FLASHBACKS REVIEWS





'An author who is admirably qualified to explore the tragic and complex world of contemporary extremism and who writes with vigour pace and insight.'

Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury 


  
'I borrowed Flashbacks by J.E Hall from a friend from university who, knowing of my passion for crime fiction, thought I would enjoy a thriller by a local author that she is familiar with. Turns out, she was right! .....read more>   https://booksandreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/flashbacks-by-j-e-hall/ 
wordpress review


'I really enjoyed reading Flashbacks… I liked the way the action shifted from place to place which gave a real momentum and I certainly wanted to find out what happened next!’ 
Bridget Nash, London


‘Controversially current, intense and compelling debut thriller, grappling with themes and issues pertinent for contemporary societies’ 
Dr Irene Pérez-Fernández, Spain


‘A well-paced compassionate story of competing commitments and ideologies among which we live. A moral tale which highlights the limits of human capacity - and the consequences’ 
Rt Rev Oliver Simon, Devon


‘Just finished 'Flashbacks'. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it kept me gripped to the end.’ 
Maureen Hebblewhite, Leicester


‘Just finished your book. Great! Can’t wait until the next.’ 
Cate Edmonds, Feniton


‘I have just finished Flashbacks and very much enjoyed it.  It is a real page-turning thriller, without producing the usual sense of anti-climax I often experience at the denouement.  This is partly because you feel no need to wrap everything up in one volume, with two more to expand in.  It had the feeling which Frederick Forsyth generated for me in The Afghan.  I hope you'll take that as a compliment!’ 
Christopher Lamb, Warwickshire


‘I have just read Flashbacks; a great read, good pace and the level of detail left me in no doubt that you have an excellent back ground knowledge to the subject matter. Really looking forward to part 2 of the trilogy.’
Donna Baker


‘Have been reading it this week. I can’t put it down! Great book…It’s brilliant…. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I can't wait for the next one in the trilogy. Well done! I am spreading the word and recommending it to everyone. Congratulations!’
Lesley Bement, London


‘It was very gripping, a real page turner.’ 
Morag Fowler, London


‘Wait for it. It’s going viral! I’m reading it again,’ 
Jeni Braund, West Hill


‘Familiar questions about other faith prayers in sacred space… Convincingly toe-curling presentation of Conservative Prime Minister… Good to see Leicester’s positive engagement with Prevent mentioned.' 
Julian Bond, Milton Keynes


‘Lucky my stop is the last one on the line or I would have missed it this morn. So engrossed with the book! Got to an extra exciting bit, can't wait to pick up from where I left off on way home.’
Lynzey Kristina Cooper, London


‘Superb writer. Highly recommended.’
Mary Hewlett, Devon


‘It’s brilliant.’
Kate Moore, Devon                      


‘I really enjoyed the book… I liked the way you portrayed ordinary people and their frailties and the influence of their upbringing and culture creating a set of circumstances that were so plausible. It felt almost like a documentary running alongside the escalating tension.’                    
Jill Rose, Devon


‘Got up early this morning to finish the last few chapters! Really enjoyed the book. Just wish the next one was ready.’ 
                                Lindsey Kristina Cooper, London


'Its better than Girl on a Train.’
Kate Edmonds , Devon


‘Just finished Flashbacks. It is excellent. Very gripping.  I haven't much will power when gripped in a good book and have spent more time reading than I should!’
Jean Havelock , Bucks


‘Brilliant book, compulsive reading. Hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next one.’
Rae Beeson, London


‘I have really enjoyed reading the book! When is the second one going to be published?’
Susan Leighton, Leicestershire


‘A real page-turner in the best sense, fascinating characters and vivid attention to detail.’
Gareth Jones, Sheffield


‘Its compelling reading. Unlike me, I read it in double quick time!’
Philip Scobel, Devon


'Just finished Flashbacks, John. Very gripping, and with many social insights amid the narrative. A great first volume of the trilogy.'
Gareth Jones, Sheffield


'Your book. It is compulsive reading - so many strands woven into it and slowly intertwining. I will recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand many of the problems of todays world.'
John Geater, Hastings


'Suspense levels high!  Beautifully paced.  Everything /body coming together on Armistice Day so satisfying! Lots of Amazon stars for plot and structure and the development of the central characters. I particularly liked the parallels  between  Ali and Adam - their loneliness, their interior questioning about the 'givens' of their culture and assumptions and identities. ( Curiously perhaps, I found the Christians less convincing...., though the stirrings of faith in Adam and Sue had a lightness of touch and came across as really authentic (i.e. not at all cringe-making!). Some of the descriptive passages really worked for me; others, I found a bit stodgy. The themes were absorbing  and informative; you delivered a lot of background without a hint of didacticism. Again, lots of stars!'
Rosie Watson, Ware 


