More Trueman And Riley by Brian B. Thompson, @brianbthompson Starring @RobertDaws and #DuncanPreston #Audible #CrimeFiction #TruemanRiley

Trueman and Riley
By Brian B.Thompson
Starring Robert Daws and Duncan Preston
Rated: 5 stars *****

Written by BAFTA-Winning dramatist Brian B. Thompson, who brought us Byker Grove amongst other great series and Robert Daws, who co-created this series, this is a very enjoyable series that mixes crime and humour to great effect.
I started to listen to Trueman and Riley, nearer the start of lockdown because I enjoy the the creator’s work (Brian B. Thompson and Robert Daws) and the acting skills of Robert Daws and Duncan Preston. I have, as regulars around my blog will see, been very busy with books. Today however I’ve had a bit of time to return to this wonderful BBC radio play that can now be found on Audible. I have reviewed the first 5 episodes previously and have a link here. In this latest post, I have quick reviews on episodes 6-10.
The series continues to be a wonderful mix of wit and hard-hitting subjects with a good amount of intrigue and twists. It’s a terrific series to listen to. There are 18 episodes, each self-contained, in the series. I fully intend to listen and write a review on the rest.
Here is a link to my review on the first 5 episodes Episodes 1- 5 review and below are episodes 6-10 and a bit about the main actors involved.

Trueman

Chapter 6

Anna Douglas, ages 25, a journalist for Real News.com in Story, has been discovered by Trueman and Riley and is critical after a “fall” from a considerable height from a building. Trueman and Riley have to get to the truth of whether she accidentally fell or was pushed.

Trueman and Riley trying to find their way around how to deal with the press is funny.
This may have been created a number of years ago, but it throws up very modern attitudes and how everything seems to be filmed these days, incuding, in this case, Anna Douglas in her hospital bed without knowing whether she will live or die.

Trueman and Riley are on the case to discover motive and who would want to see Anna out the way.

Chapter 7

There’s a stolen ring worth £1000s, a James Bond convention all at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Bond. It’s all a Bond Villain theme. With quick-witted lines and Bond references aplenty, a “Who’s Who” of name-dropping, who played in Bond, this is enjoyable and great for any Bond fans. It’s all a bit of fun!

After much humour, a mysterious person shows up on CCTV, creating the intrigue…

Chapter 8

In Speed, Riley is in a huff over his own misdemeanor over his driving habits, over which he has to attend an awareness course, much to his frustration. He manages to do some networking and use it to his advantage to gain info, amongst someone talking about being on the job of road traffic, which Riley finds anything but riveting.

There’s a company ran by Frank Butters who Riley ran into at the course, that may or may not be rather dubious, it’s up for debate between Trueman and Riley and then also investigation. There’s some hard-hitting parts within it, wrapped up in how “Dust and Polish” works.

The story unfolds well with its humour and twists and turns.

Chapter 9

The Road to Nowhere – Riley is concerned about their careers as they find themselves at Woodhouse police station. Trueman is a bit more positive. They’re seen as “legends”, but Riley is being “eaten up” by frustration, which begins to  cause tension between the two.
They are needed to look into crime amongst students at Leeds University.  There’s a video-cast being done to raise awareness of crime. Items have been nicked and there’s the mystery of who is Chic-Lit 33 on E-bay.
There are some twists in this tale of crime and deception.

Chapter 10

The Three Degrees finds Trueman and Riley still part of the Student Crime Prevention Team and an attempted drowning.
The debate between going to and not going to university between Trueman and Riley throws up some fascinating points.
Through the mist on the CCTV throws some light on the situation at the side of the canal.

Jane is a GP married to Paul, who is a lecturer in economics and Nick who is a children’s and radio writer. There’s a get together where past students stay in their old student houses and hang out around their old haunts.
There are secrets and twists being held in this particular student house from when these now past students were there during 1982/83.

About the Actors

Robert Daws

Robert trained at RADA. He is an actor on stage, screen and radio. He is also an author.
His many television credits include: Dr Gordon Ormerod in eight series of The Royal, Sam Mountjoy in three series of John Sullivan’s Roger Roger and Tuppy Glossop in four series of Jeeves and Wooster. Also, Roger Dervish in the award- winning Outside Edge. (Nominated Best Actor-British Comedy Awards). He has also appeared in Father Brown, Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks, Doc Martin, Casualty, The Bill, Lovejoy, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and many more… He has also appeared in films – An Unkind Word and Swimming With Men to name but a few…

Theatre work includes Most recently Alan Ayckboun’s Ten Times Table, Michael Frayn’s  Alarms and Excursions and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s hit comedy, How The Other Half Loves. Other plays include Sherlock Holmes, Yes Prime Minister, Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Blackbird  for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He has also appeared in Summoned by Betjeman.

