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Louis Paperback – February 19, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

First, I should say that I am a sucker for a good spy book. However, this one was unlike anything else I've read. Louis is like James Bond without all the show. Yes, he's savvy. But this book presents Louis as a real person--someone you can't help but like, feel sorry for and relate to. This was a true page turner--gripping from the very first page. I especially enjoyed the modern history aspect and the great details of Louis' travels amongst historic events (two world wars and more). One of the best reads I've had in a while.
Review by B. Matthews.


The writing is superbly descriptive and Louis' life was tragically wonderful. This is the first novel I've read by this author. It won't be the last. Highly recommended. Anne Voyeur

From the Author

This book is a fictional story about a truly amazing man, who was my friend. As a child and a young teenager, he would tell me stories and mysterious tales of far off lands and people. Singing strange songs in mysterious languages. At the time, I had not heard of the word enigma, but now I know my friend Louis was exactly that.

Louis never lied to me. Only telling me what he wanted me to know, but somehow always managing to slide around a part of a story that would have possibly necessitated at least a white lie. At around eleven years old, I clearly remember asking him with a child's innocence if he had ever killed anyone. He replied that the subject of death should never be discussed with people who did not drink brandy.

At thirteen, I tried my first brandy and Louis laughed and laughed as I choked and spluttered on my first very small mouthful. It tasted vile, and burnt my lips, tongue, mouth and throat. Not one to give in easily, I tried again some weeks later, finding that very small sips rolled around my mouth until enough saliva developed to be able to swallow, helped. I still choked from time to time and Louis laughed roundly every time. He never did answer my question directly, but he did show me his 1929 Smith & Wesson .38 though.

With his ivory handled horsetail flapping from side to side to keep the flies at bay, Louis and I passed many, many afternoons together. For a young innocent country boy, he was my only route to the wonders of the world outside my little country town.

He taught me how to imagine.

It is now more than forty years since my dear friend died and it is the right time to tell his story from the corridors of my imagination, so Louis, or Robbie as we all knew him, is not forgotten.

During the countless hours I spent researching Louis' life, and delving into the memories of those who knew him, his extraordinary life became even more fascinating for me, as so little was, or is known about him. Only a few photographs remain of Louis, with precious little documentation and only the reminiscences of those few people still alive who knew him. 

While there are tales of his connection with the Palestinian Police Force in both Palestine and Kenya, with secret meetings in Nairobi while he was posted in South Africa, there are also mentions of his birth being in Egypt, Britain and even Romania. The only certainty about my friend Louis is that no one, not even those closest to him, knew his life story. 

His wife, Maria, passed away in 2012 at ninety-nine years old, and with her passing, the last of her husband's secrets have been made safe forever.

Louis died when I was seventeen, and my only wish now is that I had asked him more questions. But then again, perhaps it's better this way. He was a hero to me, and still is - no matter the facts, truths or certainty.

I hope you enjoy reading this story of my friend, Louis Robinson. 
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450535526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450535526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,285,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Louis" is the fascinating story about a man who had little choices in his life, yet lived a life many a young boy dreams of living. Raised from early childhood to become a spy, he is sent to places like Egypt, Switzerland, Palestine and South Africa. Still, his life is a lonely one, without the company of a woman or family. Whether it is all true or not doesn't really matter, it's a fascinating tale to read and Derek Haines' easy style of storytelling makes it a enjoyable read throughout.
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Format: Paperback
Louis, by Derek Haines

Derek Haines describes his friend, Louis, as an enigma. He reflects how Louis was someone who taught him how to imagine. Haines engages his readers to travel alongside Louis to all parts of the world. At the end of the trip, we all wish we were friends of Louis.

Teremum was born in Cairo. As a young boy, his almost non-existent family contributed to a perfect resume for being a spy in the British Secret Service. As a spy, Louis led a secret life where he used both his Egyptian and English heritage to his advantage. He used different names to match his secret identities. He was a compassionate man who completed his missions with integrity. As a spy, he had to kill and also be a target. We feel his triumphs and his pain as we travel with Louis.

Louis is a historical fiction, and the author shares his secret life during both World Wars. Readers feel the emotions, the ups and downs, that Louis experiences. One of my favorite phrases in the book is . . . his mind started to wander the corridors of his life again. Derek Haines's words sum up how Louis felt after suffering a severe stroke. Throughout the book, Derek once again makes us feel his characters true to life.

The ending was abrupt. I selfishly wanted the last chapter expounded. Without spoiling the ending, I am thinking, maybe a sequel Derek?

[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel definitely held my interest. Lots of twists and turns. Filled with interesting characters. Reading this book was time well spent.
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I think of this as a biography based on the stories of an older man told to a younger one.

Louis is but one of the many names this gentleman acquired over the years. He was born in Cairo and was groomed to be of service to the British Government. His life was never his own. His secrets many.

I enjoy biographies but this one was unique. It begins toward the end of life and then you see glimpses of the life that came before. Mr. Haines interjects the right amount of historical contexts and geography to make the reader feel as though he or she is there on the journey alongside the main character. I also enjoyed the little twist of fate at the end.

Warning: This book is for Mature Audiences due to violence, some adult language and a hint of sexual situations.
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Format: Paperback
Take a child of mixed race born in the early twentieth century and give him over to a woman, not his birth mother, to bring up. Then when he is twelve, send him away from his home country to a boarding school in England, then on to Oxford University. What do you get from this far from unsatisfactory beginning - Derek Haines' hero Louis, an intelligence officer in the employ of the British government?

Half Egyptian, half English, fluent in many languages and adept at his job, we follow Louis through his many guises and name changes, a requirement for his own protection in the nineteen twenties and thirties, and more particularly so, through the second world war.

In short, Derek has written a beauty here. If you love history as I do, especially if you love twentieth century history, then with the shadowy world of espionage thrown into the mix for good measure, you will enjoy following Louis' journey through his life as I did.

Should I wax lyrical about the story at this point, I would be giving away a truly brilliant read. Suffice to say, if you don't feel you have read a great tale told well when you reach the last page, then quite frankly you seriously need help.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alright, it started out a little boring, and it had a few boring parts throughout the whole book. The characters were alright but I thought a book about the life of a spy would be more interesting. There was not slot of adventure.
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Format: Paperback
Instead of a Bond-like adventure in which the hero gets in a shedload of trouble, gets the girl, kills the baddies and fights another day, Louis takes on a MI6 operative's entire life, starting with youth as a Cairo orphan through pre-WWII Europe and post-War Palestine. Gripping and swift reading all around. I'd have liked to know more about the secondary characters, and perhaps have seen a page or two from one of those black notebooks, but all-around good stuff.
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Sorry but this book didn't grab me. The story was quite interesting but I felt it a bit disconcerting, although understanding, with the hero changing code names so often. But then again I may not be that bright.
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