Sunday, 27 January 2019

THE WIDOW'S SON..Lies And Consequences by Daniel Kemp




“The Widow’s Son” by Daniel Kemp is both an intriguing piece of writing and intriguing in terms of the genre of the political thriller; Daniel Kemp has created a tightly paced, engaging narrative presenting his reader with a murky, soiled, strangely exciting world of power and corruption.

This is a dark world of spies, lies and deceivers and from his newly created position as head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, and with only one or two people he can trust, Daniel Kemp’s protagonist, Patrick West, realises that he has a potential disaster on a world wide scale; nothing short of a war on humanity, to circumvent. And how is the narrator going to achieve this with deception on such an extensive scale?

Nothing is clear for him; why this promotion? Whom can he trust?

In a way, this book can be viewed through the lens of appearance and reality. I’m surprised I hadn’t thought of this before, after all the book is subtitled “lies and their consequences.” Whom can Patrick West believe? Whom can the reader believe? Daniel Kemp has given us an engaging narrator, but how reliable is he?

We would do well to keep just a tiny space of doubt in our minds. Just as people in the real world tell a tale from their own point of view, so it is with fiction, and Daniel Kemp knows what he is doing; he writes fiction at its finest.

This is the third book in a trilogy that began with “What Happened in Vienna Jack?” This is followed by “Once I Was a Soldier.” With the exception of a few chapters in all three books, the narrative is driven, in the first person, by Patrick West and it is through his eyes that events unfold. The beginning of each book picks up some twenty years after the conclusion of its predecessor; Daniel Kemp is tracing his protagonist’s life, from his mid-twenties, his late thirties and finally, his early fifties. In the Widow’s Son we join the narrative sometime during the mid nineteen nineties.

Daniel Kemp is an eloquent writer which makes his book a pure pleasure to read, he understands the need for meticulous research; he has to. If a writer is using past events to blend with his fiction, then those events have to be accurate, Daniel Kemp knows this and he will not patronise his reader by writing an approximate version of history.

I said earlier that The Widow’s Son is fiction at its finest, I really do believe that. Enjoy. This is worth every penny of a Kindle download, or for a real treat the paperback is a keeper. Oh, and I never saw the ending coming...I wonder if you will!


The Widow's Son is at all Amazon outlets.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Patiently at Her Feet




I read "Enslaving Eli", admittedly some time ago now; it really hit a resonance with me, and it still does. Much "erotica" is simply centred about sex, but good erotica involves the reader, and gives the reader something to think about. Enslaving Eli does just that, what drives his submission, what drives his decisions? When does his submission, willingly given, become binding, the control he gives up become absolute? He willingly enters the wonderful Coterie, never to leave. As a submissive, I’ve moved some way along this journey, but certainly not all the way, but could I, would I?

Yes, I`m a male submissive, and proud of it. My submission makes me feel strong, and safe. I have no sexual agenda, I seek only to fully give control to another, to be used and cared for by another, to please and be useful to another. It is very difficult to put that submission feeling into words, and just as difficult to predict how far it might take me, but we can try.

To be in the presence of a truly dominant woman is an "electric" feeling. To kneel at the feet of a dominant woman generates an exquisite wave of submission; not something lost, but something gained. I feel strong, focused and "safe", it`s like entering another world, one in which only your dominant is important, and where consequently your worries simply disappear. It`s a very subservient and incredibly compliant situation; focused only on the dominant, her instructions are unquestioned, binding, there to be followed. While the reasoning behind this submission may be complex, the effects are simple. I feel refreshed, at ease, everything becomes so simple, only one thing to do, to serve. That exquisite feeling of submission is "addictive", it taps into something very natural, and you need it again, and why wouldn`t you!

Eli`s first meeting may have been both sexually and submissively driven, but his submissive drive quickly takes over; it`s almost inevitable. A submissive will quickly ascertain whether he/she is in the presence of a dominant, and vice versa; put the two together and the result can be predictable. If that submissive wave manifests itself, then he will crave more, will need confirmation, and if She accepts, then the journey will begin. He`ll want to be controlled, to be pushed, tested and abused, in order to prove himself to her; he becomes "obsessed" with her, focused only on her, focused on her dominance and control. I understand that, I feel that, I`m on that journey, but unlike Eli, my journey will be more truncated.

