Today I welcome Keith Nixon back on my blog, this time with an excerpt from The Nudge Man. I also get to close the tour with two fabulous bloggers!! Susan @ Books From Dusk till Dawn and Noelle @ CrimeBook Junkie. So what is the book about?The Nudge Man by Keith Nixon
Published by Gladius Press on April 2 2019
Also by this author: Russian Roulette
A washed up reporter, an escaped convict, a sociopathic gangster. All are hunting The Nudge Man…
Wheelchair bound, born again, ex-gangster, Eric Hennessey offers down on his luck reporter, Harrison Vaughan, a job. Find The Nudge Man, a mysterious vigilante who’s stolen most of Hennessey’s money, ill-gotten gains which now Hennessey wants to use to do God’s work. Trouble is, Harry has no desire to work for a sociopathic murderer, even if he is an apparently changed man.
Harry is estranged from his family, he hasn’t seen or heard from them in over five years, since a fabricated scandal destroyed his career. Harry believes his wife walked out on him and took the children. However, Hennessey tells Vaughan it was The Nudge Man who set him up for the fall. Find The Nudge Man and Harry has the chance for redemption and maybe even his family back.
However, Hennessey has another objective in mind. Unknown to Harry his family were taken into witness protection and had to cut ties with everyone after Harry’s son saw a murder – carried out by Eric Hennessey. But the witness protection programme was compromised and the Vaughans had to go off the grid, they couldn’t contact anybody. Hennessey has been looking for them ever since and now may have a way in – Harry himself.
Harry’s search begins in prison, visiting violent criminal Pomfrey Lavender – apparently Lavender has information which will help. But Lavender is suffering various medical problems, including a psychological condition whereby he believes he’s already dead. Harry’s mention of The Nudge Man sends Lavender into a rage and he threatens to kill Harry should he pursue his objective. Harry is relieved Lavender is behind bars. Trouble is, two days later Lavender breaks out.
And others are on the trail of The Nudge Man, including the British government and an American secret service agent. Then there’s the lawyer who offers Harry £1m. All Harry has to do is stay away from The Nudge Man.
With more questions than answers and hapless guard dog, Bonzo at his side who’s bark is definitely worse than his bite, Harry begins his search.
Can Harry find The Nudge Man and save his family? Or will Hennessey exact his revenge?
So what has been said so far on tour?
I have to say this is a very entertaining read which had me hooked from start to finish willing Harry along and not forgetting his dog Bonzo who I fell in love with and kind of stole the show for me. Bonzo was his partner in crime so to speak, which makes a refreshing change.
The Nudge Man is full of twists and turns and is set to be the start of a brilliant new series. Now I am left waiting for the follow up.
Mac Reviews Books says
I very much enjoyed the book. The character Eric Hennessey is a joy to read. He’s witty and acerbic, full of black humour. The fact that his dog is his partner was a winner from the start for me!
The plot is fast paced and interesting filled with an entertaining cast. The chapters are short and invite you to read one more… just one…until it’s late and your cursing the book because you have work in the morning!
Ginger Book Geek says
It doesn’t take me long at all to get into Keith’s books and so it proved to be with ‘The Nudge Man’. Keith has one of those great writing styles that draws you in and he dangles enough bait as it were to encourage you to keep reading. I don’t mean that in a bad way- far from it. I became addicted to reading ‘The Nudge Man’ from the first page onwards. I just knew that this was one book that I would find unputdownable and so it would prove to be. I don’t mean that the book was superglued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. I love the way in which Keith writes his books with a large dose of dry, gallows humour. A couple of times, I nearly spluttered out a mouthful of my cup of tea because I read something witty or I was wanting to laugh at something I had just read.
Davids Book Blurg says
The plot was exciting but for me the idea of the Nudge Man is what had me sold.. the idea someone can influence events towards an outcome they desire without you even knowing anyone was even involved..brilliant. Keith knows how to develop his characters to make them appeal to his readers and once again the cast in this one were spot on.. special mention has to go to Bonzo the loveable hound.. his attitude had me smiling from ear to ear.
Suze Reviews says
The Nudge Man is well written, fun, pacey, twisty and action packed as we follow Harry’s search for the identity of the Nudge Man. I kept trying to guess – absolutely didn’t get it. And can I just mention Guy Gregory – another character for me to be a bit in love with!
Donna’s Book Blog says
I loved the suspense that the books builds up and it has a great pace to it. The writing style is excellent as I have come to expect and I loved the flow to the story. And that cover is fab!!
✮ Excerpt ✮
The English Flag Flies
Before you and I can get properly started on this journey together there’s a dog to deal with. A big one. All muscles, teeth and slobber. It’s staring at me through narrowed eyes beneath a furrowed brow, a still life of temporarily restrained loathing. I’m to be a late dinner, it seems.
This wasn’t meant to happen. Then again, that’s the story of my existence. I, Harrison Vaughan, was never supposed to be here. A reporter – “freelance” because no-one will employ me – by now I should be successful, with a happy family and regular, sun-kissed holidays. But I’m divorced, estranged from my children, existing on the Isle of Thanet in deepest Kent, scratching around in the dregs for a few scraps of paid employment. Tainted by a past event that stretches well into my future.
Actually, we need to go back a step, before the dog.
