I'm going to make an admission now. When I read the reviews for Missing Gretyl I was put slightly on edge with one citing the fact it contained domestic violence as the reason they couldn't carry on reading it. Having suffered through such a period in my life, I am often left cringing when I see someone make light of such a situation. Having spoken to Si over a period of a couple of months after winning the book, it was glaringly obvious to me that his intentions for the book were to make people laugh, take the warped English sense of humour and put it down on a page, so it was with an open mind (and soon to be discovered, heart) I opened up Missing Gretyl.
Missing Gretyl is full of colourful characters, each at first wrapped up in themselves - what they can get and in some cases, whom they can scam next. Gretyl herself reminds me of a larger than life version of a woman we all know - the one that's quite kooky, perhaps a little insane. With her love for wigs, frogs and getting a right good bargain, she's perhaps the woman you cross the street for when you see them coming.
Gretyl lives with her long suffering husband Albert on the 12th floor of a high rise in London. He often dreams of a life without her, how 'doing her in' in the silliest of ways (head in the toilet and a couple of flushes) might just be what he craves - but when he thinks she really might be gone, is there any way that losing his long time love would really be a good thing?
The Soddall family live in a council house and while Sharon wants out, Dave is a bit of a couch potato, but together with their son, Dave's brother and an old family friend they come up with the scam of a life time - one that will will have the rich folk of Poncey Bridge just chomping at the bit to throw in some of their fortunes.
But how do the two families meet? How does Gretyl end up in Poncey Bridge and just why is there a hitman called Arti Chokes involved in it all? To find out those answers you'll just have to read the book - a book which had me crying with laughter, sympathetically crying with pain and at the end - well that would just be giving a little too much away. No one wants to know the end before they start, right?
Si is offering the first 10 people to download Missing Gretyl from Amazon the chance to grab a signed copy in paperback for just £5 (including delivery within the UK). You can reach Si by email via www.missinggretyl.com