading into the ‘early hours’, as I just could not put the book down! I then carried on to read Richard’s second novel, BATSU, which follows on from A CAST OF HAWKS.
BATSU is another brilliant story, just as captivating and enthralling. I am about to start reading his third novel, SHADOWS IN SUNSHINE and am sure I will be heading for more’ late nights’! I will look forward to more novels written by Richard.
4.0 out of 5 stars
By Mrs Caroline Hodgsonon 25 October 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The book grips you from the first page and takes you on a roller coaster ride until the end. The book is written in a style that is an easy read with some interesting characters binding the plot together.



Amazon 5 Star ***** 9th July 2016

Dr J

Richard Frankland is a very talented and knowledgeable writer, who keeps us gripped with a different kind of thriller. Continuing the story so expertly crafted in A Cast of Hawks, we are once more plunged into the deadly and terrifying world of Ian Vaughan and kept on the edge of our seats with another great read.


5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, intriguing thriller, 19 Feb 2013
By Sherman Glendenning (Portsmouth, England) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Batsu (Paperback)
I had read Richard V Frankland’s debut novel “Cast of Hawks” prior to reading “Batsu” and was glad to have done so, as the story and characters have evolved from it. However “Batsu” is an unputdownable book and stands in its own right as a good read.
I enjoyed the authenticity of the locational descriptions and events, suggesting that the author has gone to great lengths to research the book. He writes in a direct, nitty-gritty, mo-nonsense style. The plot is multi-faceted, unpredictable and completely absorbing.
“Batsu” has for me served up entertainment, suspense and travel in exactly the right balance. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for weekends!, 20 Jan 2013
By pec – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Batsu (Paperback)
Warning ! Do not start this book if you’re going to have to put it down any time soon. This is the second book in this series. ( Please Richard Frankland tell me there are more coming. ) As the previous reviewer explained, it certainly helps to have read ” Cast of Hawks ” in that the continuity adds so much to the ongoing story. This book ,like the first , is a page-turning , multi-national , multi-locational rip-roaring thriller .I read this book yesterday thanks to a very understanding husband who kindly left me to my avid reading and quietly cooked dinner too. As I said in my title to this review—-thank God for weekends ! Enjoy !

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and engaging action packed story, 19 Dec 2012
By Naoyoshi Yamakawa (Tokyo, Japan) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: Batsu (Paperback)
This is a very dynamic and engaging story. I could finish the book in a few days which is unusual for me. Events develop simultaneously at multiple locations involving Japanese and North Korean terrorists on British soil. This is the second book by the author and obviously his in depth knowledge in sailing, civil engineering and Japanese culture help to make the story very realistic and authentic. If you like action packed stories, I highly recommend this new book, Batsu.

5.0 out of 5 stars Non stop page turner, 27 Nov 2012
By Wexler 53 – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Batsu (Paperback)
I bought “A Cast of Hawks” as a result of meeting the author in a bookshop in Brighton. To be honest, the cover didn’t inspire, but meeting him persuaded me to buy a copy. I really enjoyed reading that book, and bought the sequel “Batsu”. Again, I’m not sure I like the cover, but I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It’s a real adventure, and although it stretches the imagination here and there, it is eminently believable. You can imagine the characters are real people as they have ups and downs like the rest of us, even if they have adventures that test belief on occasion. It’s not major literature, but it is a very good read if you like that kind of book. Once started, I couldn’t put it down.

If you are thinking of buying this book, read “A Cast of Hawks” first. “Batsu” stands alone, but reads better as a sequel as this places it in context.

Great books to take on holiday…and I hope there will be more adventures to follow?

Roger Smith review for club newsletter Ebb and Flow February 2013

Batsu (Japanese for Retribution)

When I heard that the sequel to ‘A Cast of Hawks’ was out I had to get a copy.

The story takes up where the original left off – the surviving terrorists seeking revenge and their associates out to destroy security measures being put in place by the west. With all this going on, our hero’s family are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them previously.

