Tom Fool (The Unhappy Medium 2) A supernatural comedy
by T.J. Brown
Read: 11th – 15th August 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a pre-publication digital version of this book for free from the author, Tim Brown, for an honest review. Thanks for the advance copy.
The publication date was 6th August 2017
…So what’s this book about?
Tom Fool, a novel of approx 356 pages, is the second outing into the world of The Unhappy Medium (see my review of Book 1 here); it’s a paranormal novel that features ghosts and other strange creations with a definite satirical point of view that I think would happily sit in the urban fantasy or science fiction genres due to the content/plot.
The world created for The Unhappy Medium books is set in our modern day world and features evil dead people, evil living people and those tasked with the thankless job of thwarting their evil plans all the while keeping the secrets of the afterlife obscured from human knowledge. Although the evil doers and adventures change with each book, our heroes – called the Purgatorians – remain the same; disgraced physicist, Dr Newton Barlow, his resourceful girlfriend, Viv, his ‘Goth’ daughter, Gabby, the enthusiastic C of E warrior vicar, the Reverend J M Bennet, my personal favourite Neolithic kickass hero ever, the Bonetaker and Newton’s line manager and supervisor, Mr Jameson and from the other side of the curtain; Dr Alex Sixsmith, Newton’s dearly departed friend, the ever lamenting prison warden in Purgatory, Eric the Greek and the officious but frustratingly anonymous Purgatorial council.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know, I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Dr Newton Barlow and the Purgatorians are back.
Now that the fight between good and evil has become routine, one-time sceptical physicist and unhappy medium, Dr Newton Barlow, is badly in need of a challenge.
It arrives in the shape of a crime so cunning in its planning, so dastardly in its execution, that even the hyper-logical Dr Barlow will struggle to prevent it.
But with Barlow and his team navigating a flood of mind-curdling distractions, and an adversary that seems to know their every weakness, things are destined to get a little messy for the Purgatorians. Plus, with his girlfriend demanding a slice of the paranormal action, his old employer getting a bit too close to his personal life and his current employer using his home as a hotel, Newton’s challenges are hardly the kind he was seeking.
Missing links, an enigmatic jester and the unexpected nature of portraiture, Tom Fool is a fast and furious comedy about the perils of notoriety.
So, what did I like about it?
Goodness me, practically everything! Where do I begin…
I only discovered Tim Brown this year but I’m becoming quite the fan; I find his writing style very easy to read, his descriptions, characters and plot development engage me from the very first page and keep me reading, I love the way that he weaves facts, stories and theories from history and science throughout his tales and I really relate to his sense of humour (think Horrible Histories for adults or Pratchett’s Discworld irreverence). Tom Fool did not let me down.
There are a lot of great characters in this book, some we met in the last book and some are new to this one but all of them have their own back-story, complexities and foibles that make them feel real (even the supernatural ones). I loved how both Viv and Gabby developed in this book and enjoyed witnessing their intelligence and strength thrown into the fray. Some of my favourite scenes featured The Bonetaker; I love his softer side and enjoy seeing him kick some well needed evil butt.
Now of course, being a ‘supernatural comedy’ I found myself smiling, chuckling and outright laughing at the cleverly penned wit but the emotions didn’t stop there, the main mystery kept me intrigued, the action and fighting had my adrenaline pumped and the growth of the friendships/relationships made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In other words, this story kept me guessing and kept me turning the pages – I was gripped.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope – hence the 5 stars!
…So, basically what I’m saying is…
This is a great supernatural tale, I really enjoyed it; it was such a fun read! The characters were entertaining, the plot was interesting and I enjoyed the twists & turns. Mr Brown has created a great new world that I hope we’ll see further instalments from.
I would recommend this book if you like adventure stories featuring ghosts, gun toting clergy, irritated physicists, kickass girlfriends and quick minded but sullen teenagers from paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction genres that are told with a definite tongue in the cheek.
So, has my review of TOM FOOL: THE UNHAPPY MEDIUM 2: A SUPERNATURAL COMEDY sparked your interest in this book, the Unhappy Medium world or the author? Just click on any of the links below to check it all out for yourself, or to find out more about other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See TOM FOOL on Goodreads.com