A regular contributor on radio as actor and broadcaster, Robert has read biographies of both P.G Wodehouse and John Betjeman for Radio 4 and co-created the long running radio series, with writer Brian B Thompson, Trueman and Riley, in which he plays D.I Trueman. He also played Prof. David Poll in the comedy series Higher by Joyce Bryant and Arthur Lowe in Roy Smiles, Dear Arthur, Love John. Also, Goodnight From Him, in which he plays Ronnnie Barker in the story of the Two Ronnies, Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front and others… He has also happily recorded audios for Dr Who and Torchwood for Big Finish.

Books – His first crime novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times. 

His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in Sept 2016. His third in the series, Killing Rock, His ghost story, Tunnel Vision – also set in Gibraltar, is Amazon No 1 bestseller.

The books are now being republished by a different publisher, which is exciting. I have also been informed by the publisher there is a new book on the way too. Please do look out for publicity on all of the books. They are great reads and I’ll also be involved in reviews for them, so please do also look out for those.

Duncan Preston 

He has had many appearances in television productions written by Victoria Wood including his roles of Clifford in the soap opera parody sketches Acorn Antiques, including Acorn Antiques the musical. He also appeared as Stan in the sitcom Dinner Ladies.His other television roles include appearing in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. He played Jonathan Haslam in the sitcom Surgical Spirit. He has also appeared in The Royal, The New Statesman, Press Gang, Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe, My Family and more.

In theatre, he has appeared in many Shakespearean productions, including MacBeth and has also been in other plays such as – To Kill a Mockingbird.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Bradford for his contributions as an actor.

Trueman & Riley by Brian B. Thompson, Starring Robert Daws and Duncan Preston @brianbthompson @RobertDaws #DuncanPreston #TruemanRiley #CrimeFiction #Audible #Review

Trueman & Riley
By Brian B. Thompson
Rated: 5 stars *****

Review written by Louise

Trueman

When I noticed Robert Daws was tweeting about Trueman & Riley being available on Audible, I thought I would take some time to listen and decided I would review. It’s written by BAFTA-Winning dramatist Brian B. Thompson, who brought us Byker Grove amongst others. Robert Daws co-created this series.
Brian B. Thompson, Robert Daws and Duncan Preston are masters at their craft and have been involved in many, many well-known projects on screen and theatre, from Dinner Ladies to The Royal, to Ten Times Table. You can find more about them below, after my review…

Review

First things first. This is a series that will entertain and is definitely worth listening to and I do highly recommend it. You will find this BBC drama on Audible these days.

Trueman and Riley is crime fiction, with episodes being complete within themselves. They’re mysterious and endearing with a mix of the serious and humour, with Trueman – played by Robert Daws and Riley played by Duncan Preston solving together. They are put together to work, but as much as they seem to get on with each other, they both have different ways of working and differing attitudes.

Duncan Preston and Robert Daws play their parts very well. Both are strong, enjoyable actors who certainly know how to entertain and shift from humour to the serious. Their timing is extremely good. They’ve definitely brought the scripts to life exceedingly well and convincingly, in what was originally for BBC radio.
As for Brian B. Thompson, well, his script-writing is terrific. The characterisation is so well thought out as more about his characters – Trueman and Riley drip through each episode. Then there’s the crimes and subjects that are within them that are big and some of them, as well as his characters are thought-provoking, without them making for heavy listening. That’s quite a skill in itself!

As they are so good, I have decided to tell you a bit about the episodes and a little about the performances of the 2 main actors, here and there.
There are 18 episodes, so here are the first 5 to whet your appetitie to get started listening to this BBC series. Each episode lasts around 40-50 mins. They’re smart with accomplished writing and acting. They all make pleasant listening to. They aren’t cosy crime, but not gritty either, somewhere inbetween as they twist and turn with hard-hitting topics and crimes.

As mentioned before, the whole series can be found on Audible.

Trueman

Chapter 1

Trueman has been passed fit to work after time off and there’s a case to be solved. He would rather “ease” himself in, but that isn’t going to happen. There’s humour to be had between his new boss and Trueman. It’s a sharp drama. Riley and Trueman are partnered up for the cases. Trueman has his issues to bear with. He has a self-help relaxation tape he listens to…. until his phone interrupts the calm, medititive voice filling the room.