Why the need to be tested and abused? For myself it is an essential element of the Domme-sub relationship. It can take many forms, infliction of pain, humiliation, deprivation, to name just some. Let me say immediately, I am not a masochist; the situation with a masochist is, in my opinion, very different. A masochist seeks pain; it is a battle within himself to take more pain. Myself, I hate pain, but it is a hugely important part of forging that connection with your dominant. I get through the pain by acutely focusing on the dominant, trusting and respecting her; she has complete control and can do what she wants, and through those actions the connection of Domme with sub is built and strengthened. Through those actions my submission is heightened, and my position with regard to the Domme is exemplified. On the one side I feel strong and safe in her presence, on the other she can inflict pain and discomfort, such a beautiful dilemma!

Let`s imagine I`m a free agent, no ties, no relationships, would I, as Eli does, take the journey further to its conclusion? I love the idea of the Coterie, a Female led supremacy; as a submissive I`m fascinated with such ideas, but they are just fantasy. I value my intelligence and independence, more so than my submission; to be absolutely enslaved, would I not just become a docile pet, mentally subdued and altered? I think the answer is clearly No, I could not take that journey to it`s conclusion. There has to be a balance established. What is much more feasible is a Female led Relationship, that`s something I would certainly aspire to!

Some of my thoughts, in part inspired by "Enslaving Eli", it`s what good erotica should do. I've discovered my submissiveness, and I embrace it; let yours out and experience the release!

A submissive.

Enslaving Eli is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Once I Was A Soldier by Daniel Kemp



Once I was a Soldier by Daniel Kemp is the second in a trilogy that opened with What Happened in Vienna Jack? Once I was a Soldier picks up the narrative some 20 years later. It’s not obvious, at first, because the characters seem new, but if you have read the first book, you will realise, slowly, slowly that you have met these characters before.

This is a thriller of the highest quality. I’ve made the comparison between John le Carre and Daniel Kemp before. Both of these writers have agile, creative minds and both are experts in their chosen fields of espionage and the politics of the era.

The theme of Once I was a Soldier is power. People crave power, even if they already have it, they are greedy and want more. Those in power are afraid of losing it and guard it jealously.

The novel opens with an abuse of power. Melissa Iverson has inherited a vast fortune. Her lawyer reads her the contents of her Father’s Will. Her Father has made provisions for his two elderly, much loved servants, leaving them a house in which to live out their days. But the clause isn’t water tight and Melissa demands that the elderly couple are thrown out of their home immediately. This abuse of power drives the narrative.

This is some of the finest erotica I’ve read. The writer lulls the reader into believing that sex and wealth are so high on the agenda that we are reading a narrative that lures us into the sexually determined world of Jackie Collins, or Shirley Conran.

And neither is this Agatha Christie, there’s no room for Miss Marple here. There is a change of mood and pace that is shocking. We stumble into a gritty, dark world...the characters with whom we thought were safe and dependable are not what they have seemed. Who are their masters? Who truly, ultimately has power? We don’t know and for the most part we never find out, we can only guess. but the final pages bring us back to the narrative...it is shocking, leaving us in no doubt that evil really does exist.

If you like your reading to be challenging, if you like the mystery of where Daniel Kemp is taking you..be warned, Once I was a Soldier is disturbing, but you will enjoy the journey.

Here is Danny Kemp's Amazon Author Page where you can browse Danny's books and read more about Danny, the writer.

Sunday, 24 June 2018


Truth and lies, lies and truth and which is which? Can the truth be hidden in a lie and a lie be veiled in the truth?Suppose there are secrets too? Just the knowledge that something is hidden, well, reality can become a little blurred and obscure. When Patrick West meets Jack Prior in Daniel Kemp’s “What happened in Vienna Jack?” an investigation into police corruption in Soho leads, indirectly, to what could become a world ending catastrophe.

“What Happened in Vienna Jack?” Is a thriller, a tale of espionage and deceit, a story where a turn of reality can change with the turn of a page. I am constantly amazed by Daniel Kemp’s ability to not only keep control over a vast array of characters but, simultaneously, weave an erudite absorbing narrative that leaves me confounded. It was difficult to harness what I was reading. Daniel Kemp is meticulous in his research and extremely knowledgeable about Europe’s political landscape of 1933-1970.

