It is always sad when you reach the last book of a favorite author, the last book you had not yet read. Oh, I this isn't it, nor is Lovesey potentially done. But it is the last book I planned to read, barring brand new books. I have just two books left under the Lovesey name I haven't read, both in the Bertie series. I didn't like the first book in the series well enough to read the second two. Though I think I read a short story staring Bertie that I liked so I might, someday, long in the future, read those two books. Two Peter Lear books I also haven't read and do not intend to read (I did read one after writing and previously posting this review elsewhere).
This book is something of an odd ball book. A man of 29 is describing to a young 20 year old woman the time in 1943 when he was sent out of London during WWII and witnessed a series of events that lead to the 20 year old woman's father to be hanged until dead for murder. First half or so of the book is told in this manner. Well, the very beginning is told in "present" time with the girl tracking down the 29 year old man. Then a long series of "this is what I told her" type comments, relaying what happened in 1943, until finally we, the reader, is back to 1963. And follow the consequences.
What if the events the 9 year old saw were not correctly understood by the nine year old? Would a sex act seen through the eyes of a nine year-old boy, involving a woman the boy liked, be seen as a consensual sex act, or as rape? For ... I really do need to include names. The boy of 9 who witnessed this act is Theo Sinclair. He is telling the story to Duke's daughter Barbara. Duke being the man hanged until dead. Right. So, Theo is sent off at the age of 9 to the country. To try to get away from the bombs of World War II. He is taken in at a farm, reluctantly taken in. There is a 19/20 year old woman there named Barbara. Theo instantly is taken with her. He is also instantly taken with Duke, a young American soldier based nearby. A series of events unfold in the book that leads Theo to see certain events through the eyes of a nine year old. Is he mature enough to understand? Was it rape, or an act of love-making that he observed?
An interesting book. The events unfold at a little too distant, told in a somewhat matter of fact way. Interposed with some bits of observation by Theo. A good nonseries book though I would not necessarily recommend it.