Today I’m on the blog tour for Kosmos, an unusual but thoroughly enjoyable book. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and FlameTree Press for having me on this tour.
BLURB: Rookie barrister George Winsome, young and arrogant, defends an old boy who thinks he’s Merlin on a manslaughter charge. The riotous trial turns Merlin into a celebrity; money, greed and ambition take hold of George and his partner Heather until the secret of Merlin’s past is revealed as the spirit of Saint Yves intervenes to ensure George and Heather follow their true paths.
‘Kosmos’ is a modern-day jury trial, a feel-good love story and a spiritual journey involving Saint Yves, Nemesis and Merlin.
My Review: This is quite an unusual read and therefore tricky to review. It mainly concerns Merlin and George and Merlin’s court case so there is a lot of legal and courtroom scenes in it. This took me a little while to get into but once I did the story whizzed along. Some of the courtroom scenes and the scenes with Merlin were quite funny and the whole book had a feeling of quirkiness to it, which I enjoyed. Regardless of whether you believe there could be someone named Merlin alive today, having also been alive hundreds of years ago is irrelevant. The story draws you in, skeptical or not, and works its magic on you. I use the word magic here very specifically because something happens during that book. I don’t know what it is but I know when I finished reading I felt a lovely sense of calm which is not how I normally feel at the end of a book.
The characterisation is brilliant, I particularly liked Merlin and George. George was almost pompous to start with but develops over the course of the book into someone I liked and enjoyed reading about. Merlin was himself the whole way through, he had a lovely naivety of current culture and behaviours and was a fascinating character.
A large part of the story is the court case which is written in such a way that it is informative but not stuffy and dry. This part of the book was written in such a way that it flowed well despite the fact that court procedure had to be followed correctly and therefore there were legal terminology and processes to be included.
This is a story which takes you from people who are focused on what they can achieve and how they can do better in their own lives to people who wonder who they can make other people’s lives better. As the book cover says, it is a story of love and redemption and a funny and enjoyable one as well. Definitely worth a try if you want something different and something that will make you wonder what you would have done, if you were George.
About the author:
Adrian Laing was born in Harlow, Essex in 1958 and was educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow and Exeter University where he studied law, graduating in 1978. Adrian was called to the bar (Inner Temple) in 1979, aged 21. Following a sabbatical in Paris studying with Michel Foucault at the College de France, Adrian undertook a pupillage in chambers and was made a Tenant (2 Pump Court, Inner Temple) practicing at the criminal bar defending and prosecuting in jury trials for seven years.
Leaving the criminal bar in 1987 to pursue more commercial interests, Adrian worked as the Assistant Head of Licensing at the ITC during the Channel 3 franchise process and then as a full-time consultant to the Chief Executive of Thames Television (Richard Dunn), following which Adrian was appointed the Senior Broadcasting Lawyer for the Leeds-based firm of solicitors, Hammond Suddards working in the city of London.
In 1994 Adrian was selected to become the first in-house lawyer at the Murdoch-owned publishing house, HarperCollins, where he held the position of Director of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary till 2001 working with some of the leading authors and agents of the day.
Adrian qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and set up his own legal practice (Laing & Co) for over 10 years acting for a wide range of prestigious business clients and authors. Adrian presented or chaired a leading seminar for The London Book Fair 2003 to 2012.
Adrian Laing is the co-author with his wife (Deborah Fosbrook) of three leading law titles published by Bloomsbury Professional, the author of R.D. Laing: A Life a widely acclaimed biography of his late father, the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, and a novel, Rehab Blues.
Adrian has appeared on radio and television many times most notably the BBC documentary ‘Just Another Sinner’ and Saturday Live with James Runchie.
Adrian now lives in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.