If there is one thing that Tony Broadbent brings to the written page, it is the colloquial perverseness that can be found in the jargon of the home turf of the English language, England. His new novel/thriller, THE ONE AFTER 9:09, does it and does it well. I discovered Mr. Broadbent a few years back at the Mystery Writers conference at Book Passage in Corte Madera, California where he brought an engaging wit and style to the discussions. After reading his three book ‘SMOKE’ series about Jethro, a burglar with more on his plate than nipping some rich dowager’s jewels, Broadbent turns to what could be his second loves, rock-and-roll and the Beatles.
Now I ask you, would you write a thriller about the most famous and most fantabulous rock and roll group since, like, forever? Would you even think of trying? The Beatles are chronicled in a thousand books and stories, videos, posters, handbills, and even some of the earliest bobble-head dolls. Gutsy work on the part of Mr. Broadbent, damn gutsy—and, to write a thriller, damn cheeky too.
We’ve moved from Jethro’s ruined post-World War Two London of the late 1940s to Liverpool 1961. Social disruption is the norm; the economy is in tatters, the kids—all products of the war itself, are searching for something, something they can call their own—and its rock and roll. In the cellars of Hamburg and Liverpool a new sound rises, a sound that slams you in the gut, makes the boys jump, and the girls get all excited and I mean, really, really excited.
Mr. Broadbent’s tale is of money, promoters, ambition, culture, rival rock and roll clubs, and men bent on causing as much trouble as possible. It is the story of Brian Epstein and his desperate desire to manage these mop-heads to their fame and his fortune. It is a story of deals, double-dealing, failures and success. A book very hard to set down. Well recommended.