WEIMAR VIBES

The first reviews here are from readers and writers on the HarperCollins www.authonomy.com site where Weimar Vibes won a gold star and was rated as one of the most popular stories submitted.

Weimar Vibes … Oscar Führer Kerner … Hitler’s Third Reich. Could we really go back there again? It’s a scary scenario … but Phil Rowan’s Rudi Flynn is a great fiction character, and the lovely Julia Stein will, I’m sure, see him right eventually. This is a dark humour thriller with a difference. It grabs you from the opening pages and takes you on a roller coaster ride from serious riots in Europe and explosions in Morocco to troops on the streets in London, where a British Prime Minister grimly announces that elections must be postponed … Phil Rowan – I think you’re brilliant! Kathy (HarperCollins Authonomy)

What an opener! First a gentle, quiet vista with Bedouin and camels in the desert, then BANG! and we’re dragged struggling into a scary reality. As the pace quickened, so did my heartbeat! Weimar Vibes is tight, lean and well crafted, but never overdone. Grant (HarperCollins Authonomy)

Wow! I saw the positive comments and came in ready and raring to offer criticism … but I can’t fault Weimar Vibes. Each page left me wanting the next one. Compelling, fantastic and shelved with enthusiasm! Ellie (HarperCollins Authonomy)

This is clean, tight and powerful writing, Phil. I love your first person present tense narration + a very masculine style (of course!) and I’d so like to meet Rudi one day. Rachael (HarperCollins Authonomy)

I don’t know when I last came across a ‘dark humour thriller’, but this definitely works. AlleJo (HarperCollins Authonomy)

You have a knack for getting to what’s important and moving the story forward, Phil. The pace is fantastic and the setting compelling. In harking back to Germany’s Third Reich, Weimar Vibes is a little scary politically, but it has everything one wants in a good thriller: instant tension, personal dilemmas and a sympathetic protagonist + the right amount of romance, which I loved! Fahoura (HarperCollins Authonomy)

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WEIMAR VIBES

Most Helpful Customer Reviews from Amazon Kindle 

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and darkly humorous 19 Feb 2014

By Roger Hardy – Published on Amazon.com

Satirical and blokey, this is an engaging book with an engaging protagonist, dealing with dark subject matter in a way that is rather British; that is, with a deep sense of irony and a smirk in the face of adversity. Actually, the main character, Flynn, is American whilst the author is firmly Irish. Mixing my metaphors, he writes with a twinkle in his eye; his style is fluid and racy and fun. Written in the first person, I liked the way that thought and narration flow into dialogue which involves the reader deeply in the characters and action from the word go.

 The subject matter is the rise of right-wing extremism in a near-future dystopian Britain obsessed with immigration. Sound familiar? Could this be a 1984 for the 21st century? The premise deliberately mirrors Weimar Germany and Oswald Mosley’s activities in the UK in the 1930s. Our hero is a broke alcoholic double agent employed to disgrace the new self-styled Führer, who, by sheer coincidence, is German/Austro-Hungarian. He has to do it by first winning his confidence as a sympathetic fascist journalist writing right-wing diatribes against his conscience. Well, he needs the money and we all have our price.

 Only the Brits were ever able to laugh at fascism. Actually, it’s not funny at all. Now, I’m what you’d probably call a Guardian reader; wishy-washy liberal but one of the interesting things about this book and the main character is that you find yourself sympathizing with Flynn and the views that he expounds (even though he doesn’t believe in them) and therein lies the moral – how was it possible for so many good people to have been taken in by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco? Read this and mentally re-live history. I’d like to say that this book is free of format glitches but there are a few that trip your brain for a moment. This seem par for the course with ebooks which is a shame. This novel was between 4 and 5 stars but I opted for the lower as you have to choose. Overall, a really entertaining read. I’m reminded of Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Scoop’ but I enjoyed this more.

