Book Jacket

 

rank 277
word count 41140
date submitted 21.12.2009
date updated 16.01.2012
genres: Fiction, Romance, Business, Crime
classification: universal
incomplete

Another Day in Paradise

Mark Reece

Reed faces the horror of a wrong decision. Revenge is the only answer, but how ? He thinks he has fourteen months. It's much less.

 

At 8.00am, Reed waved goodbye to his family, saying, ‘I‘ll see you later’. Four hours passed. It took less than thirty minutes for the judge to inflict his decision. Every journalist in court knew that ‘Ferrari’ and ‘fraud’ would make the front page.

The bush telegraph relayed the news like wild fire. Key was worried - Reed surely wouldn’t take it lying down. Had he and his four co-conspirators gone too far?

After a five year investigation, Max Reed finds himself on the way to prison, sold down the river by those he trusted. From his cell, this ordinary man plans his revenge on the five individuals that contributed to his fall and in so doing tries to clear his name.

Set in the glamorous world of historic motorsport, this is an intriguing story of love, betrayal and dodgy deals spanning forty years and fourteen weeks.

Eighteen months pass by, Reed is out. The reputation of the ‘five’ lay in tatters.

Max Reed’s revealing tale, based on a true story, charts the history of the five, their connection, their lives, their lies and their
ultimate demise.

A fascinating insight into a real life drama. Another Day in Paradise.

 
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tags

, betrayal, business, crime, ferrari, fiction, fraud, historic, money, motorsport, mystery, novel, prison, racing, romance, story, thriller, true

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656 comments

 

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LadySilence wrote 1210 days ago

I read the first 3 "chapters" -all I could fit in my allotted time.

Your story seems to be divided into 3 parts:
a) the prison story - this part is riveting. I read it all and enjoyed it.
b) background at Teignmouth - This alternates between interesting and apparently irrelevant. I skimmed over a lot of it. Caro's death did the best job of holding my attention.
c) random other people in random other times. I'm assuming this part will eventually lead up to relate to the crime Max supposedly committed, but right now I'm seeing no connection. I found myself skipping most of this, looking for the interesting parts mentioned above.

You need to find some way to tie sections b and c in to the prison story your start with right near the beginning. I shouldn't be almost halfway through the book (as your chapters are divided) and still have no clue what the point of those flashbacks is!

There's too much confusion here for me to justify backing it yet, but if you do some editing/revising, message me and I'll give it another go.
Best of luck!
~Karilyn
Garden of Souls

Wadim wrote 1296 days ago

Hi, jolly good read. Had already backed it based on the synopsis. Had a read and a look at comments made so far and agree with elf_friend, so no need to add any more.
Agree that young Reed should simply be Max. The time jumping isn't a problem as such, but perhaps not always clear how necessary some are to the story. Oh, and 'the tour bus' turnsout to be a prison bus. Stick to 'the bus' - non-specific rather than misleading.
Great stuff. Good pace overall. Great description showing depth and range of knowledge without bogging down the reader and well-woven into the story.

rab14 wrote 1302 days ago

Max's predicament is handled well - the reader immediately identifies with the character and the horror of experiencing life in a Devon prison at first hand. I liked the pace of the novel and the flashbacks to Max's earlier school life and his encounter with the fortune teller. WEll done K.J.

Annabel Watkinson wrote 1307 days ago

Hi, I read the first two chapters and the beginning of the third. I love crime novels, and this looks like a highly original one. The story is engaging, no question of that. It's very well written too, and I would have liked to read on.

I liked the flashback technique you used - very effective.

Backed,
Annabel - Exposed.

Jack Hughes wrote 1310 days ago

An incredible and highly original story, I had no idea historic motorsport could be so ruthless! It all looked so pleasant at the Goodwood Revival! This is a spectacular crime thriller, rife with duplicity and greed and told from the perspective of some fascinating characters. Brilliant work.

Backed without hesitation, best of luck Mark.

Jack Hughes
Dawn of Shadows

Herschel Shirley wrote 1313 days ago

A very compelling start. You make it easy to emote with Max as he enters the prison for the first time, even shed a tear as he breaks down. Very well written. Backed.

DavidP wrote 1324 days ago

Hi Mark,

I remember thinking that the worst thing that I could do to my family is that I go to prison. Financially, it is a disaster. If I die or get disabled, there's insurance that covers for that, but there's no insurance to protect your family financially when one goes to prison.

I think you have an excellent story here. Very well developed and written. I'm happy I'm helping you to get to the editor's desk soon.

