4 Bones Sleeping by Gerald Wixey
|4 Bones Sleeping by Gerald Wixey
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: A twisty, turny plot which you won't work out until the final pages. It's a sequel to Salt of Their Blood and you'll get more out of both books if you read them in order. Gerald Wixey popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
|Date: November 2012
|External links: Author's website
There's quite a contrast between the settings in 4 Bones Sleeping. To begin with there's the time. Just about everything that happens goes back to the end of the Second World War and just afterwards, when people were coming to terms with having won the war, but not quite knowing what to do with the peace. Then there's 1980 when we wondered if we'd won the war, but lost the peace. The places are very different too: the people involved in this story have their being in the seedier parts of London in the post-war years, but what are they all doing in a one-horse town in rural Oxfordshire? And where did the money come from which allowed Jack to own the local newspaper and make Harry the landlord of the pub?
If you've read Salt of Their Blood you'll be familiar with Jack, Wyn, Harry and his son Stuart. Time has moved on by a few years since we left them and it's easy to think of this book as a sequel but in many ways it wraps itself around the earlier book, shining a light in a few corners - it continues and illuminates the earlier story. We've always known that there was something not quite straight about Jack, Wyn and Harry: getting to the bottom of it was a different matter. But when there's a lot being hidden there's always going to be a catalyst which makes everything fall apart.
At first it looks as though the death of the schoolgirl at the posh private school wasn't connected with what happened at the end of the war. But what caused her death? Did she jump from the high window, did she fall or was she pushed? If it was suicide why would a beautiful fifteen year old not have everything to live for? She had no shortage of admirers, but some of them were very much older than her and at least one of them was in a position which meant he should have known better than to get involved. Then there was her father, Teddy Lewis. The fact that he'd always been on the wrong side of the law wasn't the most dangerous aspect of his personality: he wasn't exactly sane either.
Now, you're going to have to pay attention to the story: it twists and it jumps about, but it is worth the effort as it has all the elements of a good thriller and you're not going to work it all out until the final pages. The characters - particularly the men - are strong and there's a real sense that events are tumbling out of control, that lives are barely being held together as you read. I've one quibble with the book and that's that Gerald Wixey has been let down by the book's proofreading: grammatical errors pulled me out of the story on far too regular a basis.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
You will get more out of this book if you've read Salt of Their Blood first.
If this book appeals then we think that you'll also appreciate The Sentinel by Mark Oldfield.
You can read more book reviews or buy 4 Bones Sleeping by Gerald Wixey at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy 4 Bones Sleeping by Gerald Wixey at Amazon.com.
Gerlad Wixey was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more about Gerald Wixey here.
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