Comments & Reviews


The author welcomes comments on The Mortal Maze. They can be emailed to him here.


"Wow! What can I say - absolutely loved it! The story was so interesting and completely different to anything I had read before. The characters just came to life and the ending was completely unexpected and just brilliant! Congratulations." - email from Kevin Tavener, Bendigo, Australia.

"Excellent thriller: rattling good yarn. Works on several levels; critique of hypocritical foreign policy, skewering of BBC bureaucracy, portrait of Middle Eastern country, deft characterisation." - Amazon review by Stephen Jessel, Paris.

"I was deeply sad when I finished it [The Mortal Maze]. It is a fabulous book: a page turner, real people, fantastic background. I really did love it. It cries out for a sequel. And if you do one, don't clean up our hero too much." - email from former Fleet Street investigative journalist Eric Clark.

"A labyrinthine tale with a blinder of an ending. Heart stopping stuff. I am glad you didn't tell me how it ended before I began reviewing it." - Jan Woolf, editor, London.

"A fantastic cracking spy thriller. Very realistic." - Book reviewer Rob Minshull talking to Steve Austin on ABC Radio Brisbane.

"A terrific fast-paced read! I was well and truly hooked from the start. I loved the feisty characters and loved loathing one or two of the BBC high-ups. A great insight into what goes on behind the news in dangerous territory. I recommend." - Carole Bentley, Amazon review.

"A well-plotted novel packed with incident and featuring sharply drawn relationships between some convincing characters, this lively and topical thriller fairly zips along from the start, gathering pace until the dramatic finale. The author makes the most of his journalistic background without overdoing the use of an insider's knowledge of technical detail and jargon." - T. Luard, Amazon review.

"Ian Richardson has written a page turning thriller that screams to be turned into a blockbuster film. It has all the ingredients and characters to make a box office success. A flawed foreign correspondent, troubled by a gambling addiction, a penchant for exotic escort girls and drinking whiskey from the bottle; his old, avenging school chum, who becomes the world's most wanted terrorist, and a duplicitous, immoral spymaster who manipulates the reporter with devastating consequences. Their personal epiphanies come far too late. To say any more would spoilt the plot." -Amazon review by Malcolm Brabant.

"I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched & very well constructed fast moving topical thriller. It is full of twists & turns & had me gripped from the start to the climactic finish. I would love to see it made into a film!" - anon, Amazon Customer

"The Mortal Maze is entertaining, fast paced with well drawn believable characters, and is well worth a few hours of anyone's time. In fact, it's something of a page turner and difficult to put down; I read it in two sittings. Written by an author not unfamiliar with the troubles and tribulations of TV journalism in foreign lands, it has a genuine feel for the sometimes problematic relationships between journalists and diplomats as well as the demands of the editors back home and the realities on the ground. I had to smile at the groans from the journalist 'hero' and his irrepressible cameraman when HQ in London sends in the self important 'heavyweight' as the story develops in significance. I look forward to a follow up." - Ben A. Amazon review.

"I really enjoyed The Mortal Maze, a vivid and compelling read. The settings and characters were powerfully evoked, and the narrative gripped me as it moved towards its climax. It was great to follow both the working and the personal lives of the characters. I was particularly entertained by the scenes in the BBC team's office, and by the interplay between the folk in the field and those at headquarters. I look forward to further adventures with Jackson Dunbar!" - Email from Steve Cockayne, UK.

"The Mortal Maze was part of my holiday reading - and a very good part it was! I particularly enjoyed the frictions and conflicts between the resident members of the BBC's news bureau team and the special correspondent followed by the relief manager who were flown in to work at the bureau. I also very much enjoyed the way the relationships between the members of the bureau team itself were portrayed. As well as these, I found Ian Richardson's storylines were most compelling... though some were more than a little sad." - Amazon review by Peter Udell, London.

"It was a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping read. Jacko is a plausible and endearing character and despite his human weaknesses you want to know that he'll be safe from the dangers he seems to be hell-bent on putting himself into. It was hard to put the book down and turn off the light!" - email from Gail Jones, Crickhowell, Wales.

"Oh how I enjoyed it! I could just see it all happening. I could hear the chaos. I could smell the horror. I cried for Felicity and the children. It's been my New Year's reading pleasure. I will read it again." - Christine Bett, Ballarat, Australia.

"Fast moving and thoroughly enjoyable. An excellent insight into the way news works, some of the unpleasant people who work in it and the strong professional rivalries. Plausible plot - who are the Government spooks in the broadcast organisations? I was so hooked that I got through the last 20 minutes according to Kindle in 12 minutes because I wanted to find out what happened." - Amazon review by JRExelby.

"Fantastic. I absolutely loved it [The Mortal Maze] and found it hard to put down. I read it in three days and had to ration myself to how much I read at a time. Will there be a sequel?" - David McClure, Brill, England.

