Ugly Bus



[Epub] ➠ Ugly Bus ➡ Mike Thomas – E17streets4all.co.uk Christmas time Mistletoe and wine The season of domestics, religion, adultery, drugs, hangovers, alcohol, parties, fights, unwanted gifts, football matches and goodfucking will to all menAnd that s ju Christmas time Mistletoe and wine The season of domestics, religion, adultery, drugs, hangovers, alcohol, parties, fights, unwanted gifts, football matches and goodfucking will to all menAnd that s just one tour of duty on a TSG vanUgly Bus is five cops Martin Flub Dullas Vince And good old brain dead Thrush Specialist Territorial Support Group officers working a late shift on Boxing Day Martin Finch is the new sergeant on the group young, idealistic, following in his late father s footsteps and desperate to make a difference Unfortunately the old sweat coppers he s now working alongside have other plansWhat begins as a routine shift policing a football match rapidly descends into chaos, and Martin is faced with the question just how far would you go to fit in The answer will change the lives of everyone on the Ugly Bus and the life of a young woman drawn into their orbit foreverAlways remember what happens on the van, stays on the van.Ugly Bus

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in Forthan two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID He left the force in to write full timeHis debut novel, Pocket Notebook, was published by William Heinemann Penguin Random House and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year The author was also named as one of Waterstones New Voices for His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBCThe first in the MacReady series, Ash and Bones, was published in August by Bonnier Zaffre The sequel, Unforgivable, is published in July He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife, two children and an unstable, futon eating dogMore details can be found on the website mikethomasauthor.

Ugly Bus PDF ò Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Ugly Bus
  • Mike Thomas
  • English
  • 04 April 2019

10 thoughts on “Ugly Bus

  1. says:

    Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.Christmas time Mistletoe and wine The season of domestics, religion, adultery, drugs, hangovers, alcohol, parties, fights, unwanted gifts, football matches and goodfucking will to all men.And that s just one tour of duty on a TSG van.I read Pocket Notebook some time back and was struck by the sheer excellence of the characterisation and storytelling there a dark and compelling tale and here Mr Thomas has pulled that off yet again Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.Christmas time Mistletoe and wine The season of domestics, religion, adultery, drugs, hangovers, alcohol, parties, fights, unwanted gifts, football matches and goodfucking will to all men.And that s just one tour of duty on a TSG van.I read Pocket Notebook some time back and was struck by the sheer excellence of the characterisation and storytelling there a dark and compelling tale and here Mr Thomas has pulled that off yet again.Full to the brim of ironic humour and terrifically realistic characters one of which you may recognise with a definite eye towards the darker side of life, this was one I sunk right into only to emerge later with a tendency to swear ok I always had a tendency to swear still, this book took hold of my life for a good 24 hours of reading bliss.I fell in love with Vince What I hear you cry Yep he was beautifully nasty felt a kinship with Martin as he struggles to control the uncontrollable and watched with growing alarm and yet a sense of adventure as events overtook common sense I don t want to say much , but if you like your novels full of the unexpected and an authentic yet often frightening look at human nature then you will love this.Not many writers could pull off a van as a main character but Mike Thomas does the TSG Territorial Support Group Van is definitely a major influence, the ugly bus of the title, the way it is absolutely ingrained into the whole is magnificent Absolutely wonderful storytelling.All in all I would highly recommend this one and I m kind of hoping that we will hearfrom some of these characters in the future over to you Mr Thomas Happy Reading Folks

  2. says:

    The Boxing Day match Football hooligans Neo fascists Casual criminals And then there s the bunch you really don t want to meet the ones in uniform.Mike Thomas is the author cum serving policeman from South Wales who in 2011 published a debut novel, Pocket Notebook, about a sardonic police officer called Jake who goes to pieces over the course of the novel and takes to chronicling his own disintegration in his police notebook One of the characters from Pocket Notebook reappears here in a The Boxing Day match Football hooligans Neo fascists Casual criminals And then there s the bunch you really don t want to meet the ones in uniform.Mike Thomas is the author cum serving policeman from South Wales who in 2011 published a debut novel, Pocket Notebook, about a sardonic police officer called Jake who goes to pieces over the course of the novel and takes to chronicling his own disintegration in his police notebook One of the characters from Pocket Notebook reappears here in a main role, but I won t deprive you of the pleasure of recognising him The ugly bus is a TSG van, and this novel features its crew of five officers working a shift in Cardiff on Boxing Day So it s an ensemble cast, and the story is much concerned with group dynamics, with one person s effect on another and how the mere fact of being in a group can make people act differently Martin, the sergeant, is educated, idealistic and modern in his outlook But he is also young and relatively inexperienced in his role, so his authority over the older andcase hardened four PCs isnominal than real And all five officers, being human, have their own problems at home to think about, as well as the drunks, football fans and determined troublemakers who contribute to the day s festive atmosphere Meanwhile in another part of the urban forest, chance and an excess of drink are propelling another person on to a collision course with them Like Pocket Notebook, Ugly Bus is a blend of darkness and humour There s a priceless moment, early on, when the crew, attending a briefing meeting, are relieving the boredom by playing Bullshit Bingo, in which the first to fill his card with management speak clich s uttered by the boss is the winnerabsolutely crucial, Da Silva was saying But let us not forget that today is for both sets of fans to enjoy themselves and the surroundings our fair city has to offer We have the resilience and capacity to House Vincent turned when he heard the strangled shout It was David Half standing, notebook in his hand A look of pain slowly emerging on his face as he realised what he d done, and where he d done it.David, a family man with rather too many ex families and his mind never far from food, is one of thelikeable officers on the bus certainlyso than Vince and Andrew but if one thing becomes clear from this novel it is that nothing is black and white Reader sympathy swings alarmingly as we see both the failings of the five and what they have to put up with, especially during the gripping scene where they are policing the Boxing Day football match and having to keep apart not only two sets of fans but two sets of political activists You fascist fucking pig the woman screamed at him, the abuse made all theabsurd and troubling by her clipped and refined accent, because if somebody as well heeled as this had turned on them with such venom just for keeping people separated, then he dreaded anybody a littlehardcore showing up Martin looked her up and down through smeared plastic forties, neatly dressed in quilted jacket, herringbone trousers, cashmere scarf and light brown bobble hat, a delicate touch of make up She reminded him of his old deputy head teacher, except his old dep head never once spat in his face for wearing a uniform.This is one of the moments where Martin s control of the situation is tested there will be , some of which he handles better than others In the end, his problem is controlling not just four men but the van on which they all work, which changes their behaviour and is in many ways a character in its own right The repeated mantra what happens on the van stays on the van is a crucial indication of what a sealed, hermetic, dangerous world it creates.Just when you think it has notwists and turns to offer, the novel s final scene is startlingly revelatory about who and what a particular person is In a way, this shouldn t matter in itself it alters nothing of what has happened, but in an odd way it does matter, partly because it gives a glimpse into the future we can guess what will and will not happen next and we can also see that people who might wish never to have anything to do with each other again will have no choice about it It also opens up a tantalising possibility there are characters here whose story could well be continued in a third novel Bring it on, I say, provided it has the tension, momentum, observational keenness and dry wit of this one

  3. says:

    Martin Finch is a newly promoted sergeant in the Specialist Territory Support Group TSG , a small team of police who man a riot van and respond when there is public disorder It s Boxing Day and Martin, an idealistic copper following in his father s footsteps, is about to meet his new TSG team, but what should be a routine shift is likely to be far from it They re assigned to police a football match a local derby where there s violence in store with rival gangs on the scene ready to cause tr Martin Finch is a newly promoted sergeant in the Specialist Territory Support Group TSG , a small team of police who man a riot van and respond when there is public disorder It s Boxing Day and Martin, an idealistic copper following in his father s footsteps, is about to meet his new TSG team, but what should be a routine shift is likely to be far from it They re assigned to police a football match a local derby where there s violence in store with rival gangs on the scene ready to cause trouble at the match At home, Martin s wife is heavily pregnant It could be today she gives birth.It soon becomes clear to Martin that each policeman in the van has a weakness and he has a challenge on his hands to manage them His team includes Andrew Mills later nicknamed Thrush who s in a largely loveless marriage and an apparent abuser David Murphy Flub fat lazy useless bastard is a heavy drinker Alan Reading Dullas is a religious nut Finally, Vincent Vinyard Vince is a predator always on the lookout for the next woman to bed Not the nicest lot to be looking out for the public s health and safety.As the shift wears on they deal with a multitude of problems surrounding the match Martin struggles to fit into the group, but everything goes horribly wrong when, nearing the end of the day, they encounter a woman so drunk she can barely walk At the behest of his team, Martin reluctantly agrees to drive the woman home, but an event occurs that will change them all forever Will Martin stick to his ideals or will the team stick together and sweep everything under the carpet An ugly bus is the nickname for a police riot van and similar acronyms and police terminology are used throughout the story but in a well balanced fashion that won t put you off Rather, it adds a flavour of their working day and the challenges they face However, the police are not described in a particularly positive way, especially the senior staff In fact, Ugly Bus has a central theme which the strapline on the front cover conveys in a straightforward fashion corruption is contagious.The author illustrates this by wrapping events around the football match The details of the game itself aren t important and we re not even told the location, nor which teams are playing But that doesn t matter because the key element is the attack and Martin s reaction to it the book opens with a flash forward, with the woman in distress and a in mess How did she get that way She reaches a police station Then we go back to the beginning and each of the characters on the ugly bus and the woman are introduced via their own chapter.Overall this is an enjoyable, character driven novel The promotional blurbs give the impression this is going to be a brash story it is not Though nameless, the location is well described and a fittingly downbeat backdrop to the narrative However, the most powerful writing is in the final section when the attack on the woman is revealed The previous events patrolling pubs and sorting out violent offenders, attending the football match and the resulting casual transgressions of the law by the occupants of the ugly bus such as theft throughout the day lead up to the attack and show why it could have happened, but they re not as strong as the woman s distress and the aftermath, which also has a good twist at the end.Overall a very well written novel with plenty of merit within and ideal for those who appreciate stories of this type.Review originally written for Crime Fiction Lover

  4. says:

    Excellent and very surprising end.

  5. says:

    This is the author s second book, after his impressive debut, A Pocket Notebook While a book not without its flaws, A Pocket Notebook was good enough and original enough for me to wonder how, and indeed if, Thomas would be able to follow up I needn t have worried, for Ugly Bus is an even better read.Ugly Bus offers the reader an insight into the mind of officers serving with the Territorial Support Group TSG As someone with friends in the police, I m familiar with the public order unit ind This is the author s second book, after his impressive debut, A Pocket Notebook While a book not without its flaws, A Pocket Notebook was good enough and original enough for me to wonder how, and indeed if, Thomas would be able to follow up I needn t have worried, for Ugly Bus is an even better read.Ugly Bus offers the reader an insight into the mind of officers serving with the Territorial Support Group TSG As someone with friends in the police, I m familiar with the public order unit indeed a running joke amongst other officers is that the TSG is made up of knuckle dragging Neanderthals Their public image is also not exactly rosy The TSG replaced the controversial Special Patrol Group SPG , officers of which gained an unsavoury reputation for violence Indeed it was SPG officers who were implicated in the death of Blair Peach, a cause celebre of the protest movement of the 1970 s While the TSG are undoubtedly an improvement on their forebears, they ve courted controversy in their own right Ian Tomlinson the newspaper seller who died in 2009 during the G20 protests, did so after a confrontation caught on camera with a member of the Met s TSG So the TSG are viewed with suspicion in many quarters, dismissed as thugs in others They are rarely portrayed in fiction and when they are, it s as littlethan bit parts I was intrigued by what Thomas would do with such fertile territory.One of the niggles I had with the author s first book is that it promised an insight however twisted into the mind of a firearms officer, only to snatch it away by demoting the main character to that of beat Bobby Ugly Bus does no such thing The author clearly knowsof this world than he did that of the firearms teams He writes here with real authority and passion The characters are well drawn and three dimensional The series of events, each steadily worse than those which have preceded, are viscerally drawn The denouement when it comes is shocking in the truest sense of the word.The author s biography tells us that he s an ex police officer What it doesn t say is whether he ever served with the TSG Ugly Bus leaves me in little doubt that he has What s interesting is that he appears conflicted about the squad Few of the officers he portrays in the novel are sympathetic some are quite frankly repulsive human beings In this sense his portrayal lives up to the image held by the TSG s detractors But he also shows the real and almost impossible challenges officers serving with the TSG face There s one scene where they re stuck in the middle between far right activists and anti fascists, many of the latter middle class and seemingly respectable, and yet the vitriol this group turns on the police is breathtaking.This is a brilliant novel, flawless in every way It s not as funny as his first book, but what it lacks in humour itthan makes for with humanity The only question is what Thomas write next How does he top this I for one can t wait to find out