Occasionally I’m thrown a job by the aforementioned Les Garrett, editor of the local newspaper, circulation: the square root of bugger all divided by zero to the power ten. Les doesn’t pay much, puts more notes on the nags down the bookies than he pays me.
We were in a Margate pub when he made his proposal. The English Flag, a run-down dump on the edge of the up-and-coming fashionable Old Town. The Flag stood in dilapidated splendour, resisting the general onslaught of gentrification by enthusiastic hipsters gripping the area. Inside, it was a melting pot of aggression and xenophobia, right down to the George Cross hanging behind the bar.
A certain type of clientele gathered here. The disaffected, the angry, the tired. The Flag didn’t do music, there wasn’t a TV and bar snacks were restricted to nuts. And the beer was crap too.
Being a regular was a tenuous status. Like life, having your own tankard behind the bar was only a temporary possession, as was breathing in the foetid air of desperation and decay, until the time came to pass on to a better existence (i.e. die) and become a faded memory in the addled minds of the remaining drinkers.
It was one of those places which never shuts. During the beginnings of the morning and the depths of night there was always at least a single patron outside, cigarette in one hand, glass in the other, glaring at the unfair world passing by.
However, recognising everybody in the Flag was a benefit. Briefly, I was able to shake off a nagging feeling that I was being followed. It had been going on for a couple of days. A shadow tracking me. Or maybe it was my imagination.
Anyway, when I found Les he was taking a major risk by perching on a tall stool at the bar. The seat was one of those constructs where everything’s undersized except for the legs, which were long and spindly. Les was bent over, studying a newspaper that lay between his hairy forearms, a pint of lager at his fingertips. He looked like a hunched-over gorilla in wrinkled clothes.
I stood at his shoulder but Les didn’t notice, he was reading so intently. I glanced at the article in one of the left-wing red-tops. Another secret data leak; apparently it was dangerous, and we should all be extremely worried. The new US President said so. The particular paper Les was reading had fired me, so I’d refused to go near it since, and anything the President had to say I immediately classified as bullshit. He was that kind of fake news guy.
Once I’d ordered my drink, and sunk half of it, Les finally sensed my presence. He turned, said, “Ah, H. Nice to see you. Thanks for coming.” He grinned, displaying yellowing square teeth.
“It’s Harry,” I reminded him for what must have been the millionth time in just a few short months. “Not H.” I was Harrison to anyone in a position of responsibility, Harry to a handful of acquaintances and H to Les only. He frowned, I’d confused him. “You wanted to talk,” I said.
“Not here.” Les nodded to the landlord called Dick, because he was. A man of lofty expectations, but basement-level accomplishment. Ex-public school, with barely a remaining whiff of the posh, and with a ridiculous combover, Dick could always be found behind the bar. Unless there was a fight on, then he’d be in the cellar with the hatch closed. Dick was hovering a few feet away, pretending to be unobtrusive, but he had sharp ears and a loose mouth.
Les finished his pint – rolled up the paper. With evident difficulty, he shifted his weight off the stool. Les was a big lad, with a gut the size of an eight-year-old child. He never seemed to eat much but drank to excessive excess. And he sweated, constantly. Like we were in Antigua in August rather than Margate in March.
He walked as if pregnant, accompanied by a pronounced limp and a grimace of pain. Les slowly led me to a table as far away from the bar as possible, the newspaper clutched in his fist. He sat, sighed in relief as the pressure came off his knees. “I need a holiday,” he said. “Somewhere warm to ease my joints.” Les patted the space beside him.
When I’d taken the seat opposite, Les leaned across the table, got closer to me before murmuring, “A mate of a mate whispered in my shell-like.” He tugged his ear lobe.
“Everyone’s your mate,” I said.
“That’s right,” he replied with the solemnity of a priest at a funeral. Sarcasm was a companion who knocked at Les’s door only on high days and holidays.
“Your ‘mate’ has a story for you.”
“Yeah, how did you know?”
“Lucky is exactly what it is, H.”
“It’s Harry,” I sighed. “And is it risky?”
“Unlikely. This is Thanet, not Syria. Although you might have to do a bit of burgling.”
I raised my hands, palms out. “Not a chance.” Bending the rules, no problem. Breaking the law was a different matter. I’d spent enough time inside a cell, thank you, and had no desire to give the cops the slightest opportunity to throw me back there.
I made to rise; Les placed a damp restraining palm the shape of a stoker’s shovel on my shoulder. His expression of false reassurance would have shamed a Westminster politician.
Les had lost me. Despite appearances to the contrary, he was one of the most astute people I’d ever met. He waited until the climax to play his trump card and produced a chunky roll of brown notes, to nudge me in the direction he wanted. “Of course, you’ll be well remunerated for your efforts.”
“I’m not interested.”
Les licked finger and thumb. “Are you sure?” He began to peel cash off, dirt evident under his nails, placing one note after another on the table between us, the prod becoming a shove. “Fifty quid is fifty quid, after all.”
Ultimately, money actually is money and I didn’t have any.
“I’m not that cheap,” I said when Les paused. Les knew he’d got me and he bared his teeth in an approximation of a grin.
Exactly like the dog was doing right now.
Until next time xxx
Thank you so much to Sarah at BOTBS Publicity for the tour invite and the author for a copy of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review.