"I really enjoyed it [The Mortal Maze]. Having no knowledge of news agencies working in foreign countries, it was quite eye opening for me. Not having a HERO as such, rushing in to save the day was a nice change. The ending threw me, not used to that sort of thing happening in novels these days." - email from Max O'Callaghan, Alice Springs, Australia.

"A fast paced novel, full of authentic journalistic references and fascinating detail about the Middle Eastern setting. Richardson weaves a complex plot with dexterity, interweaving carefully crafted characters' subplots and storylines to a thrilling climax." - Full review here. Beth Pevsner, Durham University, County Durham, England.

"The author's knowledge of broadcasting and of the Middle East sets the novel against a colourful and authentic background, making the startling twists and turns of the plot all the more believable." - Colin Emmins, University of the Third Age (U3A). Read full review.

"Just finished reading your book and thought it was a rollicking good yarn. The present tense added to the fast pace. The aspects of foreign posting journalism I found especially interesting. I'm sure it will be a great success." - email from Paul Mullins, Sydney, Australia.

"I enjoyed reading The Mortal Maze though I wouldn't have normally chosen a book on that subject. The characters became real to me and their feelings registered home. - email from M. Tiley, London

"Fascinating and fast moving, so much so that I found it difficult to put down. By the last couple of chapters, I thought I had worked out the end; how wrong could I be!" - Margaret, Ealing, London.

"Just finished The Mortal Maze & genuinely enjoyed it so congratulations on writing such a well- constructed story. I did not see the end coming! I really do think that this would make a good film." - email from NL, London UK

"Fast-paced and absorbing, this novel written in the present tense by a former BBC journalist who really knows his stuff, draws the reader in to the terrifying world of terrorism in today's world from the perspective of a BBC news team on the spot in an Arab capital under attack. The sometimes horrific twists and turns kept me involved right to the end. Hard to put down! It would make a great film." - Amazon review by musiga24, UK.

"The hero -- a dishevelled BBC TV correspondent with a gambling habit -- finds himself getting drawn into the murky territory between journalism and espionage when an old school friend turned terrorist and old college friend turned diplomat both turn up in the fictional Arabian country where he is posted. Moral dilemmas and lots of violent action-- just the thing for holiday reading. - Amazon review by Elizabeth Blunt, London.

"A pacy and plausible thriller. It took me a while to get used to the present tense approach but I soon became absorbed in the plot. It would work well as a movie. - David McNeil, Amazon review.

"Fabulous!. I found it impossible to put down. I continued reading well into the night, always thinking to ' bookmark at the next page', but no, I read it to the end! A fascinating novel with an unusual and interesting series of plots that could only be authored by someone with a deep journalistic experience of the subject matter." - email from John Mole, Ringwood, Melbourne.

"Very enjoyable. A ripping yarn and I was really surprised by the ending. I also gained a deep understanding of what it was like for a reporter working overseas." - J. A. Stephens, London UK.

"I really enjoyed your book. It is so up-to-date and so clever." - message from C. Day, Denham, England.

"Good entertaining read and an excellent insight into aspects of the media that may not be apparent to the casual observer." - anon. Amazon Customer.

"The Author has used his long time working experience to write a very entertaining novel." - anon, Amazon Customer review.

"I liked the storyline and the setting and fact that it was based on a fairly small tightly-knit group of people. I could imagine the office and the scenes where the mosque is blown up and the final bomb in the park were very vivid. I didn't find [Jackson] to be a sympathetic character. I liked other male characters who had life, especially Pete, Mack and Binnie (oddly enough)." - email from Ruth, London.

"The story was exciting and enjoyable and there were times when I didn't want to put the book down. It was a jolly good read." - Barbara Nash, London W5

"The story line had me hooked in the first chapter and then I didn't want to put it down until I had finished the book. A very informative read albeit rather sad on several fronts." - Mrs C. A. Hall, Amazon UK.

"The writing is strictly functional but who cares, this is an action thriller and the action comes thick and fast from first to last - in the form of bombings, ambushes, kidnaps and all the usual kinds of jihadist hanky-panky. Amazon review by CGM, London

"The story and characters have authenticity and is as up to date as today's headlines, as they say. It moves along at a terrific pace. Don't start reading in bed...you'll be so gripped, particularly as the story moves to an exciting and spectacular climax, you'll not want to put it down. I loved it. It's written in a very visual style. I can imagine it would make a cracking movie." - R. Haynes, Bexhill, England.

"I read and enjoyed The Mortal Maze which kept me engaged with the narrative through to the end. - RR, Melbourne, Australia.

"I really enjoyed reading it. It was a 'hard to put down' book." - EP, Trentham, Victoria, Australia.