'An email to say that I’ve just finished Flashbacks and wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed the read – I was surprisingly impressed and when I rated it I put it down as a 5* read….. Well done!' 
Peter Kelmanson, Potters Bar


‘I have just finished "Flashbacks" - a novel by John Hall. It is absolutely fantastic and I couldn't put it down. Very eloquently written. Get on to Amazon, where I believe it is available and buy your copy. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. I am looking forward to the second book in this trilogy in 2017. Well done’ 
John Bement, Enfield



‘Flashbacks portraits a handful of lives in contemporary London with an incursion in IS territory. The different narrative lines get progressively enmeshed with the corresponding elating pang of recognition in the part of the reader. The axis of the story falls on Adam and Ali, good exponents of the culture and circumstances of the place they happened to be born in. Flashbacks constitutes the flesh and bone of the history hidden behind the news we consume everyday as background to our toiling and moiling. So this novel is a good opportunity for us to stop, consider where we are and look around with more knowledgeable eyes.’
M.S. Suárez Lafuente, Professor of English, University of Oviedo


‘Flashbacks is a brilliant read! Characters are so real., can't wait to read next publication. Thank you for sharing your talented writing.’
Liz Morris, Devon


'I really enjoyed your first book – very good, gripping."
Jamie, Norfolk


‘Flashbacks was a real page turner, the end suprised although knowing the author I expected the attention to detail that flowed through the book. It's well written. Flashbacks is not just a book it's also a warning and we should heed it. Looking forward to book 2!’
Greg Bartlem, Coventry

 

‘A novel for our time.  It is an action book… finely detailed… a good read. The plot at times veers away from believability, and the climax feels rushed, but this does not get in the way of an entertaining novel.’
Kevin Scully, Church Times

‘I have just finished reading – very enjoyably – John Hall’s first novel: Flashbacks. It’s a thriller and the first in a series of three and I am now looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy. John is a priest in the Church of England and before his retirement was Director of the St Philip’s Centre for Study and Engagement in Leicester. In that role, and in others previously, he saw at close quarters the life of the local church in the diverse and complex context of our rapidly changing society. He has observed the ways in which different religious and ethnic groups interact with each other and with the wider world in which many originated; and has lived intimately with the ways in which local churches respond to the needs of these communities. Much of this has been woven into the story he tells which has the ring of authentic local experience threading through the wider stories of Islamist terrorism, Islamic State and drug trafficking. I loved the oh so typical little arguments and incidents of church and parish life, incidental to the main story, but adding a touch of colour and realism that all parish clergy and Church Council members will instantly recognise...
Guy Wilkinson, Salisbury

'I really enjoyed the book – a good yarn and I think it would make a smashing film.'
Lynn, Plymouth

'He has cleverly woven the main characters together, and then tantalising left an opening at the end – I would love to read the next one in the trilogy.'
Norma, Plymouth

'I enjoyed it – got quite taken up with the different characters and wanted to know what happened, so it kept me reading. It was a good plot.'
Maggie, Plymouth


'I love thrillers and I couldn't wait to get to the next instalment'
Balsall Common Book Club


'The author showed a good depth of knowledge – a good insight into international security services'
Balsall Common Book Club


'The short chapters were good. Everyone enjoyed it and were in admiration of its conception and production'
Balsall Common Book Club


'We have all read "Flashbacks". As everyone wanted a copy of "Istanbul" you can tell it was enjoyed'
Balsall Common Book Club

'A hugely enjoyable thriller – A hugely enjoyable thriller that deserves a much wider readership. It is well written with multi-dimensional characters. The plot is entirely plausible and almost spookily relevant given that it was written two years ago. I have been far less enthralled by books written by established best-selling thriller writers'
Amazon Review

'Excellent book, neatly enmeshing all the main characters. I was engrossed so only took a few days to read and I was happy to see it was a trilogy and I have more to come. The Kindle edition is not full of the often seen grammatical errors either which is another plus.'
​Gill – Amazon Review

'A page turner... The plot was highly believable, the characters well drawn, and the pace exciting.'
Robin Hungerford, Dorset

 

 
 
