Silverstone, by Bob Judd. Pan Macmillan, £14.99.
It's taken a while, but some of the original claims about novelist Bob Judd ("Motor racing's Dick Francis" was one flowery boast that greeted his arrival) are beginning to make themselves felt. In the past, would-be motorsporting fiction writers have not been a terribly durable species, but Judd has reached book number five, and past and present promotional campaigns on the London Underground and elsewhere suggest that his publisher is keen to promote him to a wider audience than that attending the British GP, with which the launch coincided.
Judd has settled into a novel-per-annum routine with the metronomic rhythm of a Williams-Renault or, indeed, Mr D Francis of equine fame, and it is to his credit that, despite relying on tried-and-trusted hero Forrest Evers, the plots vary sufficiently to remain fresh.
Some might find the juxtaposition of real-life characters and Judd's own creations a little strange, but it is by mixing with some of those he mentions that the author has gained a real feel for many aspects of the sport, and this is reflected in much of what he writes. It may be lightweight entertainment, but it's none the less compelling for that. S A