I have received a free e-copy of the book “After The Texans” by Declan Milling to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.
Here is the book blurb.
Having exposed the corrupt government in Papua New Guinea, the UN’s carbon market watchdog is riding high. But Emil Pfeffer, its head of market integrity, is in meltdown. The UN investigation has been shelved and his girlfriend, Johanna, has been kidnapped as insurance that his inquiries will go no further.
Wracked by guilt and desperate to find her, Emil finds himself thrust into the high-stakes battle being waged for control of the world’s remaining fossil fuel resources.
It’s economic war for hegemony over the future of global energy, being played out against a backdrop of Australian domestic politics, where coal mining and the Great Barrier Reef are locked in a fight to the death.
After The Texans is the second novel in the Carbon Black series.
I found this book very difficult to get into which I put down to it being book 2 in a series for which I haven’t read book 1, although I had been advised that it could be read as a stand-alone book. The first bit I actually enjoyed wasn’t until chapter 4 when Emil followed Lesley home as he was hoping she might help him locate her ex-husband, Rodger Beckwith, (shortly before the extract below). Lesley gives him an address but before he can visit, his boss sends him to Hong Kong to assist an Australian legal team. There by chance he spots another person he wanted to find, Geoffrey. Cue more following but Emil loses him in the crowd. Since there is an Interpol notice out on Geoffrey. Emil reports it to Tang at the Hong Kong police. Meanwhile Ms Cheng, one of the opposing legal team delivers him a mysterious package containing a disk. Emil is sickened by what he sees on the disk, but he does recognise Mr Law, the chairman presiding over the legal case he is involved with.
Cheng disappears and Tang questions Emil about it however he doesn’t reveal about the disk. He returns to his hotel where he finds his room has been ransacked. The police find Cheng dead and request Emil to remain in Hong Kong. Meanwhile Emil takes the bull by the horns and accuses Mr Law of child rape and then follows him. However he gets caught himself and dumped into a garbage truck and from there into the waste tip. Luckily someone spots and rescues him.
He goes back to the same apartment block again, but this time gets taken into police custody, where he has to hand the disk over this time. Tang takes him to see Zhong from Beijing, who does a deal with him to go to Australia to find out what he can about Beckwith, otherwise face imprisonment in Hong Kong for possession of the offensive material on the disk. I’ll leave you to read what happens next in Australia.
I think I need to go back and read book 1 as this story didn’t really flow for me, especially any meeting discussions which truth be told I found yawn worthy, although there were other parts that I enjoyed a lot. And it ends with the feeling that I also need to read book 3 to piece everything together.
So a mixed response from me, but if you like the sound of it, this book can be purchased via Amazon.
Here is an extract from the book for you to read.
Emil, the main character, has been sent to London by his boss to attend a conference in her place. He has a chance encounter with Lesley Beckwith who might be able to give him a lead to help him find his kidnapped girlfriend, Johanna. But they’ve both had a few drinks after the conference, and things start going in an unexpected direction.
She was looking Emil directly in the eye. Her own big, dreamy, brown eyes now slightly glassy.
“It was only by chance, I found out why he was away so much. He was screwing her. His assistant. Another bloody Swiss. Now I don’t even have the kids with me.”
Having followed Lesley Beckwith with the intent of getting her to talk about her husband, Emil found all he wanted to do now was get her off the topic.
“My girlfriend has disappeared, so I’m alone as well.” That didn’t come out the right way, he thought, having said it. “What I mean is, she took a flight from Papua New Guinea to Frankfurt, but without any explanation, got off at Singapore. Nobody’s heard from her since.”
“Maybe it was for someone else.”
“Yes, that’s a possibility, I suppose.” He paused, thinking. “But there’s nothing to suggest that …” his voice trailed off as he remembered, with a sudden uneasiness, what Robert had told him. She’d been on the same flight as Gerry Johnstone. And he’d been booked only as far as Singapore.
“People often do things you don’t expect they would. It’s the little signs, changes that you don’t notice, don’t pick up on. I didn’t notice, until it was way too late. Even then, it was only because he slipped up.”
“I think she might have been kidnapped … by the people who were financing your husband’s bank …”
He looked at her and, in his increasingly wine-befuddled mind, got the feeling that she was looking at him somehow differently.
“Why do you think my husband would leave me for another woman? Don’t you think I’m attractive, Emil?”
“I think you’re, er, quite beautiful, actually.”
Wrong answer! He knew, as soon as he’d said it.
“Do you think I’m sexy?”
“Well, er, yes, but…”
“Don’t you think men would want to fuck me?”
The word hit him like a punch, a king hit, knocking him off whatever remaining balance he had. She’d moved closer to him on the sofa. With a surprise, he felt her hand was on his knee.
“I think half the men in the firm would. But they’d just do it so they could boast to their friends. The rest of them are gay.”
“I, I …”
“Do you want to fuck me, Emil? Is that, really, why you followed me?”
About Declan Milling
Declan Milling has over thirty years experience as an environmental lawyer. Born in Australia,he holds degrees in science and law and a masters degree in environmental law. Currently based in the United Kingdom, Milling divides his time between London and Edinburgh. His first novel, Carbon Black, was released in 2014.
I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.