Patrick Brigham

Author Writer and Journalist

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Who is Patrick Brigham

Born in Berkshire England to an old Reading family, after attending an English Public school and a stint at college, the author Patrick Brigham went into real estate. After the economic crash in 1989 he licked his wounds, wrote two books, and in 1993 finally decided to abandon London, the UK's casino economy and he moved to Bulgaria.

As the Editor in Chief of the first English Language news magazine in Sofia, between 1995 and 2000 - and as a journalist - he witnessed the changes in this once hard core Communist Country and personally knew most of the political players, including the old Communist Dictator Todor Zhivkov and his successors Zhelev and Stoyanov.

Traditionally a hotbed of intrigue and the natural home of the conspiracy theory, Bulgaria proved to be quite a challenge and for many people the transition was painful. Despite this, he personally managed to survive these changes and now lives peacefully in Northern Greece. A writer and journalist for many years, he has written a number of short stories and articles which might be better described as light hearted, whilst confirming that the truth is very often stranger than fiction.

Much of his writing has been influenced by his stay in Sofia Bulgaria, and many of the characters in his books are redolent of that time, and many of his anti-hero's too! His first two books were never published but one at least is shortly due to see the light of day.

Chief Inspector Michael Lambert now works for Europol, and is charged with the job of tracking down a little English girl who has been abducted in Rimini - it is called An Angel over Rimini.

Herodotus - The Gnome of Sofia

Against a backdrop of political change in South Eastern Europe, the story embraces disgruntled communists, cold war warriors, intrigue, deception and finally murder. Sir Arthur Cumberpot has an unspectacular career which is swiftly drawn to a close when he is appointed British Ambassador to Bulgaria. Due to some unforeseen mishaps his wife Annabel is accused of being a spy and sent home to their house in Watlington while her background is checked by MI5. Annabel is guilty of nothing, other than being the biological daughter of Jim Kilbey, Britain’s most famous spy. It seems that a jealous god has sought to visit the sins of the father upon her, but so has everyone else. She is the victim of serendipity, but also of cover ups, the duplication of thin evidence and exaggeration. But she is also heartless, treacherous, self indulgent and without shame.

Judas Goat - The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery

Sitting in a Lloyd Loom chair on a Narrow Boat, moored on the Kennet and Avon Canal, a dead man stares into oblivion. Who is he and what is his name? Chief Inspector Michael Lambert from Thames Valley Police Authority unravels a murder case which stretches from Reading to Bulgaria, South Africa to Belorussia, and finally Taiwan to Peru. What at first appears to be a straightforward murder is revealed to be part of an international manhunt, the result of a major arms deal which has gone horribly wrong. The story begins with the discovery of a small mobile phone on the narrow boat and ends with the murder of a Chinese shipping magnate in the streets of London. Will anyone’s life be the same again and how will our provincial policeman cope with these different layers of intrigue?

Recent Reviews

Great read!! Another cracker from Patrick Brigham. I couldn't put it down for long without wondering what was going to happen to the Reading policeman next. Very colorful and vivid characters. Well done!! By Badger Amazon Verified Purchase

I simply loved Judas Goat, once I had started the book I could not put it down, easy reading, great plot. - Suziegrif.

All of us in Bulgaria enjoy a good read, and this book - which was recently reviewed in the Sofia Globe - is a real winner - Graham Slogget

Judas Goat: The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery is quite different in genre, from Patrick Brigham's previous publication as he rows through a range from the river waters of Oxford to the high seas, narrating a story that is a murder mystery and more. Judas Goat is a much more complex work than Herodotus (his previous novel) and devotes just a part, however significant, of its scenes to a visit to Sofia by a Thames Valley detective investigating the killing of man identified as previously having been an English-language editor-in-chief in Sofia. Kudos to Brigham for pulling off these two novels though,which achieve the feat of inspiring curiosity about the views of others who read them, as I have no doubt about recommending that they should - Clive Leviev-Sawyer editor of The Sofia Globe

Marika Charalambous's review

Nov 22, 13

Read in November, 2013

Book review also on my blog:

Judas Goat is a solid mystery. I enjoyed it right from the start. Chief Inspector Michael Lambert is a middle aged guy who has a rather unhappy marriage, but quite a successful job. He is even looking forward to be promoted next year when his boss will retire.

In the meantime he has a very strange murder case to solve. A body is discovered on a boat in his area of jurisdiction, and initially the task seems simple enough: identify the murder victim and then go from there. However this is where the complications start: the body is not so easy to identify and as it seems, he might have not even be a local, but someone with ties to another country in Europe, Bulgaria.

CI Lambert, to get to the bottom of the case and also to get away for a bit from his nagging wife, asks permission to fly to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, to try to find out who the murder victim is and why was he found in England.

Now the actual crime solving part is a solid mystery worth reading. I’ve long noticed that the British mysteries are a bit different from most American ones in that they have a slower pace. So I was not surprised when I didn’t find many nail biting moments. What I found instead was a well crafted crime story with a character that you can’t but like.

