For those who may have only read about Jamaica in the James Bond spy thrillers by Ian Fleming, The Dead Yard: a story of Jamaica offers a more realistic insight into life on the Carribean Island. Thomson details the most famous aspects of Jamaica, the music and its culture, as well as the Island's history, including the slave trade operated by Britain. He visits Kingston, as well as some of the more rundown parts of the Island where murder is commonplace and the authorities have lost control. In the 50s and 60s many Jamaican people began to immigrate to the UK hoping for a better life. In some instances Thomsons states that they did not achieve this aim and they actually later returned to the Island. Several interviews are conducted with residents who left and then returned. Sometimes this does become a little repetative with Thomson going over the same ground. It is also a shame that he was not able to interview more younger people to get their perspective on Jamaican life. The cover states that this book replaces the need for a travel guide, if you plan to visit the Island. I would not say this is the case, but it does make a good tag line.An interesting read.