Author: Alan Reynolds
Who is the mysterious visitor who turns up every year in the picturesque Cotswold village of Drayburn? What dark secret is he keeping?
In another gripping thriller, award-winning writer, Alan Reynolds creates intrigue and finger-nail biting tension as we follow an itinerant worker who has returned to the English countryside for the past six summers applying his skills for the benefit of local people. In return for doing odd jobs and maintenance in the medieval church of St James he is given board and lodgings by the vicar and his wife. The villagers are only too keen to make the most of his many talents and treat him as one of their own but there are those from his past that would do him great harm. His very survival depends on him keeping his previous life from being discovered.
This year it will be different. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to stop running.
What they say:
Another Reynolds classic. Don’t want to spend time giving away the plot etc you can read the synopsis and reviews elsewhere The book’s superb so just buy it.
– C James
“…an Indie writer whose work rivals any published author.” As he did in the first of his books that I read, Flying With Kites, Alan Reynolds once again manages to successfully weave past events from distant military actions into the fabric of present day British communities. In Flying With Kites he wove the story of a Kosovan refugee, fleeing from the civil war in Kosovo, into the fabric of her new home in Newcastle. Similarly, in The Tinker, the author weaves the story of Michael into the sleepy little village of Drayburn, in England’s Cotswold district.
Michael is an itinerant handyman who has appeared in Drayburn like clockwork, every summer for the past five years, doing odd jobs for the town’s residents and living in a bungalow provided by the village vicar, the Reverend John Colesley and his wife, Denise.
Even before he appears in the book, readers come to know Michael as an enigma: polite, friendly, and capable on one hand, but guarded and wary on the other. While he has endeared himself to the village’s residents through his selfless actions and good work ethic, he steadfastly works at keeping a safe emotional distance from the residents at the same time.
The Tinker is unique and isn’t a typical psychological thriller that immediately draws us into a struggle between the hero and villain, usually creating deep mystery or intense drama right from the beginning. Instead, The Tinker is more like one of those carefully crafted, rare songs that breaks from the typical three verses and a chorus structure of most songs. Instead, the melody and the story in those songs builds continuously to a climax that leaves us breathless – much like Roy Orbison’s breathtaking classic, Running Scared. In a similar manner, Alan Reynolds starts off The Tinker by cleverly teasing the reader’s curiosity about Michael, and then steering us through a number of increasingly dramatic events that help to develop his characters, but also continues to build our curiosity about Michael.
Through a chain of random and coincidental events, Michael’s past finally catches up with him in Drayburn, and the story’s tension builds exponentially with each succeeding chapter. Eventually, it is the vicar’s wife, Denise, whose curiosity about Michael and her compassion for him finally manages to draw out his story – gruesome and tragic events that he barely survived. Reynolds uses the chain of coincidental events to gradually and skillfully build the tension in The Tinker to a peak, ultimately leaving Michael to choose between continuing to run from his past, or fighting his nemesis in order to have any chance at living a normal life among the friends he has made in Drayburn.
In my review of Flying With Kites, I concluded that Alan Reynolds had raised the bar for all Indie writers. Any trepidation I might have had as to whether he could live up to that standard with The Tinker, quickly disappeared. Once again, he has skillfully woven a unique and thoroughly enjoyable story that has established him as an Indie writer whose work rivals any published author.’
– Alex Jones
From the moment you begin to read “The Tinker” you realize something special is taking place between you and the words written between the front and back covers. To quote page 5 – “Everyone was given a warm welcome…” The quiet village of Drayburn, nestled in the English countryside, is the perfect place to relax while on holiday or before drifting off to sleep at night with this book and a hot cup of cocoa on your bedside table. And you do relax. You do become part of the village, a friend to Michael … like all the rest.
Literary magic is not about what the author puts on the page, but what he doesn’t. It is seeing an image that was never described with or without clever adjectives but is never-the-less there radiant between the lines. There is a growing tension somehow surrounding this unusual, seasonal, handy-man (Tinker) you can feel it … you want to keep reading but you don’t … you put the book aside for only a while. You want the feelings to last … like a summer love affair that you know has to end in September.
When the violence starts, and you know it must … good literature is always about extremes … you are no longer able to put the book aside, for even a little while. Too soon it ends … and you want more …
– Deep Reader
…This is Alan’s best book to date. I’ve loved reading all his books and awaited the publishing of this one with bated breath. The wait was definitely worth it. The characters are well portrayed as always and the storyline was tantalising in its mystery. I absolutely loved it and recommend anyone to read it for a great read.
– Snow Leopard
…I am reading The Tinker by Alan Reynolds and I’m hooked. It’s a must-read: charming, surprising and a captivating page-turner.
– Janey Rosen
Just finished reading The Tinker by Alan Reynolds… What a brilliant read kept me transfixed to every page… much better than the telly!
– John Knight
Loved this book. Thoroughly enjoyable and kept me gripped throughout. Alan’s storytelling is amazing.
– Lynn Morrison