  6. says:

    What an opening scene, a woman desperate for help, Where the hell is a policeman when you need one Exhausted, confused, drunk and obviously brutally abused, then finally sanctuary and a step back to the day before..There could only be one thing worse for the TSG Territory Support Group then getting a new Sergeant and that is getting a new Sergeant that learnt everything he knows at University not through the ranks like a real Policeman After having Jim as their Sergeant, one of the lad What an opening scene, a woman desperate for help, Where the hell is a policeman when you need one Exhausted, confused, drunk and obviously brutally abused, then finally sanctuary and a step back to the day before..There could only be one thing worse for the TSG Territory Support Group then getting a new Sergeant and that is getting a new Sergeant that learnt everything he knows at University not through the ranks like a real Policeman After having Jim as their Sergeant, one of the lads like them, just happy to take the easy route until retirement, well now it wasn t going to be easy, no way, all done by the book Yes well good luck with that Sergeant Martin Finch had a lot to live up to, being an only child and growing up to stories from his Policeman father every night that unfortunately he leanedto the fairy tale version of being a policeman than to the real thing, as Martin was now rapidly finding out Simply putting on a uniform doesn t make you a good person Limits were to be pushed to find out how much his team could get away with and where to draw the line for his authority This isn t a good feel factor story It isn t good cop bad crook It is a scary reality of what could be given that all the elements come together in the right order Mike Thomas has written a dark and compelling novel that takes one day and pushes everything to the edge and beyond All the bad days rolled into one, but it isn t all doom and gloom because the story is laced with humour through out The rebelliousness of this team against authority, I know they are Police Officers, but they don t have a lot of respect, and this can be beautifully summed up with a daring game of bingo which is quite amusing I just loved how they got lost in the moment and excitement of winning before remembering just where they were Magic But some practical jokes just aren t so funny when they go wrong.What happens in the van stays in the van The rule between them all But how far will they all go before it is too far and has anyone the courage to say enough Highly recommended

  7. says:

    Out of all the books published this year, I m glad I read this one Funny, dirty and violent with an absolute shocker of an ending, this is a novel about the police written by an ex policeman with some uncomfortable things to say about the force and British society Like the best war films, one of the book s messages is that there are people behind the uniforms, along with their faults and fears It is a very similar book to the football factory by John King both are gritty and savage, both m Out of all the books published this year, I m glad I read this one Funny, dirty and violent with an absolute shocker of an ending, this is a novel about the police written by an ex policeman with some uncomfortable things to say about the force and British society Like the best war films, one of the book s messages is that there are people behind the uniforms, along with their faults and fears It is a very similar book to the football factory by John King both are gritty and savage, both mention football hooliganism and both have surprisingly deep and moving depths Overall, I guess the best way to describe this novel is that it s like Full Metal Jacket for the police, or the song Police Truck by the Dead Kennedys turned into a book A perfect novel for our troubled times

  8. says:

    My favourite book of 2014 by a distance Dark, gripping yet comical in parts, i was utterly sucked in by the opening chapter, and the ending was so jaw dropping it stayed with me for days A really fantastic piece of work.

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