David Placeres
Sunless Shadows

Lara wrote 1325 days ago

I gave this another read, another two days or so on my shelf. I'd like to know what he's accused of but you haven't uploaded enough yet. What there is, is well written.
Lara
Good for Him

John Doyle wrote 1330 days ago

Need to fix Ch.1., "the brakes hissing as they did so." I don't think "they" refers to anything.
John

elf_friend wrote 1334 days ago

Hello,

You requested a read several months ago – I’ve been away from the site so have only been able to get to your book now. The notes I took while reading are below, followed by more general comments. I hope this is useful.

Chapter 1
- ‘He knew where he was exactly.’ Why not ‘He knew exactly where he was’?
- ‘He’d travelled the same journey hundreds of times before but not in the same circumstances.’ The word ‘journey’ implies travel, so a word like ‘route’ may be more suitable. As the sentence currently is, it could be interpreted to mean he has been on this particular journey hundreds of times but that each time was different. I would reword this to something like: ‘He’d travelled the same route hundreds of times before, but not in these circumstances.’
- The next sentence speaks about how well he knows the route, and doesn’t explain the unusual circumstances. Once we’ve been told that things are different, we want to find out what it is – we don’t really want to hear about everything that’s the same. I found the sudden switch back to Max’s familiarity with the route to be a bit awkward.
- ‘The tour bus rattled on. The back axle sounding...’ This is grammatically incorrect - possibly because the second sentence needs to be written in the past tense. (There may be someone around who is better able to explain this). One way to avoid this is to replace the comma in the second sentence with ‘and’, then either connect both sentences: ‘The tour bus rattled on, the back axle sounding...’, or change ‘sounding’ to ‘sounded’.
- I think you could write ‘sixty’ as ‘60’, since it refers to speed.
- ‘A plastic cup rolled back and forth irritatingly in the aisle...’ – could it roll back and forth in a non-irritating way?
- ‘The oncoming of car sickness [was] just...’
- Based on what I have read until this point, it could be worthwhile to work on improving the prose. Not all of this needs to involve correcting grammar – some of it can be rearranging or rewriting certain sentences so that they flow more naturally.
- If you do make such changes, watch out for occasional typos, commas (or places where commas should be) and sentence fragments (e.g. ‘The kangaroo stops and starts making every passing moment a step closer...’ – this sentence could be added on to the previous one, separated by a comma). Such ‘fragments’ may be acceptable in fiction and in dialogue; however, I’d suggest using them as little as possible. If you use MS Word, you can set the grammar checker to search out fragments.
- I believe changes such as these will make it easier for the reviewer if and when your book reaches the ED.
- ‘Key, Lord...weren’t going to get away with this...’ You could replace the names here with ‘They,’ (or some other collective term for the five) and elaborate later to avoid overwhelming the reader, who still doesn’t know the background.
- ‘...he could go from kissing Simon’s supermodel wife...’ Readers might get the wrong impression from this!
- ‘Someone had burned the paint off the lattice frame...’ – good to have these details, but with careful placement it could have more impact (rather than the end of a reflective paragraph, where it seems sudden and out of context).

Chapter 2
- Constant switching between ‘Max’ and ‘Reed’ – perhaps you could aim for consistency (e.g. ‘Max’ for childhood memories and maybe family, and ‘Reed’ for the prison.
- I didn’t understand how Max stirred his tea (is his forefinger not the same as his first finger? Or has he switched hands?)

Chapter 3
- We know Max’s watch has been taken already – that doesn’t need to be repeated. If you wanted to give the name of the brand, or remind the reader of the watch being confiscated, you could do this without repetition, e.g. emphasise the fact that he misses his watch.
- I had no idea what whitener was. Would your target audience understand?
- Could rephrase for clarity...’they quickly realised the tea was undrinkable...but it took them several days to think of pouring some of the milk...’
- We don’t know how old Karl is, but he and Max are described as 24 years apart. We don’t have any idea of their relative ages, only what we can calculate from the dates given before each section.

I stopped taking detailed notes after this point, but ‘The animals were wrestles.’ in chapter 6 really caught my attention – do you mean ‘restless’? Also in chapter 6: ‘The dog indicated the presence of drugs.’ - how? If you don’t know, then it’s enough to have the guard say that the dog is indicating drugs.

In chapter 7, the references to ‘most Frenchmen’ and ‘schizo’ might not go down well with some readers. Most of the French people Max has dealt with spoke a little English, but I get the impression that his experience is limited to business trips. ‘It was as if he was schizo’ – To the extent of my knowledge, an inability to control one’s temper is not a symptom of schizophrenia and to me, this last sentence seems unnecessary – unless it somehow relates to later information, it detracts from the point you are trying to make.

