The Travel Mate is the second in a planned four-novel series by Mark David Green.
The Travel Mate Synopsis:
Twenty-six year old Maddie has it all. A fiancé with a well-paid job, a comfortable home and several exotic holidays a year. But when Rupert drops a bombshell six weeks before the big day, Maddie realises that her lifestyle security comes with a heavy price tag.
Taunted by Rupert on a Thailand holiday that she wouldn’t last a week living on a minuscule budget, Maddie rises to the challenge. On a hungover whim, she leaves him at Bangkok Airport, swapping her suitcase full of designer clothes for a pair of boots, a backpack and a four-week travel itinerary. But Maddie hasn’t anticipated the rigours of life on the road, or the romantic alternatives on offer.
She soon finds herself contending with the attentions of a charming and attractive humanitarian, and a crass, annoying Australian. As if these distractions aren’t enough of a complication, there’s the small matter of Rupert and a ruthless debt collector pursuing her around Cambodia, each intent on reclaiming something of enormous value…
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I was lucky enough to read the first edition of The Travel Auction that Green self-published back in 2013. Sure, it was raw in places, but it stood out from the crowd.
What I most admired about that title and Green’s unrelated second novel The Curse of the Lonesome Mariner (2015) was the characters — I challenge anyone not to develop a soft spot for them. Green is clearly a sharp-eyed observer of human behaviour, and all that he’s learned he’s reinvested into his fiction. Whether sweet, amusing, frustrating, attitudinal or sarcastic… common to all his characters is a feeling of authenticity, born from dialogue that shines with humour and pathos.
So I was excited to hear that while recently giving his debut novel a little spit and polish in readiness for republication, he acknowledged the series potential and decided to act on it.
The couple central to Book 1 The Travel Auction, meet the enigmatic, unlikely couple Madge and Bozzer in their travels in South America. But just how Madge and Bozzer came to be travelling together in the first place is one hell of a yarn… a yarn worthy of its own novel, this one, The Travel Mate.
In addition to another compelling character journey, in The Travel Mate Green brings to life the sights, sounds and smells of Thailand and Cambodia; from rampant consumerism to the serenity and gravitas of Angkor Wat, and the rawness of personal scarring and ghosts of genocide by the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. In this case, reading really is the next best thing to travelling itself…
The Travel Mate is another highly entertaining read from Mark Green, one that reminds us that people are much like bodies of water — often far greater depth and more lurking beneath the surface than first appearances suggest.
I now eagerly await the publication of Books 3 and 4 in this series – The Travel Truth and The Travel Angel.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
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Genre: Adventure, Drama, Romance, Humour
About the Author, Mark David Green
Mark Green is a British guy who got bored with the soulless nature of his job in the construction industry. In 2007, he and his girlfriend, Nicky, spent three months backpacking around South America, which provided the backdrop to his first novel The Travel Auction which then inspired the current series. Upon returning to the UK after their adventure, Mark and Nicky decided that a conventional life wasn’t for them. They rented out their house and spent three years renovating a small sailing boat where they now live on Britain’s south coast. Mark has also written a novel called The Curse of the Lonesome Mariner.
This review counts towards my participation in the New Release Challenge 2018.
* My receiving a copy of The Travel Mate from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.