The Gannet Has Landed – book review

To someone who has read all of Peter Kerr’s books, from his personal experience travel tales, to his more recent bumbling detective and rogue farmer novels, it would almost appear that the author is considering attempting something a little more straightforward with this latest book.

The Gannet has Landed is the tale of a student vet (so a younger hero than we are used to for a start) who takes a year out job as a holiday rep in Mallorca (where else?). Despite the job, which allows for a few witticisms at the expense of the characters, Doogie finds time to become romantically attached both to a local girl and to the idea of throwing up his career in Britain in favour of a tourist farm on the Spanish island. The mother in me keeps shouting at him to finish his education, but will he listen?:

The Peter Kerr ingredients are there; his detailed knowledge of life on Mallorca, a farmer’s son with a healthy respect for what is now termed ‘the old traditions and values’ and a few larger-than-life characters to have fun with. But this time there are are more serious characters, well-intentioned but in difficult circumstances, struggling to get through each day as best they can and agonising over decisions which result in pain and disappointment for their loved ones.

There are a couple of baddies thrown in so that anyone who wants to label this as simply comedy, simply travel or simply romance has to add in crime as well, but it does end happily, with solutions for everyone.

The question for me is, does this mark an opening for Peter Kerr to leave behind his lightweight entertaining style and use his sensitive character delineations and crafty plotting with more gravitas. Gravitas? Peter Kerr? Perhaps not in the same sentence yet. But with at least two series in which to continue to indulge his sense of humour, it would be interesting to see what might happen should Peter go without  the ‘funny man’ hero again.

You can buy The Gannet Has Landed from Amazon here

Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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