The first case is a student – Louis – shot! He has past form with drugs and there’s humour that he was studying criminology. 
There’s a rather poignant bit between Trueman and Riley, when Riley thinks he has Trueman all worked out. It all gets rather thought-provoking about everyone being human. You can really get the feeling that Robert Daws understands his character – Trueman and between his acting and the script, he’s created a very believable character, with light and shade and determination and poignancy.
Duncan Preston plays Trueman’s opposite well too as his character tries to accept they’ve got to work together and has perfect timing.

The case is rather intriguing as fellow student – Amy is questioned, who Trueman humours with asking for her opinion. It’s intriguing as there’s no evidence to be easily found. There’s interesting ways people link, such as the university professor and Amy being raped previous to the murder of Louis. The connections between Louis, Professor Crichton and Amy and a time capsule are interesting in their twists and turns and powerful people hiding behind their titles and their “superiority” and “egos”.

Trueman

Chapter 2

The second case takes place at a race course at Angel Heights. Emma – a stable jockey is found murdered. There are hard-hitting topics of the hinting at what goes on within the racing world. Huntley is suspected at not going by the morals of rules. In an uncomfortable sounding room, listeners find out a little bit about Trueman and Riley’s life, their marital status.
It’s interesting attitudes in the stables and there’s some jealousy around Emma’s success. Things get interesting with Keith giving tips and there’s more than meets the eye going on with under-hand tactics. There’s mysterious love letters uncovered as are Huntley’s archaic views.
There’s humour between Riley and Trueman with Riley looking for horse tips and enjoying breakfast a bit too much for Trueman’s liking. Robert Daws and Duncan Preston play the 2 characters being friendly enough, but also rubbing each other the wrong way at times with great drama and to good effect. It’s pretty realistic.

Trueman

Chapter 3

The Road to Hull is where Terry Stuart is unexpected met. It turns out he’s an ex-con. There’s forgery in the club and it’s quite funny how unobservant to Trueman, Riley is being, you’ll need to listen in to find out why. Robert Daws and Duncan Preston just seem to play off each other very well, creating a very fine performance.
From crime to bus driving and secrets of missing people, this is an intriguing tale as the past catches up on Terry and his brother Frank and Annabelle is found dead.
You should listen to see if Terry can part from Frank.

Trueman

Chapter 4

Sabotage of a Philip Larkin biopic is on the cards in this episode. Film equipment has gone missing as has the bacon… The comdic timing is impeccable! The good news is Mark Wagstaff is dead and the bad news is, Riley really wanted to actually catch him for his crimes, instead of having to investigate his death. The nonchalency of Trueman is good.
Lines of Philip Larkin are weaved through as Trueman quotes them, not that they interest Riley. Although, the way Robert Daws quotes them, could well grab the attention of anyone.
There’s a bit more of Trueman’s personal life, which is really worth knowing, such as a date, that’s rather amusing, instant and rather lovely.
There’s quite a twist at the end.

Trueman

Chapter 5

Trueman and Riley investigate a disappearance of a man during a move with his wfe and Riley and Trueman are a bit exasperated by each other. Must say, the balance between that and the professionalism of the job and friendliness are played very well by Robert Daws and Duncan Preston.
The fun duo travel to Sheffield after uncovering an email between Nick and Eileen and secrets come spilling out…

About the Writer

Brian B. Thompson

Brian has been involved in writing Coronation Street, The Bill, Quayside and won a BAFTA for Byker Grove. I must add, it was a well-deserved award and had us kids hooked each week on it.

About the Actors

Robert Daws

Robert trained at RADA. He is an actor on stage, screen and radio. He is also an author.
His many television credits include: Dr Gordon Ormerod in eight series of The Royal, Sam Mountjoy in three series of John Sullivan’s Roger Roger and Tuppy Glossop in four series of Jeeves and Wooster. Also, Roger Dervish in the award- winning Outside Edge. (Nominated Best Actor-British Comedy Awards). He has also appeared in Father Brown, Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks, Doc Martin, Casualty, The Bill, Lovejoy, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and many more… He has also appeared in films – An Unkind Word and Swimming With Men to name but a few…

Theatre work includes Most recently Alan Ayckboun’s Ten Times Table, Michael Frayn’s  Alarms and Excursions and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s hit comedy, How The Other Half Loves. Other plays include Sherlock Holmes, Yes Prime Minister, Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Blackbird  for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He has also appeared in Summoned by Betjeman.

