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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Smoking Poppy (Gollancz)

Smoking Poppy (Gollancz) - Graham Joyce This novel is about a divorced, middle aged electrician who hears that his precociously intelligent daughter has been arrested in Thailand for drug-trafficking. Accompanied by his drinking mate, an overweight fruit and vegetable seller and his son, a laconic born-again Christian, he sets off after her, determined to bring her home. As with Joyce's other books, the supernatural hovers just out of sight. Strange things happen, but there's always an alternative explanation. I found the final twist, in which the hero and his band of rescuers get tricked into smuggling heroin themselves, less satisfying than I had hoped. Nevertheless, it's an edgy and often gripping read.