NOVEL: Out of the Blackout
AUTHOR: Robert Barnard
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 1984
This mystery novel begins with a happy ending. During the Blitz, Londoners were sending their children out of the city to the relative safety of the countryside. In the village of Yeasdon, one little boy, aged five, showed up along with a bunch of others, calling himself Simon Thorn, although his name appeared nowhere on any government list, and he could not (or would not) provide any background information about himself, his parentage, or his origins. Polite and intelligent, he was given over to a kind childless couple, who took good care of him, loved him, and ended up raising him as their own, when no relatives or guardians ever showed up to claim him after the war.
The book heats up, when, as an adult, Simon returns to London and starts to remember some clues about his past; he does some digging and some investigative work. The more he (and the reader) learn, the more disturbing his story becomes…but I won’t tell you more.
Robert Barnard was a big Agatha Christie fan and modeled his mysteries after hers. They’re old fashioned, light on sex and violence, entertaining, and rather funny. This one gets a bit dark, as Simon dredges up some of what may have best been forgotten, but worry not. The book ends with a happy ending, too.
RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 Whistles
HOW TO PURCHASE: Felony & Mayhem Press
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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Everett Historical
Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org