Pilgrim Soul – Gordon Ferris
If you are a bloke who loves someone who kicks ass, then look no further than Douglas Brodie
Gordon Ferris truly is the master when it comes to “Tartan Noir“. I absolutely loved The Hanging Shed (#1 of the Brodie books) and Bitter Water (#2), so I couldn’t wait to get stuck into #3 on the list, “Pilgrim Soul”.
Unfortunately it wasn’t very good and left me feeling somewhat disappointed.
You see, Douglas Brodie is a cross between Rambo, Rebus and Cracker. He is a Scottish war hero who is not afraid to shoot first and ask questions later.
Set in post-war Glasgow, this alcoholic war hero / ex-”polis” journalist doesn’t take prisoners. He’s a man on a mission, and if that means loading up a Webley pistol and bringing down the bad guys, then so be it. Yes, I love Douglas Brodie and I love the writing style of Mr Ferris.
Trouble is, “Pilgrim Soul” is, by far and away, the weakest of the Brodie books so far. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy it – simply because it’s let down by a weak storyline and even weaker characters.
In a nutshell, the book is about Brodie’s quest to find some high-ranking Nazis who have escaped justice. They are living in Glasgow, a stop-off on their way to South America. There is a “rat line”, and someone is helping these Nazis escape justice.
All is not what it seems though, because someone is helping these Nazis flee from the hangman’s noose – and Brodie’s on the case…
And so Ferris takes us to Hamburg (to the trials of high-ranking Nazis), to London, Prestwick, Kilmarnock, Edinburgh and Glasgow as he tries to find out more about the “rat lines”.
Just how are the Nazis escaping justice?
Who is helping them?
Basically there is little here in the classic Brodie books, which left me a little frustrated. The general Ferris formula is that Brodie solves the mystery and ends up with a classic shoot-out. There is none of that here. In fact the final chapter is like a damp squib.
If you’re a die-hard Douglas Brodie fan, like me, then this is the weakest of the set. I suppose it had to happen, and that’s fine, it’s just a shame he’s not kept up the standard of the past two books.
I’m a friend of Gordon, and we speak to each other over the old email. He’s writing book #4 as we speak and has told me it’s called “The Winding Sheet”.
Let’s hope it’s better than this one….
Sorry Gordon. I just didn’t like it….
The Book Boy Rating – 2/5