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Thursday, June 19, 2014


Good escapist entertainment. (Review by Keith Millar)

How To Look After Bert Reynolds is a rough and tough rollercoaster of a novel. Basically it is a murder whodunit, except there is nothing basic about the story. The plot takes more twist and turns than a mountain road as people keep finding the most bizarre ways to die.

Then there are the questions about whether the deaths are murder or suicide and are the perpetrators human or super natural?

The action takes place in a small town in north-eastern Kentucky in the USA, which is populated with a delightful selection of off-the-wall, zany and odd-ball characters. They are very reminiscent of the writings of Elmore Leonard or possibly even a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Possibly the strangest character is Bert Reynolds of the title. He may not quite be the individual one may assume he is. Also what role does he have to play in the unfolding drama?

Of course, it is very important to look after him properly.

The heroine of the story is Anja DesMoine who tries to live a quiet life and works at a crises hotline in the town. When a man is murdered and then a young boy commits suicide under strange circumstances, things get a little uncomfortable for Anja who has secrets of her own.

The crimes are investigated by Lieutenant Simon Kretzmar who is not the brightest of policemen. When the bodies start piling up, Anja becomes his prime suspect she is forced to flee the town.

How to Look after Bert Reynolds is a story full of fun and humour. It is not a very long book and is easy to read. Not only is it about a series of murders, but also about finding unusual friendships, and making peace with your past.

Most importantly, it offers good escapist entertainment.

A poignant factor in the reading of this book is the knowledge that the author, Laurence Cramer, was killed in a motor car accident in November last year. A sad loss to the literary world.

How to Look After Bert Reynolds is published by Penguin Books South Africa- ISDN 978-0-14-353902-5. Recommended retail price R220. – Keith Millar