Alan is married to Edame. They’re due to retire to Bournemouth. They love a Bergerac box set and an afternoon session on the port. They’ve had their troubles, past indiscretions that occasionally return to bother them, troubled offspring with complex families of their own.
But it’s a loving relationship – fun and fruity. Well as fruity as Alan can manage. Broadly all is calm in Dunstable, Beds, until the original Nazi Hunter and fax-lover Simon Weisenthal recruits Alan out of retirement to take over his mission.
And so the thriller begins.
It’s a daft book. But written with such a light touch that even a hardened old cynic like me read it in as close to one sitting as I can achieve. And there are touches throughout that are quite delicious. A few poignant words thrown in, almost unbeknownst, that capture wisps of Alan’s childhood memories of being evacuated in WW2 for example. The recanting of specific detail such as which A road routes the Stoobmobile favours, or catching the number 67 bus. These details anchor the story as the absurd plot thickens. And when the novel stepped it up a pace I was compelled.
I should now be transparent about why I’m writing this review. I’ve been following Alan Stoob – or @nazihunteralan – on Twitter for a couple of years now. So when his memoirs came out I wanted to find out more – there’s only so much you can know about someone even in two years’ worth of 140 character messages. For example, it turns out I was entirely mistaken about Edame. For some reason I’d pictured her as from Japan, rather than the Netherlands.
Alan makes the move from Twitter to the novel well. The story is a funny old romp. Wordsworth makes it look easy, this novel writing lark. I enjoyed it.
If you can get to an independent book shop, buy it there – but you can find it online in all the usual places.