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IStanbul REVIEWS

'In the context of our multi-faith world and with a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar this drama succeeds in both entertaining and challenging the reader.'
Rt Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton

'Succeeds in fusing everyday life, firm beliefs, poltiical action and the characters are carefully drawn.'
Prof. Maria Socorro Suarez Lafuente, University of Oviedo, Spain

'A gripping narrative, with some captivating turns, that explores the wonderful possibilities and deadly threats, of our multi-faith world.'
Rt Rev Richard Atkinson, Bishop Of Bedford, Co-chair IFN UK

'An author who is admirably qualified to explore the tragic and complex world of contemporary extremism and who writes with vigour pace and insight.'
Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury

'Excellent read I could not put it down'
Ian Neale, East Midlands

'I’ve finished it already – very good – and passed it to my son'
Sue, Devon

’An enthralling read and I have nothing but admiration for the way in which you controlled a complex plot, without losing track of events or characters. I had to ration myself to reading so many pages a day as otherwise I would have finished it too quickly!’ 
Philip Algar, Author, Devon

‘Absolutely brilliant. I don’t think I have ever been so gripped by a book. I couldn’t put it down.’
Rae Beeson, London

‘Great Read!’
Lynzey Cooper, London

'Excellent read. Couldn't put it down. Insight into IS and all the Muslim tensions as well as the interaction here.'
Cynthia Hebden, England









Harry's England REVIEWS
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'A novel of our times with all the twists of an accomplished thriller'
Anne Widdecombe

'An author who is admirably qualified to explore the tragic and complex world of contemporary extremism and who writes with vigour pace and insight.'
Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury

'Readers won't like Harry McNamara one bit, but will want to get to the end to see what happens to its central character in this well crafted novel and story of our time.'
Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford, Chair of IFN UK

'Harry's England was absolutely brilliant. Congratulations!'
Rae Beeson, London

'Long awaited sequel and not disappointed. You love to hate Harry McNamara. Scary parallels with Trump's America. Where the ill-informed masses are groomed to believe the hate and bile projected by wannabe politicians. Look out for Harry's mum, the quiet star of the novel.'
Lorna Brice, Devon

'Congratulations on a masterpiece.
Exciting and gripping, and you just have to turn another page before putting the light out.'
David Reed, London

'J E HALL "HARRY'S ENGLAND" - WRITING THRILLERS AND THE TRICK OF JEOPARDY 
The most gripping thrillers hold our attention by building a character we care about and then putting them in jeopardy.  For good reasons it's a well worn track but doesn't always, even often, match the real world and J E Hall is to be congratulated on taking the harder route by giving us the world the way it is - - worryingly divided, with hidden extremists plotting to aggravate and exploit those deep divisions.  Guarding against giving anything away (Harry's England grips you to the last page) I will restrict my comments to the overall point of how successful Hall is in dealing with the challenge of not having a main character we can identify with.  Instead, Hall's depiction of Harry McNamara pulls no punches: McNamara is an unvarnished monster of extreme racist and sexist views, one step away from a career of mindless thuggery on the football terraces to morphing into the puppet of sinister forces dedicated to a rebirth of Nazi forces across Europe.  It's a chillingly plausible picture, and a timely one given our slide into Brexit isolation, and the book is to be recommended on that count alone.  But even more, despite the monster at the heart of it (or maybe because of him - - make your own choice) it's a riveting thriller you can't put down.'
Simon Miller,  Exeter Authors Association

'The Reviews shown on the book are testament to your skill in handling the delicate topic of extremism with sensitivity and insight.'
Lambeth Palace

'Another Exciting Read! – Thoroughly enjoyed the last part of the trilogy and am delighted to hear that we will be able to continue on the journey with these characters.'
Jody H, London

'It opens up the complexities associated with cultural and religious diversity as they interplay with political extremism and it does so in a highly readable and theologically sensitive way. It is engaging for a church-insider and prompting also for an outsider to look in.'
Prof Brian Gates, Cumbria

'Very Enjoyable'
Andrew C, London

'Hall gives the reader a pacy story that raises the odd eyebrow in believability,
providing an entertaining angle on the complexities and dangers of today’s world.'
Rev Kevin Scully, Church Times

'A well-crafted political thriller'
Annette Shaw, Devon Life

'I was eager to get to bed at night to find out how the story developed and felt satisfied with the ending'
Mary Rose R. Bristol

'The bloke in the bookshop was raving about it. I’m off to buy the two sequels'
David R, Devon