Thriller or Filler? George Valentine's Retirement Plan

This month's book review features a novel about celebrity PR by Laurence Cooper.

Thriller or Filler? George Valentine's Retirement Plan

By Laurence Cooper

Published by Troubadour

This is a highly accomplished first novel. It’s cleverly written with a well-drawn cast of characters taking the reader through the seamier side of politics and the media and entertains us royally along the way.

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of celebrity PR but wondered how those scoops make it into the tabloids, meet the wonderful George and Dot Valentine. They’ve spent their careers on the less salubrious side of tabloid journalism and all they want now is a peaceful retirement in the sun. Just one last straightforward project and they’re ready to go. But fate has other ideas in store for them.

For anyone working in the comms or ­media industry this will feel familiar and highly ­entertaining – you’ll find yourself trying to spot who Cooper used as role models for his ­characters. George and Dot and their extended family make unlikely heroes but I was immediately engaged in their world and rooting for them. The book also features a remarkable supporting cast who are all well developed and three-dimensional. This lends the book a ring of authenticity.  

It’s a classic page turner. There are several sub-plots that work well and culminate in a wonderful ending. I hope Cooper has another novel in the pipeline as I certainly want to see what the cast of ­characters do next. Many reviewers have commented that it would make a great TV series or film of the Ealing Comedy variety. I can’t wait ­until it turns up on Sunday night.
Reviewed by Sally Costerton, MD, Sally Costerton Advisory

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