Various government agencies are involved, here, in the US and Japan and the action soon picks up. Once again the settings are largely places familiar to us sailors – Newton Creek on the Isle of Wight, the river Itchen and even right on the clubs doorstep and many more besides. The “ordinary” people in the story are people you feel you almost know – even a couple of the baddies are almost identifiable, all of which adds to the realism. Attention to detail is also given to the sailing aspects, notably the handling of his new boat – a heavy, long keel, Saltram 36 (I sympathised with his remarks about going astern!).

All in all a good action story that I finished off in remarkably short time for me (my previous read was ‘The Riddle of the Sands’ which I found quite hard work and took ages to finish).

There is another book in the pipeline (he sneakily left things open at the end of ‘Batsu’) and I plan to get that as soon as I can.

5.0 out of 5 stars Good read – great follow up, 24 May 2013
By MG – See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Batsu (Paperback)
Enjoyed this book very much. Just two points – you really need to read Cast of Hawks first to get the most out of it – some references back will be lost if you don’t. And it took me a while to get clear who all the main characters are because of the unfamiliar Japanese names.

Helen Cooper, Librarian Tavistock Library. 4th July 2013

I have finished Batsu – when is the next one being published????  Couple of unpleasant surprises in there.  Did Weaver have to die I was rather fond of him and I probably would have done in the ghastly receptionist person.  Lovely character, I seem to have met several people like her!!  The depiction of Kingsbridge is done well.  Another fast paced book I do find myself turning the pages faster and faster to see what happens next!  I really need to know what happens so write very quickly please!

Review by Author Richard Hardie 24th June 2014

My reasons for buying a book vary from the fact that one of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett, or Bernard Cornwell has a new release, to the need to buy research material for my own writing projects. In the case of Batsu, I met Richard Frankland at a book signing and was intrigued enough both by him and by what he had to say to break the habit of a lifetime and buy a book by an author I’d never heard of and in a genre I don’t normally read. A decision I didn’t regret.

Batsu is Japanese for “retribution” and is a sequel to the first in the series of books about Ian Vaughan. In the first of the series, Vaughan and his family are kidnapped by the Japanese Red Brigade terrorist group, although Vaughan manages to foil the terror gang’s plot and rescue his family, killing a couple of the terrorists in the process including the sister of one of the terror group leaders. The whole episode does irreparable harm to his marriage, which is where “Batsu” starts.

Two of the Japanese terror gang have been released from prison and sent under cover to the UK with other terrorists, via Canada. Once in the UK they rescue the leader of their terror group and having joined up with agents from North Korea, they put their plans into effect for a major coup against the West. You’ll have to read “Batsu” to find out what the coup is and Richard Frankland keeps you guessing until the end with numerous satisfying red herrings.

I mentioned that this isn’t a genre I normally enjoy, but “Batsu” is superbly written and crafted and I would put it on a par with Fredrick Forsyth at his best. Frankland’s Japanese terrorists are chillingly ruthless as killers, and yet have the perfect manners and humility that is inherent is the Japanese psyche.

Frankland’s hero, Ian Vaughan, is a likeable character and one that you have sympathy for both initially and more so as the book progresses. His wife has left him and taken his children, allowing him the absolute minimum of visiting rights and one of the terrorists is determined to take revenge on Vaughan for the killing of his sister. Ian tries to stay out of trouble and let the secret services deal with the situation, but when the terrorists arrive in the West Country very near to where he’s staying Ian decides he needs to act.

“Batsu” or “Retribution” is aptly titled. Is it Vaughan’s retribution for the destruction of his marriage and family, or is it the vengeance of one of the terrorists for the death of his sister? Is it the retribution of a violent Japanese terrorist group against Western capitalism, or the revenge of the terrorist leader whose plans Vaughan wrecked in Richard Frankland’s first book.

“Batsu” is highly satisfying as a thriller on every level. The twists and turns are not there to annoy the reader, as they are in so many books, they’re logical and intrinsic to the plot. None of the characters are superfluous and are all well structured. Most importantly the ending is fist-pumpingly good. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to anyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars
It gets better and better
By Mrs Caroline Hodgsonon 31 October 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The fast moving book follows the exploits of a bunch of terrorists loose in the UK. A believable plot enhanced by diverse characters. A fabulous and exciting read.

To purchase just contact your local bookshop, or alternatively you can order through Amazon by clicking on the image. Either way I hope you will enjoy the read.

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