A national property crash and the breakdown of his marriage to Lavender, property developer Michael Mostyne has hit rock bottom. With legal battles, a court appearance over his son Mark, followed by an acrimonious divorce, Mike is forced to leave his provincial home, desert his much loved elderly mother, and move to London.
Starting again as a West London estate agent, and in order to reinstate his lost fortunes, Mike moves into the murky and the intriguing world of property dealing. Tangling with the Irish Republican Army en route, he reluctantly finds himself in the hands of MI5, who see him as a possible recruit.
In this of passage tale, Mike discovers a variety of available women, but in his quest to find happiness, he meets and marries the mysterious Communist academic, Nadezhda Antova, and once again finds himself embroiled with the British secret service.
THE LONDON PROPERTY BOY by Patrick Brigham.
Michael Mostyne, a thirty-something developer and property dealer, has fallen foul of Great Britains 1970s economic recession. A property crash like no other, it foreshadows the end of a promising career, but it is also the end of his unhappy marriage to Lavender Mostyne. The tale of his painful struggle to get back on his feet, whilst dealing with the past and an acrimonious divorce, Mike Mostyne leaves his provincial home, moves to London and gets a job running a West London real estate agency. Through hard work, success soon turns to success and his life begins to change for the better. By manoeuvring around his bosses, with their narrow self-interest, his own desire for big money and a wish to be financially independent, means he has to take huge risks.
London is not short of girls, and Mike Mostyne is rarely on his own. Christine, a West End PA and a good time girl, looks at him through a cloud of cannabis smoke. Sofie, a minor Dutch diplomat, disappears when Mike’s son Mark is mysteriously kidnapped by the IRA. And finally, there is Nadezhda Antova, who friends say is an Eastern European honey trap, but who he marries despite their warnings. From rags to riches, and with the next property crash waiting around the corner, will fate finally conspire to finish him off once again? Will, he also find personal happiness with Nadezhda Antova, and why is MI5 so interested?
Patrick Brigham has lived in the Balkans for many years. Originally from London, where he was in the property business, he lived in the City until 1993 and then moved to Sofia. As Chief Editor of a magazine called the Sofia Western News, and the first English language magazine in ex-Communist Bulgaria, it introduced him to the intrigues of Eastern Europe, and a firm understanding of the people living there.
Now living in Northern Greece, Patrick has published many murder mystery novels as well as stand-alone literary fiction and a humorous play. Writing for the more thoughtful reader, Patrick Brigham says –
“I have lived quite an eventful life, so much of what I write is based on fact. Most of my books concentrate on a particular subject, and The London Property Boy does just that and has quite a lot of me in it. We should never simply dwell on the past, but a colourful past is where much of our inspiration comes from.”
But what is more alarming is the fact that the current British government is also planning to cut off our reciprocal Medicare arrangements between all EU governments, for the payment of treatment, and vital medicines. As a diabetic myself, with a serious need for insulin, I can well understand the concern that expats have – not only for their financial future – but their very lives as well, and in the context of the current Johnson government there seems very little hope for any political or practical intervention. So what can we do?
I wrote Abduction: An Angel over Rimini, shortly after the abduction of Madeleine McCann, which is a crime I have studied very carefully. However, I set my story in Italy – not wishing to add to the distress of the McCann family in Portugal – and created a new scenario altogether. But this is where I might have fooled the unwary reader, because I enlisted my entire Italian cast, from John Webster’s 17th Century play, The Duchess of Malfi.
I was once asked to join the ranks of a particular security service, as many have been in the past, but swiftly demurred, claiming that I didn’t have a dirty mackintosh. A little provocative you might think, but I have never seen spying as a glamorous occupation, and those spies I did meet in the past, were usually catatonic liars. But it was due to this encounter, that I coined the character of the fictional MI6 officer at the Sofia embassy, his name is Mackintosh. In my story Herodotus: The Gnome of Sofia, it doesn’t take long before the British Embassy staff give him a nickname, after all, they are British. They call him Dirty, henceforth known, throughout my novel, as Dirty Macintosh!
Winter is over in Northern Greece, the signs of summer are approaching, and I now do not have to light my pellet stove in the evening, to keep warm. But that is not the only change, because once again as an author, I am moving away from my usual murder mystery genre with another stand-alone novel, and into the realms of literary fiction. Why the change, I should explain?