Wednesday, 12 January 2011
And now Mr B gets off the mark for 2011
Just finished my first book of the year but commenting on it is a tough task. The book is "The Missing" by Tim Gautreaux which has become a "Mr B's legend" over the last 12 months despite not being on the bestseller lists elsewhere.
My colleague Ed read "The Missing" this time last year and began recommending it like mad. It was his favourite book of the year and various other members of Team B have since joined the bandwagon. As a result we've sold several hundred copies with an astonishingly high rate of positive feedback from customers. It's been No.1 in our fiction chart for 20 weeks. It's the Bryan Adams of our chart.
And so I finally got round to reading it and am very glad that I have done so. The novel is set in 1920s Louisiana and Mississippi and tells the story of a New Orleans shop security guard, Sam Simoneaux, who loses his job when a little girl goes missing on his shift. Sam takes a job on a colossal paddle steamer pleasure boat heading up-river for the season to give himself the chance of tracking down the girl's abductors. His quest to find the girl is just part of what keeps the reader turning the pages though - the various nagging demons of Sam's past are the other draw.
For me what is particularly brilliant about Gautreaux's book is the sense of place he creates. He paints a vivid picture of the South in the early 20th century and of life on and around the Mississippi river.
And I'll say no more, as anyone who's been in Mr B's at any point in the last year may have heard it all before from Ed. BUT if you're reading this and are involved in selling books rather than just reading them, then I urge you to stock, read and recommend "The Missing" because it really does deserve championing.