Way Heeeeeyyyyyy everyone. Welcome to #Fahrenbruary.
Today I thought that I would re-share my review of Ian Patrick’s Rubicon. This was one of the very first Fahrenheit books I ever read, so I thought it should be the one to kick things off. This was from my early days as a new blogger and as such it is a lot shorter than my usual reviews 😆
Tomorrow I shall be sharing my brand new review of the follow-up ‘Stoned Love‘. In the coming days I’ll also have a Q&A with Ian and will be sharing a piece he has written about his experiences in the Police Service and how they influenced the creation of his books (links will follow after posting).
Author: Ian Patrick
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Where to buy: Fahrenheit Press
Smashing down the door to the dilapidated apartment the two cops stop suddenly at a strange object lying bloody and unconscious on the floor:
Cop 1: ‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what ‘ave we ‘ere then?
Cop 2: It appears to be a blurb, sir:
“Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.
Sam Batford is an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.
DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.
Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.”
If, like me, you had no idea what a Rubicon is, and thought it might’ve been an ice lolly from the 1970s, a type of antiquated filing system, or a colourful puzzle cube, then here is a wee explanation:
“Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon river was an event in 49 BC that precipitated the Roman Civil War, which ultimately led to Caesar’s becoming dictator for life and the rise of the imperial era of Rome. … Today, the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” is an idiom that means to pass a point of no return.”
There, has that helped? Good. In fact, it is an incredibly pertinent and rather clever title. That Ian, it’s almost like he chose it on purpose. Authors, tch, clever sods.
Rubicon is a novel that you really need to pay attention to. If, like my good self, when reading you often drift off mid page….. *random thoughts*….. sorry, where was I… Oh yes… then you’re going to be shafted. This is a novel of undercover policing, double crossing and duplicity. It’s a tribute to Ian’s skills that you never really lose track though. For most of the story you’re not too sure who is working for who, who to trust or what the character’s true motives are. This is what makes this book such fun to read. I also feel that this is one book that is best read as a physical book; you are able to flip back and recheck shit much easier than on an eReader.
Our main protagonist (or is he the antagonist? It is hard to tell at times), is DS Sam Batford. A UCO (that’s Under Cover Officer to you and me), seconded from a covert unit within the Met to the National Crime Agency under the command of DCI Klara Winter. To say that they don’t really get along is a bit like saying that the Romans didn’t get along with Jesus; they really don’t like, or trust, each other. For the most part the narrative is told in the 1st person from Sam’s POV, but we have log entries from DCI Winter, plus the odd sojourn into 3rd person territory when the need arises. Both parties are on the hunt for a gangland drugs and weapons kingpin known as Big H or Vincenzo Guardino (aside: I kept chuckling to myself throughout this book because “Big H” is a nickname that some members of my family have given to my mum, whose name is Helena. Long story, it’s a family thing… anyhoo…). As to their motives for wanting to bring him in, that’s for you to discover.
Sam, or Sky as he’s known to those outside of the police, has a tough old time playing both sides – or even three sides – of his particular coin. Even he begins to question where his loyalties may lie. He’s a man of dubious morals and motivation, finding himself way too deep, but usually with the nous, and bloody good fortune, to see his way out of trouble. Klara Winters on the other hand, is determined not to be shown up by SCO35, the covert unit, and to be the one who busts Big H (not my mum, or her bust!). She’s a young, determined, law abiding cop, who wants results and isn’t afraid to do what she has to, within the law, to get them. Thus begins a game of cat and mouse up and down the country, one that Ian weaves oh so well. At one point the characters even stop off at St.Albans, my home town, which was nice. If I’d known I would’ve had the kettle on. Maybe even a biscuit ready.
Once again I find myself reluctant to say more about a book for fear of spoiling the enjoyment of reading it for yourselves. It is a short book; just over 200 pages, and I finished it off in just over a day. Ian doesn’t hang around and gets into the meat and veg of the story fast and rarely lets up once he does. I wasn’t aware of his police service history until after I read the book, but it clearly shows throughout. I was wondering as I read it just how well researched it appeared to be. It oozes an authenticity that really comes across to a total police numb-nut like myself.
You’ll be chuffed to hear that Rubicon was recently optioned by the BBC for a potential 6 part TV series. This is fantastic news for Ian and for Fahrenheit Press, his publishers (read the link here). Here in the UK we have a rich history of gritty, realistic, police drama on the TV, and it will be great to see Rubicon added to it.
Rubicon is a punchy, gritty, double crossing, who’s watching who, police procedural thriller, running like a train with oiled wheels on an icy track heading downhill with a tailwind. I loved it and I cannot wait to read more!
About Ian Patrick:
Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.
He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.
Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.
Ian’s Social Media:
Buy Rubicon direct from Fahrenheit Press:
This review originally appeared twice: the first time after I read the book, and the second as part of the blog tour organised by the amazing Emma Welton (aka @damppebbles and damppebbles.com). Check out the poster below and dig about in the archives of the awesome bloggers there to find out more about Rubicon. 👌🏻