I’ve had a quick look at some of the other comments, and I agree with many of the suggestions for possible improvement. In particular, a few people have had difficulties with the structure (e.g. flashbacks). Instead of having each section at a different time, how about something simpler, such as cutting down to just three timelines: Max’s childhood, the leadup to the trial, and the events following his first day in prison? It was hard for me to follow Max when he’d be in his forties, then 14, back in his forties, then 8...and so on. As others have said, it is also difficult to understand the relevance of the childhood recollections to Max’s situation. My understanding that this is autobiographical (or semi-autobiographical) so, unless all of the material does somehow tie in to the plot, it’s worth considering whether you would like this to be more of a memoir. If not, then perhaps the relevance of that material needs to be more obvious to readers.

I had a bit of trouble keeping track of the characters – but it also took me a long time to understand what was happening with the car and bike sales (and I’m still not sure I understand fully). However, I’m probably not within your target readership.

I found the pitch confusing – the short pitch is a little vague, but refers to revenge and less than fourteen months (though we read in the long pitch that Max is out ‘eighteen months later’). Readers might go onto the long pitch assuming that the main character is on death row. The first two paragraphs of the long pitch lead us to anticipate a fast moving novel, perhaps starting in the courtroom where we find out what the ‘wrong decision’ was. However, we don’t see a court case, we don’t see Key hearing the news, and we see very little of Max planning his revenge apart beyond considering writing a book (which appears to be more focused on clearing his name). Given that the seven chapters currently posted move around so much in place and time, it seems odd that their focus is not all that consistent with the pitch.

As an autobiographical (or semi-autobiographical) novel, this may draw a wider interest than it would as purely a crime novel. However, I think it’s worth thinking about the key points you want to focus on in the book, and making these clearer to the reader both in the pitch and within the story. If you do have a direction in mind, you can use this as a tool to draw readers in – in my (limited) opinion this might be more effective, particularly for your target audience, than the back and forth timelines and slow pulling together of different elements.

In addition, here’s the advice I’d give to anyone nearing the top 5 – proofread and tidy up the writing. If you can get someone else to check your grammar, then do. Many readers will be put off from the start by errors, poor grammar or clumsy sentences.

You have a strong start, which conveys some of the confusion and experiences Max goes through on his trip to, and arrival at, the prison. My final suggestion is that you consider whether there’s a loss of momentum in the following chapters. If there is, how can you best counter it?

Good luck,
elf_friend

Vall wrote 1338 days ago

Powerful and fluid writing - vivid descriptions. Backed.
Vall
Midwyf

tisseurdecontes wrote 1338 days ago

Intense, well written, gripping story. We sense the anger and frustration.

Backed

Steven Lloyd
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE AND CHANGE

stoatsnest wrote 1340 days ago

I've read all 13 chapters. I've been in many prison cells. In 1975 I spent a lot of time going to Exeter Crown Court and the prison. I had a case on before ' Norman Scott and the shot dog'.
This is superb. I love the crispy short sentences.
I think you'll have to lengthen some chapters for publication, but this is just my type of book, and I should think would appeal to many others. Backed.

andrew skaife wrote 1342 days ago

Wonderfully penned and excellently crafted.

BACKED

Eunice Attwood wrote 1343 days ago

Riveting story which compels the reader to read more. Well done. Backed with pleasure. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

Laurence Howard wrote 1344 days ago

A compelling story that's skilfully written. Backed.
Laurence Winchester,
The Cross of Goa

ccb1 wrote 1345 days ago

Backed Another day in Paradise.Your prison seems very well described. The fact that this is based on actual events keeps the reader interested. Beautiful cover! Happy to place you on our bookshelf.
CC Brown
Dark Side

nsllee wrote 1345 days ago

Hi Mark

I found fascinating, especially if it has some basis in your own experience. It really seems to give a true glimpse of life inside, not something sensationalised or fictionalised by some professional writer for effect, but the thing itself. I'm not too sure about including the flashbacks to childhood - it's hard to see what the relevance is to the narrative. What the reader really wants to know is what happened with the 5 conspirators to get Max into his current position and any flashbacks need to throw a direct light on that. Altogether very professionally done, with an interesting story to tell. Backed.

Nicole
Chosen

livid wrote 1348 days ago

Powerfully presented and polished writing make this an excellent narrative.

backed

Frank James wrote 1351 days ago

To Mark Reece (Another Day In Paradise)

I liked this one Mark. Good reading, good characters, good writing style, easy for me to give you my BACKING.

