A novel that begins with a cyclist's losing battle with a Range Rover and leads on to his investigation into an international conspiracy to sell nuclear reactors is on offer to download for free this weekend.
Although claiming it's not autobiographical, journalist-on-a-bike Nick Edmunds has finished his first book 'Under the Sun' featuring a fictional journalist on a bike called Nick. No, not really; the lead protagonist is Rupert but he is a journalist who kicks off what an airport dust jacket would describe as a tangled web of international intrigue when he collides with a Range Rover-driving PR consultant.
Edmunds having written for the Guardian, Telegraph and Independent has now given up journalism for full-time fiction which is probably why he has time to be an avid reader of road.cc, being a cycling fan and all. Our writing style hasn't set him a bad example, obviously; he's been described as "the new William Boyd".
The novel is formatted to be read on a Kindle device but there are free virtual Kindle e-readers available for Macs and PCs to download along with the chapters from Amazon, so you can read it on anything. The novel was offered as a free download over the weekend - that introductory offer ends on Monday morning, from when it will be available to buy for the princely sum of £1.99.
We reckon having finished watching Paris-Nice at 4.30 this afternoon and got your Saturday quota of mileage in the legs from a fine almost Springlike day today, you can't do much better than curl up with a warm laptop for a good read. There's bugger all on the telly now, that's for sure.
Back to the author and his pitch for 'Under the Sun': "Rupert loves bikes and can't see why his girlfriend doesn't. The book is not about cycling but the bicycle is an essential and recurring metaphor for our attitude towards the planet. He even persuades four wheel drive-loving, bike-hating Verity to get a bike herself and their extra-marital relationship takes off from there. Rupert himself is a bit of an anorak and the book is also a gentle send up of male bike enthusiasts," he says, knowing well that we love nothing better than a bit of gentle sending-up.
"Many of the themes will ring true with cyclists: concern for the planet, a questioning of the need for vehicles like four wheel drives and the consumer society."
And here's Amazon's synopsis:
"Under the Sun is a life-questioning novel about choices: in politics, in business and in love.
Criss-crossing the globe from London to Paris, China and North Korea it is set against a backdrop of world recession, declining energy resources and a changing climate.
Under the Sun is also a love story, but with a difference: its underlying theme is truth, in a world of corporate PR where facts blur with lies.
Rupert, an underpaid London journalist, loves his girlfriend, Polly, but she has expensive tastes. He rides a bicycle, wants to save the planet and hates four-wheel drives.
Verity, who runs a Public Relations company, loves her husband, Frank - twenty years her senior. Frank doesn't know it yet, but he is about to start selling nuclear power plants and ask Verity to do the PR.
Mystery surrounds both Verity's father's death and the nuclear power system she is trying to sell.
It's the hottest summer on record and Rupert's bike and Verity's Range Rover collide on a London street."
We know what we'll be doing this evening...