The Smuggler's Fingers
The Smugglers’ Fingers, a satire, which often descends into farce and outrage tells the story of the village of Plompley and its population of eccentrics who suddenly find themselves under siege from ‘Green’ energy developers who, in cahoots with a local landowner and corrupt council officials decide they’re going to build a giant wind farm in the heart of the community. The villagers mobilise but when egos and grudges tear apart the campaign groups and it becomes clear whose side the council is on, the hapless local anarchist takes the law into his own hands and the whole village resorts to ever more desperate methods, from the unorthodox to the downright dangerous. Meanwhile the wind farm developers, eager to jump on the subsidy gravy train, use every legal trick in the book to get their way, and a few not so legal, employing violence and vandalism when they deem it necessary. As the battle rages on through a wet and dismal summer the strain starts to tell on both sides and the services of the local Magistrate’s Court and general hospital find themselves increasingly in demand. Observing and commenting wryly from the wings are an ambitious local reporter and a disgraced city banker, both in pursuit of the same story. Meanwhile Mother Nature broods in the background poised to finally reveal the real secret of The Smugglers’ Fingers.
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|Paul Webb was born in 1959 in Berkshire. A somewhat rebellious grammar school boy and university refusenik he went straight from school into the property business where he spent most of the next 25 years running his own company in south London. During this time he also got involved in the rough and tumble of local politics, at one point attracting a libel writ from one of the major parties. In 2000, after re-marrying and embarking on a round the world sailing race - jumping ship in The Philippines with ‘...better things to do.’ - he and his wife, Ruth decided on a radical lifestyle change and early retirement. Never comfortable in the south-east they started edging north via a series of farmhouse ‘projects’ firstly in Shropshire and then the Welsh Marches before settling on the edge of the Lake District. They travel regularly, particularly to East Africa and southern Spain, while in Cumbria life revolves around the ‘3Bs’: boots, boats and books. Both Paul and his wife are keen fell and long distance walkers, they keep and sail a small homemade boat on the lakes and are avid readers and book collectors. They have three grown up children between them scattered round the world. The Smugglers’ Fingers is Paul’s first book and with tongue firmly in cheek it draws on his personal experience of the property business, the internal workings of local councils and the wiles of would-be wind farm developers. It is of course a work of fiction and all the usual disclaimers apply. Paul Webb is currently seeking an agent to represent him and promote his second book.
Martyn Amazon Reader - 5th August 2019
5 Stars - Hilarious read
What a refreshing change from the usual crime/detective novels.
A right rip roaring yarn that had me laughing out loud!
Thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t recommend it highly enough.
MRS ROSEMARIE D GUILOR Amazon Reader - 22 July 2019
5 Stars - An absolutely hilarious adventure
A hilarious satire of rural life, planning authorities and modern politicians that had me laughing out loud as I read this book - a sensation not experienced since reading Tom Sharpes early novels about Wilt. Unnervingly plausible and realistic, and most sceptic of current politicians, landowners and developers its storey line moves quickly with hilarious results. I will keep this on my bookshelf to be reread. Let’s hope for a sequel This is a book I will keep on my shelf to read again.
***** Nellie - 29 May 2019
5 Stars - Hysterically funny
Grab yourself a glass of wine, turn off your phone sit back and read this book. You will giggle knowingly and laugh out loud.
Following the shenanigans of country life as a village tries to stop the development of a wind farm.
Although the book is funny it relates a very important message about the tensions for sustainable energy, local corruption (allegedly!) and business.
***** Amazon Reader - 25 May 2019
5 Stars - Eccentric villagers cause hilarity and chaos in this wonderfully observed satire.
I loved this book! If you are looking for a rollicking ride and plenty of laughs , then I would thoroughly recommend this book - a great holiday read. The plot moves quickly, and the antics of the villagers of Plompley are hilarious as they band together to foil plans of a local wind farm.