Saturday, 15 October 2016

An Honest Deceit by Guy Mankowski


This book is published on 20th October 2016 in paperback and ebook by Urbane Publications. My thanks to the Publisher and the Author for the review copy.

When Ben and Juliette's young daughter dies in a tragic accident on a school trip, they begin searching for answers. But will they ever know the truth? What was the role of the teacher on the trip - and are the rumours about his past true? As Ben and Juliette search for the truth and the pressure rises, their own secrets and motivations are revealed.... An Honest Deceit is an intelligent and gripping contemporary psychological thriller that questions not just the motives of others, but the real reasons for discovering the truth.

My Thoughts:

This book is a gem of a surprise. Pitted, I believe as a thriller, it is that but it is also so much more. It sits in its own niche and is quite simply brilliant. Literary and bold, it had me turning each page faster than the last. I really felt like I was inside the head of the narrator.

The book starts out with what is believed to be an accident on a school trip. Ben and Juliette's daughter Marine tragically dies. This is not a spoiler, what happens throughout the rest of the story, centres on this event.  What ensues is a portrayal of the grief that is ever present and the incredulity that this could have happened to Marine. Narrated by Ben throughout this was an excellent tool to allow the reader to feel closer to his character particularly and his emotions. Although I did find the emotional side of the story a little bit detached. Ben is a bit naive, he struck me as a bit if a perpetual student who finds being an adult tricky at the best of times. He has suddenly found all of these new circumstances thrust upon him. 

It becomes clear further on in the story that things are not quite what they seem. This requires Ben to step up and fight for justice. A story of lies and corruption, at times brutal in its telling, are children really safe when they are sent to school? It is about whether or not power naturally goes hand in hand with trust. Ben has to take divisive action and risks ridicule if his gut instincts are not correct. This story also interestingly brings to the light the maelstrom of publicity and social media, its uses and limitations. 

This book is spectacular. It burns away with a quiet fury, that doesn't die down until the final page turns. Clever, creative, complex and unforgettable it gets under your skin and itches away. Guy Mankowski is a very talented writer, who has a real skill for the portrayal of the best and worst traits of humanity. 

I, for one will definitely be reading his previous novels. 

About the Author:


Guy Mankowski was raised on the Isle of Wight. He was singer in Alba Nova, a band who were once described by Gigwise as 'mythical and evocative'. He trained as a psychologist at The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London. The first draft of his debut novel, The Intimates, was written when he was 21. It was chosen as a 'Must Read' title by New Writing North's Read Regional campaign. His second novel, Letters from Yelena, was researched in the world of Russian ballet. He was one of the first English people to be given access to The Vaganova Academy, possibly the world's most prestigious ballet school. The novel was adapted for the stage and used in GCSE training material by Osiris Educational. 
Twitter- @gmankow

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