Hotel St Kilda Series
Troubador Publishing Ltd
“Time’s up, Jimmy. This is for your neighbours hiding behind their curtains, for the guys you injured tonight and other nights, and for the misery and pain you’ve inflicted on hundreds of nice people. Oh yes, and for the lady I told you about. I don’t think I mentioned it before, but the third time she tried to take her own life, she succeeded.” He pulled the trigger.
The first book in the gripping ‘Hotel St Kilda’ series by Michael Knaggs transports the reader to a community under constant threat from a brutal gang, led by three brothers. When these men are lured to an isolated street and shot dead by a mysterious stranger, the subsequent euphoria on the estate where they lived is picked up by the national press.
Catalyst follows the crusade of Tom Brown, MP for the Opposition Party and champion of law and order, who is forced to put everything on the line, including his relationship with his wife, to implement a controversial New Justice Regime. He receives strong support from his Party colleagues and a local campaigner, George Holland, who travels the country to rally the support for radical change.
When the killer is eventually caught, the gang sets out for revenge, targeting George for his outspoken condemnation of their activities and uncompromising proposals for their demise. They descend in large numbers on the quiet village where he lives, armed and ready to kill, and the resulting event is dubbed ‘The Meadow Village Massacre’ across the national papers.
Catalyst builds from an opening sequence based on a short story penned by the author over fifty years ago. The saga of Hotel St Kilda will continue in the second book of the series, Heaven’s Door, and features a climax which has its roots in a separate short story. The narrative is a linking of these two events, and whilst purely a work of fiction, provides a vehicle for the author to express a number of personal issues on law and order.
I really enjoyed the opening sequences of this book and can understand why the author decided to develop this into a full sized novel – however I think a little of the tension and the excitement was lost in the translation to a novel about politics and manipulation. The original premise seemed to change to an altogether different agenda – a law and order social change theme and whilst it was certainly interesting to read how the public, journalists and members of the government alike can be manipulated so easily and cleverly, it was not the story I thought I was going to get or wanted.