To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

26 November 2023

The Asymmetric Man by Alex Rushton Blog Tour!

The Asymmetric Man

Embark on a gripping journey of sacrifice and self-discovery in The Asymmetric Man, a thrilling tale set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Vietnam War. Follow Blake, a young recruit turned undercover agent, as he navigates the treacherous world of espionage, survival and forbidden love. From war-ravaged Saigon to seemingly impenetrable jungle and the tranquillity of a Buddhist monastery, this riveting novel explores the power of recognising and embracing one’s true calling, no matter the cost.

I worked for many years as an academic and later in the NHS as a therapist. Initially I wrote academic papers before branching out into fiction writing. I joined my local writing group Walton Wordsmiths nearly fifteen years ago and the group is still going strong. Here I found companionship, inspiration, encouragement, and a group of likeminded friends. I write because I feel inspired… the novel wants to be written, although I often have no idea where the ideas come from, it’s like a stream of consciousness! I find editing the most challenging, but it has to be done. 

Each novel takes me at least a couple of years to complete. I have now written three novels. The first two have already been published by SCRIPTORA, in association with the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ). The third ‘The Asymmetric Man’ will be published shortly – also by SCRIPTORA. Ironically, ‘The Asymmetric Man’ is the first in the trilogy, but the last to be published. ‘The Girl at Conway Place’ and ‘Sunrise at An Lac’ come next.

I am a member of the SWWJ (Society of Women Writers and Journalists) and the SOA (Society of Authors). I am a regular participant in the SOA Novelists in London zoom group.

 Walton Wordsmiths:

 Alex Rushton:

Blake Carter, newly-minted MI6 operative on his first assignment arrives under an alias in Vietnam and meets his local civilian contact/guide, before checking his cache of weapons.


Saigon, Vietnam

March 1967

As Blake stepped off the plane at Tan Son Nhat Airport the heat and humidity hit him like a slap. Inside, the airport bustled with activity; people were speaking in both French and Vietnamese. Most of the men looked lean and physically fit. The women were petite and slender, many of them wearing ao dai, a high-necked, close-fitting tunic cut to the ankle with a slit on each side to mid-thigh, over loose-fitting flowing trousers.

Blake hired a rickshaw and was driven through the heat, smells and a cacophony of noise to the heart of the city. The driver stopped at Rue des Fleurs, a busy side road with a scattering of market stalls set out on the pavements. Blake followed the instructions and found the entrance to his flat up a communal stairway tucked between a barber’s and a shoe shop; as he went up the stairs he saw a Vietnamese man on the landing.

‘Mr Miller? I have been expecting you. My name is Duong Khien,’ he said in English, and shook Blake firmly by the hand. His eyes were bright and his cheeks ruddy.

‘John Miller, nice to meet you,’ said Blake.

‘Which language would you prefer, English, French or Vietnamese?’

‘Vietnamese is fine with me.’

‘Do come in,’ said Khien in Vietnamese, leading him inside and shutting the door. ‘I hope you will be comfortable here. My accountancy office is downstairs, a small door on the left. Please find me if you need anything. Now, let me show you round the flat.’

Khien was taller and larger built than the average Vietnamese. The buttons on his tight shirt strained over his paunch and the dark hair on his stomach showed through the gaps. Inside the flat was cooler than outside. Blake looked round. In the main room, a bamboo dresser was set in one corner with china displayed on shelves. Four wicker chairs with faded green cushions surrounded a wooden table. Thick net curtains at the windows made the rooms seem dark and dingy. There was a faint smell of cigarette ash in the air. The flat had a well-used, slightly dilapidated feel about it.

‘The flat is simply furnished, as you can see.’

‘It seems to have everything I need.’

‘Good, but it also has a few surprises,’ said Khien. ‘Saigon is an uncertain place these days. We need to be vigilant.’

Khien led him into the bedroom. An insect net, suspended from the ceiling, surrounded a double bed.

‘Here, let me show you this.’

Khien squatted down and lifted the carpet. He pushed his stubby finger between two floorboards and lifted one of them clear of the floor. A cluster of firearms of different shapes and sizes lay in the cavity.

‘I collected these over the years,’ said Khien proudly. ‘Automatics, handguns, silencers, you might like to try them out, some are in better condition than others.’

Blake took a quick glance at the motley group. ‘Interesting,’ he said.

Khien replaced the floorboard. He stood up, pushed his shirt in and pulled up his trousers.

‘I’ll give you some time to settle in, then maybe you’d like to accept my hospitality and have dinner with myself and my family; we live in the next street. I’ve written down my address and left it on the table for you; say seven o’clock.’

‘Thanks, I’ll be there.’

Khien let himself out.

Blake walked from room to room. There was another bedroom, a compact kitchen and a large bathroom. The flat was spacious and the location discreet. On first impression he thought he would be able to get along with Khien, who seemed welcoming and helpful, and on the surface, reliable. However, in his risky business appearances could be deceptive; he would need to be cautious. He walked over to the window and pushed back the net curtain. It had a yellowish tinge through years of accumulated cigarette smoke. He pulled on the rope to open the sash window; with force it yanked free. Outside the air was hotter. A smell of spices and leather wafted up from the market. There was a barrage of shouting, banging and traffic from the street. A cafĂ© called Les Croissants was directly across the street; people sat at tables outside, drinking coffee. Blake lifted the loose floorboard again and examined the firearms. A battered-looking AK-47 rifle issued to both the VC and the NVA, an M-16, standard American issue, a No.4 Mk1(T) with telescopic sight and a Colt AR15 5.56mm. A few handguns lay amongst the heap. He noticed the Browning 9mm high power semi-automatic. He liked the Browning; he’d used it extensively during his training. This one looked in good condition.

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