Frank James (The Contractor)

Walden Carrington wrote 1351 days ago

Mark,
Another Day in Paradise is gripping and filled with suspense. I love the chapter headings designating time settings. They are a quick reference to the reader following the story. Backed with pleasure.

Joanna Carter wrote 1352 days ago

I've paused to back this, but intend to read on; thoroughly absorbing, and well written.
Joanna Carter
Fossil Farm

JessRo wrote 1372 days ago

Good read and I would love to find out how the story progresses and how the different tales all pull together. The only minor criticism I have is that in the initial chaoters the style of writing confused me particularly as you switch from referring to Max as either Max or Reed but once I got into it this became less and less of an issue.

Hypo99 wrote 1377 days ago

Mark. This book deserves a higher ranking aNd I know it wont be long before it reaches the editors desk.

BACKED

Hope you get the chance to peek inside The Russian Hat. I could do with a lift.

warm wishes
Brendan

readaholic wrote 1383 days ago

Good to see this climbing towards the ed's desk. Still one of my favourites.


Mary

celticwriter wrote 1387 days ago

Hi Mark. I'm not a critic, just a first time novel guy with a background in scriptwriting. I do appreciate a good visual, and yours is easy to see as it is to read. Flows well!

sincerely,
Jim
jack & charmian london

LeClerc wrote 1387 days ago

Hello Mark,
I like the story, it grabbed me immediately. You have a style of writing which is confusing at first, a sort of ebb and flow. Short, sharp style for prison and drawn out style for flashback. Once I got used to it I could see why you employ such a style.
Backed.

Phil
Danny Murphy

SammySutton wrote 1388 days ago

Powerful first chapter. The magnitude of his false conviction came across well. His emotional state of really believing when he went to court the system would not fail him. I think you have a great beginning for a complex story. Well written & very Compelling.
I am backing.
Good Luck!
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1390 days ago

Having read the first chapter, I find that you draw an interesting mystery. Why is this seemingly normal, family oriented man being carted off to prison? Someone who doesn't drink, do drugs, have HIV, or show any signs of criminal behavior? The writing is quite well done, drawing me in for more. BACKED -Elizabeth Wolfe (Memories of Glory)

scorselo wrote 1399 days ago

Nice flip between school and prison.

I enjoyed your dialogues

Backed

Scorselo

Lara wrote 1406 days ago

I like the set-up although I started to rebel with the backwards and forwards between times and places, and even more by being kept waiting to know what the hell he'd done. Otherwise, smoothly written bloke's book and the prison scenes are completely credible . I know Exeter Prison. A couple of spelling/typo mistakes on first page - should be pleasantries and misled, and earlier car sickness is two words. I'm sure it continues to be a good read and a strong plot. Backed
Rosalind
Good for Him

Rosemary Peel wrote 1413 days ago

Just read chapter one. I don't know why I liked it, but I did. I would not normally pick a book with this kind of theme, but I found it fascinating. The pace is good and the reader gets inside the head of the MC, experiencing his emotions, frustrations and fear of the unknown. A really good read. Thank you. I will try to get back and read more, I want to know how it turns out for Reed and his family. Backed without reservation.

lizjrnm wrote 1418 days ago

Love the opening quote and I don't know why. I started this a while ago and now I am finally delving deeper. You have a real talent for story telling. This is an addictive read and we need to know what happens to Max! Backed with pleasure.

Liz
The Cheech Room

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 1419 days ago

Good writing style. Readers of the first chapter would be transported to an imagination of travelling in the tour-bus.The words describe the ride so well.The prison dialogue is arresting. Backed. On my shelf.
TMN
"NEVER LOSE..."

Dean E Brown wrote 1432 days ago

Love the story. Why is it tagged in business? Because a lot of the action takes place in a business? Still a good book.

jdub wrote 1433 days ago

Mark, enjoyed language, description and writing craft, backed John Warren Lasting Images, please review jdub

speaksthetruth wrote 1435 days ago

the way to dusty death

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1448 days ago

This crime story is gripping and adventurous. Interesting that it's based on reality. BACKED -Elizabeth Wolfe (Memories of Glory)

mvw888 wrote 1451 days ago

Original idea, well organized and great detail and description. Definitely in the crime genre and needs some editing in terms of clarity and some slight punctuation stuff here and there. But strong story, mostly well-written. I found your pitches a bit unclear, but it apparently hasn't hurt your chances so far. Good luck!
---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

ML Hamilton wrote 1457 days ago

Mark,

I promised you a read and here it is. I was completely thrown at first. Maybe it's a colloquial thing, but "tour bus" didn't have me thinking of a prison bus, but rather a rock group or something, so I was unprepared for him going to prison. However, once we enter the prison the book picks up and becomes interesting. His fear and sadness feel real and allow the reader to connect with him. I feel empathy for his situation.

