Book Review: No Free Man by Graham Potts released January 2016

Let us introduce you to “The Wolf”. He’s vicious but not like that of a mangy dog. It’s a calculated, restrained and more often than not unnoticeable malice that only a trained eye might detect. He’s torn between the possibility of his own impossible freedom and a natural instinct to survive. He’s here in Australia, but not where you might think. You can find The Wolf in Graham Potts’ latest novel No Free Man.

Sydney Morning Herald described the scene as an outburst of action saying, “From outback New South Wales to Canberra to the backstreets of Moscow, Potts ably moves his story through numerous plot developments and frequent outbursts of violence”.

Needless to say, Matthew Reilly fans should read on. If you’re not a Matthew Reilly fan perhaps you’re a Fargo fan, veins of suspense and action much like the film and television series also strike true. Quite demonstrating the point, Potts writes imagery like a film. You feel like you should be in a cinema for a Bond film, not tucked in bed reading a book. This nature of cinematography in written words can be either a delight or a hindrance depending on what sort of reader you are.

But it has been professed many times in writing, you shouldn’t try to write for everyone. You simply can’t please everyone, no matter how brilliant or charming you are. You should start by writing for the person you know best, yourself. Whence you master that, you’ll find those who are much like you will follow and soon writing for you and writing for them becomes one and the same.

It’s no surprise Potts has mastered this already with a little bit of his background for confirmation. Potts is a man with a penchant for old films and a career in the Royal Australian Air Force. Growing up with in an army family, he has travelled most parts of Australia. It particularly stands out in No Free Man with his haunting and accurate descriptions of Broome. Everyone knows the mantra “write what you know”. It seems in Potts case at least, if the shoe fits.

No Free Man is on the shelves in most retail bookstores. In June, Graham is doing a talk on “The Role of the Cover” as part of Write around Moreton Bay and is then headed to south for the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival. The travel won’t be any bother to Potts if his track record for travel is anything to go by. But if you find yourself on the road, or even in the air like Potts or simply find that Graham Potts is headed your way check out those upcoming festivals.


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