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews

 5.0 out of 5 stars THRILLING, SEXY & TOPICAL! 3 Nov 2014
By Sibyl Mory – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
From the riveting beginning of the story, we have explosions in Morocco, racial tension and strident right-wing movements across Europe, and American journalist, Rudi Flynn, recently divorced from his mentally unstable wife, who is having a difficult time career-wise. Add into the mix some striking, strong-willed, dominant women, and an extremist ideologue, Oscar Kerner, whom Rudi knew in his youth, and Rudi, hired by the British intelligence services, soon enters the world of ultra-right politics and demagogues. We’re off into another classic Rudi Flynn story, with its thrills, nubile, sexually dexterous women, resulting great sex, and cataclysmic events. Another rip-roaring tale that doesn’t disappoint, and keeps the adrenalin burning. Locations shift from London to Paris to Ireland to the Middle East at a breathless pace, as events move to their dramatic climax. As well as being an exciting read, at a time of growing support across Europe for anti-immigrant parties, this story has a topical resonance that gives it even greater weight and credibility. Not to be missed.

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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Review of WEIMAR VIBES by Jay Scully 31 Dec 2013

By Jay Scully – Published on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

 A read for all ages … Phil Rowan meets John Irving on the backstreets of London … or Greece … or Germany … or wherever Rudi Flynn finds himself. A seemingly self-fulfilling prophet on a satirical level, the protagonist enters the dragon’s lair. A double agent. A man with a crazy ex-wife. A woman from Greece called Lowenna – a traitor. Levinea, his faithful controller. Then there’s Julia Stein, the love of his life? Have we forgotten anybody? Surely you’ll meet a cast of characters – from lone taxi drivers to diehard fascist pigs … crazy bastards roaming the streets for blood. Rudi doesn’t care: he has his trusty therapist, who has planted scenes of paradise in his head. Where does the adventure end? With Oscar Kerner, the new Hitler? The Adventures of Augie March … hmmm … Weimar Vibes, baby! Seduction. And now his ex-wife has written a book about failed relationships? Herr Kerner wants him to be Goebbels? Say what, he tells himself. He’s in love, though. Driven. Everyone loves or hates him. Really, he works for Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and that, considering his circumstances, should be a problem. Ultimately, the fate of the nation may rest in Rudi Flynn’s hands … but you’ll have to read this great book to find out why socialism doesn’t pay.                                                                                         

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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, gritty, funny! 28 Jun 2013

By Josh – Review of WEIMAR VIBES Published on Amazon.com

Format: Kindle Edition

 I greatly enjoyed Rowan’s look at early twentieth century Germany. What a great perspective Oscar’s character was! It’s not often I laugh whilst reading historical fiction, but Rowan pulled it off for me. The juicy scenes, foreboding settings, and quick-witted dialogue made this novel enjoyable for me quite a bit. Definitely worth staying up ’til 5 am reading!

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 4.0 out of 5 stars Laughs aplenty 16 Dec 2012

By Bernie Dowling – Published on Amazon.com

Format: Kindle Edition Amazon Verified Purchase

 Weimar Vibes is a most humorous novel on a very serious subject.

Anti-hero Rudi Flynn is a former tabloid journalist, reformed cocaine abuser and practising alcoholic. Under normal circumstances, he would not be first choice as an operative of Her Majesty’s Secret Service but here he is enlisted to thwart a takeover in Britain by the extreme right.

 No one seems to quite know what Flynn is supposed to be doing, least of all the man himself. During his service for Her Majesty, he does manage to cover his neighbour’s wife and encounter women who want to have sex with him, kill him, or both.

The novel operates at many levels and to appreciate its full range, the reader would best come armed with some knowledge of European history from as far back as the first world war, at least.

 That being said, great slapstick and comic word-play will engage any reader. As a bonus, you receive the elevator pitch on Plato and Socrates, in case you thought they were Greek soccer players. At the centre of the story is a discussion on social and political reactions to questions of immigration and refugees which most countries around the world are having right now.

This novel won a gold star and was rated as a `most popular’ novel on HarperCollins Authonomy emerging-writers’ website. It is a part of the Rudi Flynn series but stands alone quite steadily.

 There are a few typos and a couple of formatting glitches, but I did not find them overly distracting.The story moves briskly and it is certainly refreshing to see humour at the centre of a thriller. Any reader who enjoys this novel will probably back up for more tales of the engaging scoundrel, Rudi Flynn.

