The chance meeting with Gabi in Queen Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park, is only the start of a series of unworldly events for aspiring writer James Cockburn, which will involve him first in a murder investigation and treasure hunt in St Ives, Cornwall, and then in the increasingly frenetic machinations of politicians and mobsters in both the human dimension and fairyland.
“First off, I'd like to start with how the book has captured my attention from the start. It introduced our main character in a poetic way. Very deep and almost sensual.
He was, in his own opinion, odd. Very interested in only himself but in a non-self-absorbed way. He never realizes his true potential, until he meets Gabi, who makes him realize all the good he has done.
It's a romantic take on how a person struggles to perceive one's inner self despite the many obstacles one faces. People around you notice you and are willing to help, if you'd only let them. Some creatures we do not see may offer aid as well. And like many others, we must use our hearts to see them.
This book transcends all the good things life has to offer and how you must discover yourself to find these good things. They come often. Only we do not know they are there.
A great read about adventure, life, philosophy, and a bit of fantasy; this book is truly a treasure for someone who's trying to find the meaning of life or just having a good cup of coffee in a rose garden.”
—Isabella Rose Meillure
“Fair Warning: If you're looking for a light-hearted and fluffy read, this is not it!
This is not my first book by this author and it won't be my last. I love the unique and rich writing style of Paddy that is quite rare these days. With so many books coming out every other day, one would think they have so many choices, but most of them are fluffy reads. On the other hand, Paddy's books are intriguing and enticing.
What Ifs is one such book ... which keeps you riveted to the tale from the beginning to the end. I planned to read it in one sitting but ended up pushing half of it for today. It's a story about the two MCs, James and Gabi, with other characters adding to the story. I particularly loved the Elf part (Kay Cee)—funny and interesting.
Throughout the book you're often left wondering if it's one of the scenarios, or happening in real life, but the book keeps you engaged. I also liked James’ brother William and his antics. Just like the title states, it's a lot of what-if scenarios, and is an interesting read.
If you're looking for a mysterious and thrilling ride, you have it with What Ifs.”
“The title of the book caught my attention and intrigued me right away. It brought me back to my philosophical roots. I had spent most of my life pursuing the “what-ifs” of life. And now I had the honour of reading a story with the same theme.
The story starts in a pensive setting where peace and order exist even if for a brief moment because it is a pristine natural escape away from the maddening crowd and all the chaos that modern life throws at all of us—a place for a thinker to go and rest.
James Cockburn is a thinker and an artist. He lives in the world of his imagination. And nothing seems more pleasing to him than imagining what would happen if this or that arose. He loves to reflect on the human being in an existential way.
Being an existentialist, he was naturally pessimistic. His life was anything but happy. His wife left him and his upbringing and early years were hard, with boarding schools and nannies. He felt alone and probably isolated.
He taught at Heidelberg University and was a writer with quite a following. One of the people who admired him looked him up and ultimately found him through the internet. Her name was Gabriele. From his writing, she believed they were kindred spirits.
From the first time they met in his peaceful place, there was something about her that intrigued him. He didn’t believe in love at first sight, but could this really be happening? He’d had a bunch of unfulfilling relationships with women, so he never believed true love would find him. He also never thought he was physically attractive enough for real love. But when he met Gabi, something was stirring within him that he had never felt and it was scaring him. Was it really true love? Lust? Infatuation?
As the days turned into weeks and months, things got quite complicated. His artist brother William was murdered in quite a horrific way. His partner, Stephanie, seemed to think James had something to do with the murder, while Gabi got pregnant and wedding bells rang out for the two of them.
Yet all the while, he was still a writer and thinker, asking himself what if questions. He never liked crime novels, but now he had a real life murder investigation opening up for his brother, William.
Do Gabi and James live happily ever after? Can James hang onto the immediate love he felt for Gabi when they first met? Who really murdered William? Those questions I will leave up to the reader to investigate.
This story is wonderfully written and portrayed. Paddy Bostock is at his best, weaving inquiry with philosophical questions as well as open and raw love in this unforgettable murder mystery. I love the story and will be recommending it to my friends.”
Rating: 5 stars
—Irene S. Roth