Wednesday, 23 May 2012

One Last Great Wickedness - David Stansfield

Peter Farrington, a middle-aged Englishmen, recalls vividly the day his father committed suicide. He was thirteen years old when it happened, only the inquest held determined an 'accidental death'. Peter wants to understand why his father took that plunge off Beachy Head clifftop?

Fifty three years later, he had just about forgotten the event but then he comes across letters that his father had sent from trenches of the Great War; and they disclose a side of his father that he never knew. Digging deeper in to his family's history reveals so many things that he had no knowledge of. Underneath a 'quiet, civilized, well-bred family' lies sex, violence, love and hate - all involving his parents, brother and grandparents. Even more horrifying, is Peter's part in the shocking discovery of how his father died.

From the simple opening sentence of the 'Preamble' - "It was the letters that did it."  you will be hooked. It soon emerges that Peter's journey of discovery is riddled with acts of such shame for him - the childhood he remembered is dispersed quickly as is his niavety of his family and who they really were is revealed. Dealing with hard-hitting subjects like homosexuality and familial abuse, the author manages to inject some humor - admittedly dark but humor nonetheless.

Stansfield's eloquent thriller is littered with quintessentially English expressions and random trivia (e.g. it takes 5 seconds to fall 500 feet) which made it a delight to read. It touched all the emotions and as the mystery unveils I was convinced of how it would turn out but with perfect skill Stansfield delivers an epic ending.

If you're after a witty, yet disturbing and poignant story, One Last Great Wickedness is the way to go - a highly recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions expressed here are my own and I am not required to give a positive review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment