Every Trick in the Book by Iain Hood @renardpress @iain_hood

Who do you trust?

Book blurb

Thanks: I was part of the blog tour for Every Trick in the Book by Iain Hood organised by Will of Renard Press and, although my spot was a feature rather than a review spot, the publishers still kindly sent me an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) the book.

How could I not read this?

How could I not share my thoughts about it?

I just had to read it and so, a bit belated as I read it last year for NovNov, I’ll share my thoughts – I hope better late than never!

My thoughts

On reading Every Trick in the Book we enter the world of Paul, Julia and their family. They live in North London where they have a settled, comfortable lifestyle but also a desire to make things better for all of society by raising funds, marching and campaigning for ORGAN:EYES.

Is this the reality?

When Paul is confronted by a journalist we discover there is much more going on than we thought! We are entering the world of an undercover police operation! For fourteen years Paul, who it seems is not really Paul but hey it’s easier to stick with, has lived a lie or has he? Well it seems so.

What is real?

Worried that his cover will be blown he contacts his colleagues. Taking every precaution Paul meets them in what seems to be an official building talking about his undercover activities which includes setting up business in the music industry. He leaves not exactly reassured but accepting that he has to carry on for a while. His existence is a worry to them!

Fourteen years! A wife and two children! Do they know? Paul is sure they don’t. Hes as careful returning home as going. Cameras are everywhere, they have eyes everywhere!

Julia – is that her real name? Is she simply what she seems or someone, something else?

The girls, Olivia and Sophie, are well versed in the need for a better society they’ve been brought up to be mindful of the needs of others, to care about how folk are treated and to help others who are in need. Are they really who they seem?

Who is lying?

If no one is what they seem to be then who are they, what are they? Who is watching who? If you’ve lived a life for fourteen years then isn’t it real and not a sham?

This is an unnerving read were you are taken on a dizzying, mind boggling look into the world of undercover police work, a world of surveillance and seemingly endless lies.

This book is not a traditional crime fiction novel. There is no crime. No murder. Does the surveillance of people, of a group count? You know just in case they are found to be insidious? Still for fourteen years!

Who is watching who?

In this strangely bizarre but seemingly real world – Paul and his family exist in it – we have no other life for Paul. Will this one remain?

Who can Paul trust? Who can you trust?

In this tear-up-the-normal and let’s see-where-it-goes-from-there form this novel is bizarre, funny, mind boggling, unnerving – yes! – all can be used to describe this unusual yet enthralling and fascinating story. It is a book that breaks boundaries, leaves you feeling uneasy, intrigued and beguiled.


Published: Renard Press -14TH SEPTEMBER 2022 | Paperback • 224pp • £10 | ISBN: 978-1-913724-92-4

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Bookshop.org (affiliate link)

Iain Hood courtesy of Renard Press

Author: Iain Hood was born in Glasgow and grew up in the seaside town of Ayr. He attended the University of Glasgow and Jordanhill College, and later worked in education in Glasgow and the west country. He attended the University of Manchester after moving to Cambridge, where he continues to live with his wife and daughter. His first novel, This Good Book, was published in 2021.

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