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 DARK CLOUDS

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Clouds by Phil Rowan

By  Bill McKeith

This review is from: Dark Clouds (Amazon Kindle UK Edition)

Dark Clouds This is probably the best first person POV thriller I’ve read. I’m also very taken with the way you weave your potentially catastrophic story. One can almost smell the streets and hear the noise of the potentially lethal Afro-Caribbean crowds as they are encouraged to riot and cause mayhem by Islamic nuclear terrorists. The atmosphere everywhere is captured and you propel your reader straight into the action. It’s a terrific piece of writing; intriguing, brilliantly told and gripping right from the start. I remember how awful it was in New York on 9/11 – and in Dark Clouds we come close to tens of thousands being irradiated in London.

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5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC THRILLER, May 12, 2014
This review is from: Dark Clouds (Kindle Edition)
This fast-moving thriller envisages a situation in England of racial tension, riots and a potential nuclear catastrophe engineered by Islamic terrorists. One man, journalist Rudi Flynn, still grieving over the loss of his Muslim girlfriend, Faria, in New York on 9/11, is pitched into the centre of this nightmare, bemused, beset with personal problems, and the fate of so many in his hands. The author provides us with a racy narrative, and an authentic inter-play of situations, locations and characters. Amongst others, we meet Carla Hirsch, Rudi’s US Homeland Security controller, cool, dominating, beautiful, as well as cynical and sadistic at times; Michael Sharif, an oil mogul and acquaintance of Rudi, who may be funding the terrorists, and his sultry sister, Sulima, Faria’s friend; and the sexually insatiable Ingrid whom Rudi gets to know rather well. Against the background of rising racial tension, the plot is full of murders, action, surprises, explosions…What more could you ask for than such an exciting, well-controlled story, a diverse array of characters, and an engaging hero, all rising to a rousing finale, and a race against time to prevent catastrophe? Check this one out.

5.0 out of 5 stars A rattling good read. 17 Feb 2014

Review of DARK CLOUDS by Jean Shorney – Published on Amazon.com

Format: Kindle Edition

 Dark Clouds centres on al-Qaeda terrorists planning to cause nuclear mayhem in London. Journalist Rudi Flynn is recruited by a US/UK Security Service team, because Rudi knows Mohammed ‘Mike ‘ Sharif, a Muslim shipping millionaire, who is thought to be funding the bad guys from Geneva. A reluctant secret agent, Rudi is still trying to come to terms with the death of his Muslim/American girlfriend Faria, who he lost in the North Tower on 9/11.

 Thus he agrees to work with Carla Hirsch, a somewhat daunting U.S Homeland Security Controller and her U.K colleagues. There is a eureka moment when a train passes beneath the Hackney studio of Flynn’s Norwegian friend Ingrid. The train carries nuclear waste which the terrorists plan to hijack -and do.

 This is a gripping first-rate story with characters I could identify with throughout. I’m pleased to give it five stars. I would recommend this book to lovers of the political thriller, and Jack Higgins fans.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Light rain of humor among dark clouds, December 22, 2012

By Bernie Dowling (Australia)

This review is from: Dark Clouds (Amazon Kindle.com Edition)

 This is the second I have read in the series with reluctant spy Rudi Flynn at its centre. Like Weimar Blues, Dark Clouds easily stands alone as Flynn is once more conscripted into the secret service of Britain, and, for good measure, the United States, this time round. This novel has the 30-something Flynn still pursuing his alcohol and drug fuelled journalistic career. We discover some of the reasons why he is pretty much washed up professionally by the time of Weimar Blues.

 The trademark comedy is still here especially in the amusing thoughts the somewhat aimless Flynn is reluctant to express in words. At its core, the novel is as dark as the title, cover graphic, and plot suggest. Flynn is enlisted to help his president and her majesty when rumours surface that Islamic terrorists are plotting to explode a nuclear device in Britain. There are some quite harrowing scenes in which Flynn is present but either powerless or unwilling to intervene.

 The person-in-the-street commentary throughout the book works well though the anti-multiculturalism rhetoric outweighs more liberal voices. It is obvious the views of send-`em-back to-where-they-belong are not those of the author but included to show a common sentiment in most western countries. The powerful message I took from this book is that authorities from Islamic and Christian nations do evil things while flawed but good people look on. If you have an interest in world affairs, a liking for bleak humor, and a reasonably strong stomach for violence, this book is for you.