In November of 1937 a violation, somewhere in Europe and prior to WW2, precipitates the unfolding narrative. Like any violation it is cruel, humiliating...just by reading about it, I felt dirty. The violation involves a prominent Nazi and a member of the British monarchy...see what I mean about secrets? This secret is so controversial (and “controversial” here is a massive understatement) that it is hidden, even to the point of murder, for fear of the secret being divulged. It’s an adroit piece of writing.

When I’ve posted this review I shall be reading “What Happened in Vienna Jack?” again. I think that most lovers of the thriller genre will feel the same. I’m not ready to leave either the characters, or this compulsive, gripping narrative...I’ll linger over every paragraph. And I’m pleased to learn that this book is just part one of a book series. If I haven’t made it clear enough, this book is highly recommended.

What Happened in Vienna Jack? Is at Amazon US and at Amazon UK





Thursday, 3 May 2018

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT






“Why? A Complicated Love” Is a lyrical, urgent tale of love, despair, betrayal and retribution told by my favourite author, Daniel Kemp.

The novel is told as a first person narrative by Terry Meadows. The reader is privy to Terry’s thoughts..the story unfolds through the effect that the main characters have on his life.

Daniel Kemp sets a quiet steady pace, there’s no rush, as he introduces his main players...Terry, Laura, Francis and Sammi. We are quickly drawn in to this tale of distorted sexuality. Just a few paragraphs details a reason for Francis’ debauched, controlling behaviour. It’s a behaviour that has Sammi and Laura’s seeming acquiescence. And simply the fact that Terry is witness to this sick, claustrophobic family, means that he also is a puppet to Francis’ depravity. It is Francis who drives the narrative.

Do you believe in love at first sight? No? Please suspend your disbelief. I’m talking about the sort of love that Shakespeare crafts for his tragedy Romeo and Juliet, or the poignant lyrics that Stephen Sondheim writes for the equally tragic West Side Story.

For an audience to be drawn into an intense, heated whirl of recognition takes a skilled, sensitive writer...eyes meet across a crowded room..forgive the cliche, but that’s the moment I’m trying to conjure up…and it’s exactly that moment that Daniel Kemp, crafts, so exquisitely, in the meeting of Terry and Laura.

Many Poets, Artists and Novelists believe in love at first sight...they spend their creative lives telling us about it, we feel their heat as they chant their magic..

I love this novel by Daniel Kemp, it is pure pleasure to read. Where Erotica occurs, it’s entirely appropriate…as is violence. You can, if you like, dissect the narrative, but in the process don’t lose sight of a beautifully written, absolutely engaging story. I shall certainly be reading a lot more from Daniel Kemp.

This book is available at all Amazon outlets. Amazon UK and Amazon US

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

THE DESOLATE GARDEN by Daniel Kemp





It’s a thriller, it’s a murder mystery...it’s a tale of lies, spies, espionage and dark, disturbing family secrets; secrets that go back decades. I’m talking about Daniel Kemp’s masterpiece, The Desolate Garden.

Harry Paterson’s father, Lord Paterson has been murdered. The police have ascertained when, and how, but no one knows why...money? Could be, the Paterson family are extremely wealthy.

Daniel Kemp writes in a very visual way; he provokes the reader’s imagination. I can see the opening scene as a piece of theatre. The stage is dimly lit, almost dark. A piano, just one soft note at a time, picks out a sinister child’s nursery rhyme..maybe Three Blind Mice or Oranges and Lemons.

The effect of the combination of darkness, light, shade and sound sets an ambivalent atmosphere of uncertainty for the viewer. The written scene will have a similar effect on the reader. We are drawn into the beginning of a narrative which we know took skill and courage from the writer.

Lighting gradually presents a man, seated at a small table. He picks up a glass of whisky from the table, stares into it, then sips. The piano stops. A woman’s voice calls out to him..”tell me a joke”...as she speaks, the light falls on her, she is very beautiful. He responds to her.. “come and join me.”

It’s a pivotal moment; this meeting of Harry Paterson and Judith Meadows drives the narrative.

The amount of research that has gone into The Desolate Garden is phenomenal. The writer leads us back to the actions of Harry Paterson’s Great-Grandfather, Maudlin Paterson during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. His actions precipitate events that are yet to come. The reader won’t need an extensive knowledge about that conflict, but an illegitimate child is born and without him there would be no story.