A regular contributor on radio as actor and broadcaster, Robert has read biographies of both P.G Wodehouse and John Betjeman for Radio 4 and co-created the long running radio series, with writer Brian B Thompson, Trueman and Riley, in which he plays D.I Trueman. He also played Prof. David Poll in the comedy series Higher by Joyce Bryant and Arthur Lowe in Roy Smiles, Dear Arthur, Love John. Also, Goodnight From Him, in which he plays Ronnnie Barker in the story of the Two Ronnies, Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front and others… He has also happily recorded audios for Dr Who and Torchwood for Big Finish.

Books – His first crime novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times. 

His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in Sept 2016. His third in the series, Killing Rock, His ghost story, Tunnel Vision – also set in Gibraltar, is Amazon No 1 bestseller.

The books are now being republished by a different publisher, which is exciting. I have also been informed by the publisher there is a new book on the way too. Please do look out for publicity on all of the books. They are great reads and I’ll also be involved in reviews for them, so please do also look out for those.

Duncan Preston 

He has had many appearances in television productions written by Victoria Wood including his roles of Clifford in the soap opera parody sketches Acorn Antiques, including Acorn Antiques the musical. He also appeared as Stan in the sitcom Dinner Ladies.His other television roles include appearing in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. He played Jonathan Haslam in the sitcom Surgical Spirit. He has also appeared in The Royal, The New Statesman, Press Gang, Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe, My Family and more.

In theatre, he has appeared in many Shakespearean productions, including MacBeth and has also been in other plays such as – To Kill a Mockingbird.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Bradford for his contributions as an actor.

 

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes – It does what it says on the cover @MarianKeyes @PenguinUKBooks #GrownUps #Review #Fiction

Grown Ups
By Marian Keyes
Rated: 4 stars ****

I thought I would check Grown Ups out via Audible. It is also available on e-book and print/physical form. So, I present my review of the book about what it means to be a grown up and what a life it can be. So, without much further ado, I introducereaders to the blurb and  my review as well as a bit about Marian Keyes. You will also find a link to her website.

About the Author

Marian Keyes is one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time. Though she was brought up in a home where a lot of oral story-telling went on, it never occurred to her that she could write.
Marian Keyes is the international bestselling author of Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Rachel’s Holiday, Last Chance Saloon, Sushi for Beginners, Angels, The Other Side of the Story, Anybody Out There, This Charming Man, The Brightest Star in the Sky , The Mystery of Mercy Close, The Woman Who Stole My Life, The Break and her latest Number One bestseller, Grown Ups. Her two collections of journalism, Making it up as I Go Along and Under the Duvet: Deluxe Edition are also available from Penguin.

Click here for her website

 

Grownups.jpg

Blurb

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys.

Johnny Casey, his two brothers, Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much…

Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife, Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?

Review

I thought I would listen to an audiobook whilst doing a bit of exercise and so, chose Grown Ups to see if it lived up to the hype. I pretty much does. The audiobook is actually narrated by Marian Keyes herself, which is very pleasant and actually fairly relaxing and she has narrated her story very well. It’s a book that is perhaps a little overly long, but you know what, to listen to it, the book, pretty much grabs you and I just had to find out how it all ended, even though by this time, to listen to it, it became quite a pleasant ritual and you can’t help by then, having a sense of involvement, so I’m pleased I did decide to give this a chance.

It certainly is an interesting family and is impressive in the amount of themes and different adult types it covers. Grown Ups is the perfect title for it. It does what it says on the “tin” or rather cover. I did also  wonder, in certain parts who would want to be a grown up with so much to deal with, after reading this as I decided that the cover looks somewhat appropriate.


Grown Ups covers so much of adult life and is certainly inclusive in that way, almost like no other book I’ve read or listened to. It’s quite original in that sense. It also makes you hungry to begin with, with all the food in the restaurant business. The family are far from as perfect as they seem to begin with, when it all seems like fun and romantic. Secrets just tumble out from Cara and everything starts to unravel as truths are presented.

Apart from the fun and lovely food, there are relationship troubles in every sense, there’s mental health issues in terms of bulemia mostly and therapy, it mentions the couples, the singles, business doing well and not doing so well and having to face challenges of restructuring. Even period poverty gets a mention. It did like almost every aspect of adult life was mentioned and yet it did all tie together to create a story that has some humour and some light entertainment throughout the emotions and at times is quite profound. There is also hope and light through some of the darkness presented as readers will head to the very satisfying conclusion.
The storytelling is very good and if you read it in book form, I know, from the way it was told, it would be to a very good standard too.