Category: Crime, History
What happens when ambition becomes obsession- and what is the true price to be paid?
Hilda Hastings gives birth in shame, but when John Rust proposes marriage, it seems her son can only benefit. But even as a child, Alfred is discontented. In his quest to become prosperous and with an obsessive desire to own Ridley Hall and its estate, he cheats his wife, takes a mistress and schemes his way to amassing great wealth. Vain, extravagant and with a penchant for the seedy, he is not only wicked, but crafty as well. Yet, as he acquires money so he loses it and when his debts threaten to overwhelm him, he concocts one last plan. But will the woman he trusts provide him with an alibi?
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First of all I have to say I found this story quite compelling; from the beginning of the protagonist Alfred's life to the end of the story. I was interested in what was going to take place next in this twisted man's plans. Not that this was written as an action-packed thriller by any means but Alfred's plotting alone kept me interested.
The characters were written well enough that I got a true feel of their personalities but it was the character building of Alfred that I must commend most. It was so well done that I truly despise the guy and very few characters that I have read have been able to bring such dislike from me. To describe him I think to use anything less than deplorable and vile would be too lenient. It is because of this disdain I gained that I was curious to continue on.
If there is one thing that I'd suggest for the characters, and it is only small, is for the character Eloise. From when she meets Alfred to where she becomes more timid I would have appreciated something, even an internal dialogue with herself, acknowledging this change in her character and maybe a reason why instead of it feeling so abrupt.
What intrigues me most is that this character was influenced by an actual murderer, as the author says "fictionalized version of an infamous crime" named James Bloomfield Rush. Interestingly, for his crime Rush was hanged and Charles Dickens himself even attended the execution and the mask is something that Rush was buried with; a painted plaster death mask. These tiny facts are pieces that I found intriguing after I read the body of the story and into the added factorial references.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Here were stories waiting to be told and most importantly for me about ordinary people who did extraordinary things. And there are many in our history. Over the years, the poor commons fought and often died for freedoms we enjoy today.
Many lie in unmarked graves, some have no official resting place at all.
My debut novel, A Rebellious Oak published by Running Hare Press in 2012 is the story of Robert Kett and his peasant army in 1549. The tale of Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion of 1450 followed. A Pardon Too Few was released as an ebook by Autharium.com on 1st March 2013.
Of Wheat and War is to come. 1381 Wat Tyler and the peasant's revolt tells the story of Norfolk men and their part in the rising.
A Rush of Greed is a WIP and is the story of the last man to hang at Norwich Castle as a public spectacle in 1848. Not a rebellion this time, but a bizarre and amazing tale just the same...