Author: David Stansfield

ISBN: 978-1469997421

Publisher: Sulby Hall Publishers

It’s rare to read a novel and, on reaching the final page, decide that one wants to read the whole book again. That’s exactly what happened to me when I finished reading David Stansfield’s novel One Last Great Wickedness; I was bowled over by the final pages of the book. A similar phenomenon can occur when you watch a suspense or mystery film and realize in the end that all the conclusions you had built up in your imagination were completely wrong; hence, you find yourself wanting to view the film once again, this time from your newly gained knowledge or perspective.

One Last Great Wickedness is a masterfully written novel, beginning with the portrayal of certain events and characters in a small town in Britain during the Second World War. The story is written from the point of view of the protagonist, Peter. He is a thirteen-year-old boy when he learns that his father has just plummeted from a cliff near their home. As he grows up, he finds himself plagued by questions and doubts about what actually occurred.

The novel includes many flashbacks to the distant past—including passages from his father’s letters sent home about his time in the trenches during World War One. Every chapter ends with a paragraph that describes the scene leading up to Peter’s father’s plunge from the cliff. This technique of a “story within a story”—used with great skill by the author—grabs the reader’s attention. You, like Peter, are driven to find out what happens next. The hooded figure who accompanies Peter’s father in his last moments is a mystery person; it becomes imperative to learn that person’s identity.

As a reader, you find yourself drawn in to the intrigues, scandals, and cover-ups inherent in Peter’s family, many of which are heart-wrenching and disturbing. The novel flashes forward to Peter as a grown man, and also follows his trips between North America and England in pursuit of the truth about what really occurred on the day that changed his life forever.

One can see that the author, David Stansfield, a well-known TV and film script-writer and producer, has much experience in creating scenes that capture interest; in One Last Great Wickedness, he has created a novel that is riveting and quite genius.

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