After much reflection and comments from readers of this blog, I've decided to keep 'View From The Lair' going in tandem with my new blog on the Ian Allan website. This will actually allow a much more sensible division of focus, with purely naval and maritime history posts going on the Ian Allan blog while this one concentrates on my writing and reading of fiction, plus miscellaneous historical and other issues.
I'm still hard at work on the third Quinton novel, The Blast That Tears The Skies, and have been writing the chapters dealing with the battle of Lowestoft on 3 June 1665, one of the largest and most vicious battles in naval history. What with having the Great Plague as the backdrop for the land-based scenes, I think it's true to say that this will be the most 'X-rated' of the Quinton novels, and certainly won't be for the faint-hearted! For light relief, I've been reading The Coronation, Boris Akunin's latest Fandorin novel. Akunin has sold millions of copies in Russia, and it's easy to see why - he combines delightful pastiches of some of the great Russian authors with a profound respect and nostalgia for the Tsarist period. However, Akunin also appeals successfully to western audiences by fully adopting the methodology of the thriller genre, while his hero, the enigmatic Erast Fandorin, is something of a cross between Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. Like both of those fictional icons, Fandorin can be rather too self-righteous and indestructible at times, but the beautifully observed descriptions of late nineteenth century Moscow redeem the books and raise them well above huge swathes of current historical fiction.