Wednesday, 23 May 2012
One Last Great Wickedness - David Stansfield
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.