In the Watchmakers near Hove Station on the 28th December sampling a few halves. Hurst Brewery’s Old Acquaintance, a 6.5% old ale matured for 12 months in red wine barrels. Distinctive but not necessarily delightful. The Franklin’s Grumpy Guvnor, a 4.5% rye beer was pleasing but the Gun Brewery was offering a stout with coffee and vanilla flavours, and it was called Parabellum. Now I know little of weapons, but I do read the Jack Reacher novels of Lee Child, and from there I know that the 9mm parabellum round is the preferred bullet of many military forces around the world. I shared this gem of insider info with Ally (one of the owners of the Watchmakers micropub) and this led her to tell me of a US crime novelist I might like to seek out called Harlan Coben.
His main character is an ex-lawman sports agent called Myron Bolitar who encounters serious criminal activity everywhere he goes. Often he needs help getting solutions and heavyweight help – and this comes from a near-psychopath and wealthy financier Windsor Horne Lockwood III, known as Win. This combination is very much like Robert B Parker’s private eye Spenser and his associate Hawk.
Anyway, after leaving the Watchmakers I found myself in Duke Street, looking at second hand paperbacks in a box outside a bookshop, and there was ‘One False Move’, a Myron Bolitar novel by Harlan Coben. Two hours earlier I’d never heard of him, now I’ve got one.
Finished it last night – great fun, I shall seek out more of them. Finally, in checking some of the purported facts above I learnt that ‘para bellum’ is Latin for ‘prepare for war’, and is the second half of a Latin phrase which translates as ‘if you wish for peace prepare for war’.