Daniel Kemp’s knowledge of the Cold War is extensive. I’m of the same generation as he...I grew up knowing about the Iron Curtain, and, as Russia was then, the USSR. I don’t recall there being a lot on News reports about how, if at all, we got any information about life in the USSR, but I remember reports about the Cuban missile crisis.

The Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its satellite states) and powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others).

“There’s an iron curtain being pulled across the whole of Europe and Stalin has the cord”

Rewind to early morning on Tuesday 16 October 1962, John F. Kennedy's national security assistant, McGeorge Bundy, brought to the President's bedroom some high-altitude photographs taken from U-2 planes flying over Cuba. They showed Soviet soldiers hurriedly and secretly setting up nuclear-armed missiles.

At its closest distance, Communist Cuba is just 103 miles from Florida...too close for comfort.

For some time previously the Soviets had openly been sending weaponry to Cuba, including surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles (SAMs). To deflect any criticism about this from the Republicans, who were busy campaigning for the November congressional elections, Kennedy had said he would not protest about such defensive weaponry being installed in Cuba, but warned that if the Soviets ever introduced offensive weapons, 'the gravest issues would arise.'

For 14 days during that October of 1962, the world held its breath as President John F. Kennedy and Party Leader Nikita Khrushchev tried to reach a compromise and avoid nuclear war.

By the third day the President publicly announced the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and ordered a blockade to prevent the introduction of further missiles, further to this, he demanded that the Soviets withdraw the missiles already there. (Both for legal reasons and for resonance with Franklin Roosevelt's 'Quarantine Address' of 1937, the term 'quarantine' was substituted for 'blockade'.)

If Khrushchev did not capitulate within a day or two, a US air attack on Cuba would follow, followed by an invasion.

After a long period of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to U.N. verification, in exchange for a U.S. public declaration and agreement to avoid invading Cuba again.

In relation to Daniel Kemp’s The Desolate Garden, it seems to me pertinent that I add these paragraphs about the Cuban Crisis and the stamp of the Cold War on Europe. It illustrates what dangerous times we lived in...and still live in, bearing in mind what happened three weeks ago in the sleepy town of Salisbury UK.

Some people believe, because of the nerve agent used in Salisbury, we are on the brink of another Cold War…I don’t know, but bearing in mind how closed off, mentally and physically, the USSR was during the years of the Cold War, I don’t think it would be a good thing. Certainly not for Human Rights.

Countries are always interested, intrigued and alarmed by what other countries are doing. Maybe espionage has always existed..agents, double agents. I was too young, at the time, to understand about the so called Cambridge Five, the young men lured into spying for the USSR, but I’ve read about them since. The West had spies within the USSR, spying for us and it is against this backdrop that The Desolate Garden is thrown into relief.

Daniel Kemp’s book illustrates one family member, long since passed, embroiled in a vortex of politics, power, espionage and money laundering.

There’s a shattering betrayal too with an ending that I didn’t see coming and totally blew me away.

Before coming to The Desolate Garden, the only book I’d read in this genre was John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy. Daniel Kemp’s book equals that superb spy thriller, in fact The Desolate Garden easily supersedes it.

The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp is at Amazon US and Amazon UK

Saturday, 27 January 2018

SUPPORTING HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY. The Night Porter, directed by Liliana Cavani, featuring Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde



Directed and written by Liliana Cavani, the controversial film “The Night Porter,” “Il Portiere di Notte”, was released in 1974. The film features Dirk Bogarde, as Max, a discreet, unassuming night porter in an exclusive Viennese hôtel and Charlotte Rampling, Lucia, as the figure from his past, who continues to haunt Max.

The year is 1957. Max tends to the hôtel guest’s needs; everything to providing a glass of cold water, to a bed-warming gigolo. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that during the dark years of World War II, Max was an S.S. officer at a Nazi concentration camp where Lucia was a beautiful, young prisoner. Lucia, became Max's sexual slave, a position that she apparently relished.

The moment where the two recognise each other in the lobby of the hôtel is compelling. Both remember. The flashbacks tell of the chilling photographs Max took of Lucia, while pretending to be a physician. Through the flashbacks appropriate to Lucia, the viewer learns of episodes of rape, sodomy, and torture. Lucia is afraid. The viewer soon realises that it is not Max that she is afraid of, but the primal, carnal power of their relationship.

