The Past Catches Up by Sid Cooper
2015. Paperback. 150 pp.
Self-published. Available from Sid Cooper. NIS 40
You have to hand it to Sid Cooper. Instead of joining other octogenarians for a stimulating game of bingo at the old folks' home, he's busy writing and publishing books.
And not just any old books. The indefatigable Sid, who made aliyah with his wife of 64 years, Rina, back in 1984, has just brought out the third volume of a trilogy, no less.
The Past Catches Up is a sequel to A Shot in the Dark and Escape (NIS 30 each). The books are thrillers – but they are also English primers for teenagers struggling to learn our wonderful but idiosyncratic language.
By weaving intricate plots with adventure, suspense, even a bit of violence, the writer guarantees the full attention of his teenage reader.
Literary influences would seem to be eclectic – Rider Haggard - adventure, Agatha Christie – omniscient detective, and even Shakespeare – flawed but ultimately redeemed hero – although I haven't actually checked this with Sid.
One marvels at the author's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the law, police procedure, the English prison service and so much more.
On enquiring how he knows and is able to write about them with such authority, Sid replies cryptically, "I know people who helped me".
The Past Catches Up is a really good read, doesn't patronize or talk down to the reader but tells an exciting tale with plenty of twists and turns. For those unlucky enough to have been born without English as their mother tongue, or just for people who enjoy a racy tale in simple English, Sid's book is highly recommended.