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Summary

Turner Raines is Mr Heartbreak. Everybody leaves him. They walk out, they run away...they die. When his oldest friend, Mel Kissing, dies with an ice pick through his skull, Raines picks up the thread and sets out to ask 'who?' and 'why?'

But this is America in 1969, and one death is just a drop in the ocean. The Vietnam War is ripping the country to pieces, the Woodstock Festival is in full swing and Norman Mailer is standing as candidate for mayor of New York.

Against this backdrop, Raines’ questions take him back to the childhood home he left in Texas, back to the battered remains of his youth.

©2015 John Lawton (P)2015 Oakhill Publishing

Critic reviews

"A sprawling heartbreaker of a novel." ( Literary Review)
"A terrific job...excellent at catching the mood of that hot summer of 1969 when the Vietnam War had divided families." ( Observer)
"Sets the pulse racing and the jaded responses tingling." ( Irish Times)
"Atmospheric...absorbingly intelligent." ( Financial Times)
"More than enough verve and wit to ensure happy page-turning wakefulness." ( The Sunday Times)

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  • connie
  • 18-11-17

Sweet surprise

I’m not sure if this is the same John Lawson who writes the Inspector Troy series (which I like), but I loved this SO NOT Inspector Troy 1950s-60s set detective yarn, with its central mystery weaving around Vietnam and counterculture movements and icons. It’s not action packed or flawless but delivers story and character.

I haven’t written a review in years but found this so engaging and entertaining that want to shout to mystery and social history fiction fans: This is one of the overlooked good ones!