There were moments when I was reminded of Sherlock Holmes in the way detective Lambert found clue after clue – and diligently followed them – until he solved the case. And what a surprise the ending turned out to be – I would have never seen that coming.

Currently Judas Goat – The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery is a stand alone novel, however as I've been told in the interview with the author Patrick Brigham, it might get a sequel afterall. I truly enjoyed reading about detective Lambert, and seeing how at the end of the book he was about to do a career – and life – change, I’m really curious about where he’ll end up and what interesting cases he will be given to solve next..

James Loftus's review

Dec 12, 13

Read in December, 2013

Very impressed!

Normally I don't do mysteries. Why? Because they are often, tedious, over-plotted, with ridiculous twists and turns, with characters who bear no resemblance to any detective who I have known. I was a cop and know detectives. Most mystery cops, are often just too either stupid or all-seeing, you just know the criminal, has no chance, and the combination of the brilliance of the investigator and fumbling of the evil doer will correct the cosmic balance. Boring!!!

I grew up liking the Margaret Rutherford's, Miss Marple, mysteries. They were very good fun. The current versions have no where near the charm of those sixties rollicking classics. Margaret Rutherford, is a must see, for fans of a most unlikely sleuth. By the way, The Beatles loved her Miss Marple.

I found 'JUDAS GOAT' to be an excellent combination of a loveable, believable, detective and a worthy conundrum-crime. I found the domestic development of a marriage implosion done very very well, slow drip. The procedural elements smack of realism. For the first time in one of these books I felt like an investigator working on a case, it was that real, I knew these fellows. The central character, Chief Inspector Michael Lambert unravels a murder case without the gimmicks, no Kojak baldness, no sucking a lollypop, no, Columbo (although as corny as he was, I loved Columbo, my Mum and I used to sit up and lap up his dumb-act, but ... "Just one more thing ... what about ..." Always, the central piece of the puzzle and nail whoever then understood his particular brand of genius. "Take them downtown," like they do in American cop shows. I would of loved to have said that to someone when I was a cop.

As good as Columbo was, it bore no relationship to real police work, just a bit of theatre. 'JUDAS GOAT' is a snapshot of real police work. The way everyone relates to each other, smacks of someone who knows this world really well, probably a cop. I think there is a lot of the real man, the author, in this book. If he told me he was an ex cop I would accept it readily. That he is beyond doubt a excellent writer I don't have to be a sleuth to work out, "It is elementary Dear Watson."

R.P. Rochford's review

Dec 24, 13

Read in December, 2013

Without spoiling the plot, 'Herodotus' is something between the plot of an older James Bond movie, complete with bungling foreign spy masters and political intrigue and an introspective Russian novel. There is a colourful cast of characters, a smattering of intrigue and plenty of detailed description to really allow the reader to experience the hopes and aspirations of a somewhat pompous, aspiring, British middle class.

In fact, it is this 'experiencing' which makes this book good. The reader is taken on a journey complete with tastes, smells, scenes and experiences almost reminiscent of a good travel guide. Along the way, we share these experiences with characters whose personal situation all too often hints at some degree of mental illness. Cleverly chosen character names add to the sense of satirical irony throughout the story.

What this book isn't is any kind of suspense novel or thriller. Even the expiration of the main character is handled in such a mundane way that it becomes incidental to the story and the perpetrator is so obvious that there's no real mystery.

'Herodotus' is humour, satire and a witty commentary on both the downward political spiral in certain former Communist countries and the smug, foolish, baseless superiority of the west.

Zita Martin

I enjoyed the refreshing way this book was written. It was from a drawn away look. This idea does not work out well, but it does very well in this book. This way of writing goes and gives you, the reader, lots of details about the characters and the settings with very little action. It is mostly telling than showing.

My only problem with this book is the bouncing of the story line. It talks about the past of the characters and the buildup of how these characters became to be in the same place. Th...more I enjoyed the refreshing way this book was written. It was from a drawn away look. This idea does not work out well, but it does very well in this book. This way of writing goes and gives you, the reader, lots of details about the characters and the settings with very little action. It is mostly telling than showing.

My only problem with this book is the bouncing of the story line. It talks about the past of the characters and the buildup of how these characters became to be in the same place. Then it jumps to the present time. It did not do this to very chapter, but many times through out the chapter. It became confusing early on in the book. It made it hard to read and keep up with the characters and what is going on in the book.

The characters in this book was easy to fall in love with or hate. The characters were described in great detail that you knew them like your own brother or sister. They were well defined in what settings they were put in. The characters felt very real and you, as a reader could understand why they did what they did in the setting they were put in.

The story itself was very realistic. It was the only reason I kept going through the bouncing story line to get to the end. It was a hard read for me. I did not think this size of book would take me so long.

An interview by the American broadcaster Don McCauley of - The Authors Show

He asks Patrick Brigham about his life as an English author, journalist and writer

Patrick Brigham - An interview by Don McCauley of The Authors Show