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 DARK CLOUDS  is one scary story, Phil, with al-Qaeda elements threatening to nuke London. I love truly franchisable fiction characters and in Rudi Flynn you have a memorable one: a hapless and reluctant hero who is brought in to try and counter the bad guys. If he pulls it off he may get to spend time in Greece with the fabulous Ingrid while penning a story about his Fenian Irish rebel ancestor. I think he’s fantastic: feckless and flawed as a struggling US journalist in London who frequently drinks too much. He is an emotionally wayward but basically decent guy. A winner, I think, and certainly someone I can instantly empathise with  –  Kathy (HarperCollins Authonomy)

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 5 out of 5 stars A cut above the average `terrorist threat’ novel, August 21, 2012

By  A. W. SHAW

This review is from: Dark Clouds (Amazon Kindle.com Edition)

 An unusual central character makes this novel a cut above the average `terrorist threat’ plot. Flynn, an American journalist living in London, is coerced into working undercover for the US intelligence authorities when he uncovers news of a potential terrorist threat to London. But can he work for the authorities without burning his bridges with his Muslim contacts? Vivid characters, humour and some great crowd scenes carry this story to its dramatic conclusion.

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 UNDER COVER

5.0 out of 5 stars DOUBLE AGENT AND DOUBLE SEX! May 5, 2013

By Alan Hardy

Format: Kindle.com  Edition

 This is an exciting story that roams all over the world from New York to London to India to the Middle East to Guantanamo. It is centred round the struggle between Islamic extremists and Western intelligence agencies. Rudi Flynn, an American journalist, is recruited to work for the British and American secret services in order to act as a double agent, at one time professing support for moderate Muslims and then (as ordered by his superiors) voicing sympathy for the terrorists.

 The spark for the ensuing whirlwind of events is the murder of Anton du Prey, a French journalist married to an Iranian. Before long, Rudi is immersed in a maze of intrigue, vicious thugs, assassins and a medley of beautiful women with firm and dexterous vaginal muscles. Rudi goes from one sexually proficient and formidable lover to another, amongst whom are his (female) American Homeland Security controller; a crack Israeli agent; the Iranian wife of his murdered friend; and the right-wing journalist and supporter of the French National Front, Chantelle Cocteau.

 The story is written in the present tense; this gives the events a sense of journalistic urgency and immediacy. The author himself was a journalist, and the ability to create local colour and authenticity in his description of different countries and international issues stands the story in good stead. Check this book out; you’ll be enthralled by the succession of explosions, killings, assassinations and shoot-outs and, above all, the indefatigable energy exhibited by Rudi in his ability to satisfy so many strong-willed women.

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HARPS & TEARS

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars DARK, FUNNY, THRILLING & SEXY 2 Jun 2014

By Sibyl Mory – Published on Amazon.com

Format:Kindle Edition

                                                                                                                                                                    Rudi Flynn, an American journalist, at an emotional loose end following his wife’s desertion of him for her best friend, Eva, finds himself on assignment in Ireland, researching a piece on its cultural life, and its `new’ women, a subject very close to Rudi’s heart… Despite his battered self-esteem following his wife’s lesbian affair, he soon meets a succession of intriguing, beautiful women, in particular an ex-prostitute, Claire, with whom he embarks on a passionate, sexually intense love affair. His investigations lead him to Bronkovski, a Cold Fusion nuclear expert who, his wife having left him for a colleague, harbours strong anti-Jewish sentiments, to the extent of constructing a portable nuclear device to be shipped out to the Middle East. As Rudi blunders into this vast, terrifying conspiracy, he gets warned off early on, and eventually assaulted. We meet assassins, murder, intrigue, and brilliantly-executed twists and turns of plot in this tightly-controlled narrative, which keeps us guessing right to the end. It’s quirky, dark and funny, brimming with incident, and addictive, all told from the point of view of Rudi with an eye both for the ladies and attempting to avert catastrophe. Another great yarn from Phil Rowan.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars A well-written, entertaining read April 6, 2013

By Donald Drewniak

Format:Kindle.com Edition

 The author, Phil Rowan, knows his Ireland and knows how to craft an entertaining read. Harps and Tears is replete with flawed characters, a must for a work of dark humor. For those old enough to remember Cracker Jack, the thrill was the anticipation of a new prize. Turning a page in Harps and Tears invariably brings with it a new surprise. Because of time constraints, it usually takes me at least twenty sessions to complete a book. I finished Harps and Tears in three sessions. Nicely done.