‘Derek’s In Trouble’ – As funny as ever and as unlucky as always, Derek is going through another unexpected crisis in his life. A local reporter with the partner of his dreams, his life is all set to be perfect. So, how will he explain his foray out in his wife’s dress? Then, there’s the leggy lady intent on making a lasting impression …on top of that, there are everyone else’s problems to sort. Is his Gran, the secret Radio agony aunt, capable of helping anyone?
by Mac Black
Was Alexander a villain? An injured hero, having survived WW1, dies, unexpectedly, in Glasgow leaving a shameful secret. This six generation mystery starts when Tom visits the loft “looking for the ‘jeely pan’…”
Brett H “pentangle” (Brighton) –
Derek’s Complicated Life
It was a pleasure renewing my acquaintance with Derek and his friends and family after meeting them first in Please…Call Me Derek. This sequel starts rather more strongly than the first book, which, I felt, took some time to get into gear since we first met Derek or Sweaty and his gang aged about six or thereabouts whereas most of the story has them as adults.
This time round the story hits the ground running, following straight on from the action in the earlier book. I do think that it is best for the reader to have read the introductory book first, as it would really be quite difficult to relate to Derek when the reader’s first glimpse of him is dressed up to the nines in his (slightly thinner) wife’s clothing and tottering around on her high heels. Of course, there is a perfectly reasonable…ish explanation, but one has to know a bit about Derek to appreciate this.
Derek certainly seems to have an unenviable talent to get himself into difficult situations, as a result of some really poor decisions. For example, a simple answer to his grandfather and friend, Hammy’s request to get involved in their little escapade would have been no, but Derek is, of course, made of sterner stuff than that. One thing I like about these stories is that everyone involved is, if not downright strange, certainly slightly eccentric. Characters such as the next door neighbour and the policeman who we met in the first book and who appears again certainly have their own quirkiness.
Overall I found this an enjoyable and, at times very amusing read. Its not quite a laugh a minute stuff, but in fairness, it is quite hard to write two or three hundred pages in that style. However, there is enough there to keep the reader engaged. Its fine as an adult read but I think that young adult readers will really enjoy it.
Derek’s in Trouble
After reading “Please call me Derek” I looked forward to this 2nd book by Mac Black and have to say I wasn’t disappointed. It was every bit as amusing as the 1st. I can’t wait for the 3rd in the Derek series to be published. I would highly recommend these books.