Max was not simply Lucia’s tormentor. He was her protector. It is a scenario which we see rewritten in our own contemporary erotica. “The Night Porter” is a pertinent template for any “Daddy’s Little Girl”, tale; it whispers and awakens forbidden fantasies. It allows us the space to relish the darker side of desire.

Charlotte Rampling, for her part, insisted that she knew nothing about sadomasochism before embarking on the film. 'The girl had to be an innocent, both fearful, and tempted by the mysteries of unknown pleasures,' she said.


If the scene in the hôtel lobby is compelling, the scene at the opera is electric. Max is seated a few rows behind Lucia and her husband. A sensation causes Lucia to turn. She meets Max’s eyes. She turns away, then turns again. He is still there, willing her to hold his gaze. She turns away, then looks again. Max is gone.

Lucia stays in Vienna after her husband travels on. She wants to see Max, and they find themselves caught up in a renewal of their former sadomasochistic relationship. But Max is to be tried for his war crimes. His former S.S. comrades have been carefully destroying documents and "filing away" witnesses to clear all their names, and while Max tries to keep Lucia's existence a secret from them, they eventually find out about her. They consider her a threat, and they urge Max to turn her over to them. He quits his job, and he and Lucia hide out in his apartment, while his former friends keep watch, waiting for the opportunity to strike.

Filmmaker Liliana Cavani visited a Nazi concentration camp after WW II and interviewed a woman who had been involved in a sadomasochistic relationship with a guard. She then made her story the basis for this powerfully, compelling film.

Liliana Cavani certainly gives her audience a strange and unforgettable picture that questions deeply the psyches of torturers and the tortured, “The Night Porter” presents its psychoanalytically provocative material without exploitation. On another level it deals with the psychological condition known as Stockholm Syndrome
where the victim develops an empathy with his or her abuser.

In an iconic scene, Lucia sings a Marlene Dietrich song to the concentration camp guards while wearing pieces of an SS uniform, and Max "rewards" her with the severed head of a male inmate who had been bullying the other inmates. Max has previously described his relationship with Lucia as “Biblical,” but he cannot remember the story in the Bible that draws him. Then he remembers. It is the story of Salome. King Herod presents Salome with the severed head of John the Baptist as a reward for her display of erotic dance.


In responses to “The Night Porter”, Liliana Cavani was both celebrated for her courage in dealing with the theme of sexual transgression and, simultaneously, castigated for the controversial manner in which she presented that transgression: within the context of a Nazi Holocaust narrative. The film has been accused of mere sensationalism: film critic Roger Ebert calls it "as nasty as it is lubricious, a despicable attempt to titillate us by exploiting memories of persecution and suffering.” Given the film's dark and disturbing themes and a somewhat ambiguous moral clarification at the end, “The Night Porter”, has tended to divide audiences. It is, however, the film for which Liliana Cavani is best known.

I was transfixed by Liliana Cavani’s film when I first saw it, many years ago. I was transfixed again when I watched it yesterday. “The Night Porter” tells of terrible things, and the Holocaust tells a tale of the worst that human beings can ever be. Would Max and Lucia have entered into this distorted, warped love affair -- and it is most certainly, definitely a true love affair, without the Holocaust? Well, of course we don’t know. Would our world today be the same had the Holocaust never happened? Again, we don’t know. The Holocaust is our shame as human beings. We need to be reminded, we need the mirror to be held up to our dirty faces, and if this can be only achieved through a film such as “The Night Porter,” well that’s fine with me.

“The bulk of the Nazi war crime trials took place right after 1945. Basically, from 1945 to 1949, there were parallel Allied tribunals and German courts. The German courts largely dealt with crimes committed against German citizens; the Allied courts dealt with all others, which meant the majority of Nazi crimes. These proceedings petered out by the end of the 1940s and early 1950s largely because West German society suppressed the past and preferred not to talk about it. Nazi crimes hardly found mention in public discourse in the early 1950s.


Thus the Ulm trial in 1958 marked the reopening of criminal proceedings against Nazi criminals. It was seen as a sign that the West German judicial system was taking the Nazi past more seriously.  But the most striking thing about the Ulm trial was that it made clear that Nazi atrocities were not just committed within the Third Reich but largely in Eastern Europe.”
Dieter Pohl