Book Review: Hard Copy by Richard Ayres

Helen is religious and believes she committed a mortal sin when she became pregnant by Jeremy. Determined that their daughter Jane would never fall from grace, she vigorously disciplined her. Jane fled from home aged 18, and has since had no contact with her parents. Jeremy, a man at odds with the modern world, has failed to get any of his novels published. Still, he sets up a business advising aspiring novelists. When Helen is charged with assault, and one of Jeremy’s clients knows more about him than he is aware, life changes irrevocably for them both. But is it for the better?


Amazon UK – hard copy

Amazon UK – ebook

My Review

Hard Copy is a good story that kept my interest throughout. One of the reasons my interest was kept is because of the author’s writing style. It’s easy to follow, and he’s not over-descriptive. The use of dialogue to reveal backstories was done well, and I found it more interesting than just reading it in the narrative.

Jeremy Johnson was a self-absorbed, unkind, uncaring man. At first, I hated his wife, Helen Johnson, and all she stood for. Once I learned more about her, however, I realized that her strict religious upbringing and the fact that she had sinned drove her over the edge.

After many years in a loveless marriage, Helen and Jeremy finally grew emotionally and even further apart. Helen was forced to look at her life after losing her job and having nothing left to live for. After losing his job, Jeremy started editing books and finally was doing something he enjoyed. Will they be able to find each other after all these years or is it a lost cause?

The ending was good but it didn’t surprise me.

About the Author

Richard Ayres lives in Staffordshire.  He worked in Further Education for thirty years before he took early retirement and began writing.

His first novel, ‘A Pennine Incident’ is a tense portrayal of a mystery in Martin’s past and its effect on his life and relationships.  The main themes explored in the novel are the impact of a single traumatic event on the life of an individual, the fragility of friendship, the effects of ageing and changes in personality on relationships, and the impact of class origin and upbringing on later life, all played out in the seeming tranquillity of the Yorkshire Dales.

His second novel, ‘The Further Education of Mike Carter’ is a satire on life in a mythical Further Education College in the English midlands. The politics of the workplace are muddied by events in the personal lives of protagonists, and when sexual tension is added to the mix, the outcome is unpredictable.

His next novel, ‘Letters and Secrets’ involves three couples living in different parts of the country awaiting forthcoming celebrations with varying degrees of enthusiasm, hostility or indifference.

‘Tired of London’ was published in May 2016.  This is a story of six former friends, reunited after 40 years, who embark on an extended pub-crawl through central London. Their reunion is brought to an abrupt end by a series of incidents which threaten the hopes they had of reconnecting with the past and each other.

Richard then wrote ‘Friends Disunited’ which is a psychological thriller as a former friend turns puppet-master.

‘Unto the Third and Fourth Generation’ involves a man in the early stages of dementia who has a dreadful secret dating back to his youth of which his daughter Rebecca is ashamed and which she dreads her children will discover. Have the sins of the parents been passed down to the third and fourth generation?

‘An Odious Little Man’ is about a man who, lonely and frightened as his health worsens, confides in his cleaner and his nurse, revealing events in his youth in the 1950s and 60s when he couldn’t relate to the culture of the times and was frightened of girls.  It is only after his death that the nature of the problem that affected him through is life is revealed and which probably accounted for him becoming an odious little man. But it seems that not everyone thought of him that way.

Press/Media Contact Details:

Contact: Darin Jewell (Richard Ayres’ literary agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
London, UK
tel. UK +208 292 5163