That said, awkward sentences and grammatical glitches abound and should be edited. For example, "sat upright with no fresh air" -- sorry, pet peeve of mine. This means someone placed him in that position. If you don't intend that, then he "was sitting upright."

A solid editing and some tightening would really make this a stand out piece.

On my shelf,

ML

CraigD wrote 1460 days ago

This is intriguing, and I can see why it's doing well here. I've got your back.
Please consider looking at my book, The Job.
Craig D

Noizchild wrote 1463 days ago

Finally, I made it to the this! Just read chapter one. The description are super powerful! It reminds me of the first chapter of Steel Prison, only a little bit lesser. Touch up the grammar errors and breaks up the chapters into seperate pages. I have a short attention span and couldn't read the first page all in one go. Other than that, pretty good story. Not my type, but nicely writtern.

Kimmy M. wrote 1464 days ago

hello..

this is a good book with a good story... your pitch is really attracting.

good luck,
Kimmy

A Knight wrote 1470 days ago

Mark, this is excellent stuff. I backed Another Day In Paradise a while ago (please let me know if you did not get the notification) and now I finally have time to comment.

It's the vivid descriptions that make this for me. Your mastery of the language is unsurpassed, and you set the scenes flawlessly. There are one or two grammatical glitches, but nothing that cripples the story that you are setting out,

Great work.
Abi xxx
"Everyone knows the rule: Stay inside the Wall, but Tisha believes rules are made to be broken." - Relic

toussaint wrote 1471 days ago

[return backing ☼☼☼☼☼☼]

What an original opening. The “tour bus” was a nice touch, I was left wondering if this was a flashback. Then, he knows the route, I guess this is the “motor sport” angle being fed in early but something’s wrong. Finally I realise, it’s a cellular prison transport. Then a “moment of madness”. Scene set. I liked “he knew where he was exactly” this is rather quirky. One might expect “he knew exactly where he was” but you switch the order and it makes it more of a statement about the situation he finds himself in.

The prison sequences are vividly portrayed, and obviously authentic. The joke about “not yet” is good. It looks like the structure is going to intersperse these with the backstory. Great. It’s a good read and I’m backing it. Thanks for backing Bokassa’s Last Apostle. Sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you.

One typo: mislead should be “misled”

DMR wrote 1473 days ago

I like the movement of this story.. the fact that its going to make my mind sit up and work instead of lazily pore across words .. fascinating stuff and Backed!

David_C_Lewis wrote 1476 days ago

I enjoyed this very much - strong and evocative writing. There's a lot of backstory that is trying to push its way to the front, but I think it works. However, the comments below about a general grammar/punctuation edit are worth paying heed to.

The only other thing I can add is, would you consider a change of title? I keep picturing the film version of Max Reed being played by Phil Collins!

All the best,

David

The Burning Clock

Quenntis wrote 1477 days ago

Hi, I noted the way you alternated time periods and scenes. I guess here on Authonomy we want to get a quick read that throws us right into the thick of things... but this is not one of those reads. I stopped the editor in me and just read for pleasure. As a reader I enjoyed the change in style from chapter to chapter: for example in the prison scenes you have shorter choppier sentences than the flashback chapters. The flashback chapters have longer, more descriptive sentences. As a reader I felt the ebb and flow of your writing in this specific device you employed. Nicely done. I don't want to go into grammar and such, that's the job of an editor. I think this book has a lot going for it and will go far. Have you approached agents with the MS? Q

Dai Alanye wrote 1480 days ago

I generally find stories interesting when they feature inside information, and when human conflict is critical to events. This has those.

Some problems concern me. A general edit for grammar, syntax and punctuation would be valuable. The organization—specifically the use of so much back story—needs to be examined, and I question the relevance of much we're told of the past. It starts to drag in the later chapters due to seeming repetitiveness, and I began to wonder if a culmination was going to be reached, or whether some new crisis would intervene.

There are small questions also. Why, for instance, is Tom Clock never challenged when his cock-and-bull predictions don't pan out? Where is Pheasant after the dreadful first encounter?

It's fascinating, though, and I'd like to see the final book after it's been cleaned-up.

StaKC wrote 1481 days ago

Not something that would normally interest me, but for some reason I found the prison scenes utterly fascinating. Nicely descriptive, strong writing.