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About A Son: A Murder and A Father s Search for Truth

David Whitehouse

10 Reviews

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Memoirs

A groundbreaking work of creative non-fiction blending true crime, memoir and reportage, About a Son is a powerful, devastating and eye-opening story of a father's love for his murdered son and his determined quest for justice

As heard on the HOW TO FAIL podcast with Elizabeth Day

'I was utterly floored by the emotional depth of About A Son - a book that reaches so deeply into the human experience that to read it is to be forever changed. It is an unflinching examination of grief, a painstaking deconstruction of injustice and a dispatch from the frontiers of the human heart' Elizabeth Day

On the evening of Halloween in 2015, Morgan Hehir was walking with friends close to Nuneaton town centre when they were viciously attacked by a group of strangers. Morgan was stabbed, and died hours later in hospital. He was twenty years old and loved making music with his band, going to the football with his mates, having a laugh; a talented graffiti artist who dreamed of moving away and building a life for himself by the sea.

From the moment he heard the news, Morgan's father Colin Hehir began to keep an extraordinary diary. It became a record not only of the immediate aftermath of his son's murder, but also a chronicle of his family's evolving grief, the trial of Morgan's killers, and his personal fight to unravel the lies, mistakes and cover-ups that led to a young man with a history of violence being free to take Morgan's life that night.

Inspired by this diary, About a Son is a unique and deeply moving exploration of love and loss and a groundbreaking work of creative non-fiction. Part true crime, part memoir, it tells the story of a shocking murder, the emotional repercussions, and the failures that enabled it to take place. It shows how grief affects and changes us, and asks what justice means if the truth is not heard. It asks what can be learned, and where we go from here.

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Praise for About A Son: A Murder and A Father s Search for Truth

  • A work of such staggering beauty, such sheer, abject dread. My heart ached, and still does, but I'm so glad I read About A Son. I'm so glad David Whitehouse wrote this book. It's profoundly intimate and despairingly universal. It's a story of life and loss, and grief and love. It's remarkable.

  • - Chris Whitaker, bestselling author of We Begin At The End

  • The book that everyone will be talking about this year: a staggering work of honesty, empathy and humanity, wholly unlike anything else you will have read. Whitehouse is a masterful storyteller who builds an intimate, immersive and unflinching portrait of a boy lost to preventable violence and the family who loved him. I found it absolutely compelling from the first word to the last and know I will never forget it

  • - Terri White, author of Coming Undone

  • An incredibly compassionate and moving story of loss, grief and enduring love. The portrait of a father's determination and resilience left me filled with both heartache and hope. David Whitehouse is a singularly gifted and deeply compelling writer and this beautiful book opened my eyes to what creative non-fiction can be and do.

  • - Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

  • I feel very lucky to have read this book. Extraordinary and important . . . a triumph - Adam Kay, bestselling author of THIS IS GOING TO HURT

  • A book of love and grief, and about what justice can and cannot deliver. I shall always remember Morgan and his family - Sunjeev Sahota, author of The Year of The Runaways

  • About A Son is a story of grief and the urgent all consuming need for closure when truth and justice are denied. Told with such skill, almost like a letter to the grieving father, a gift that honours the details of the crime and its aftermath, while transforming them into art. Both forensic and compassionate, it asks how do we come to terms with the tragic loss of a beloved son, failed by the system and taken far too early. This is an enthralling and beautiful book that stands as a lasting testament to the power and pain of familial love - Lily Dunn, author of Sins of My Father

  • David Whitehouse's account of the senseless, preventable murder of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and the unfathomable grief that fuelled his father's quest for the truth, is an astonishing achievement. About A Son is a book that will stay with you for a long, long time. A memorial to Morgan Hehir, the love he gave and the love that surrounded him in his all too short life, it is as beautiful and brilliant as it is heart-breaking - Dan Davies, author of In Plain Sight, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize

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David Whitehouse

Dr David Whitehouse is an author and astronomer, former BBC Science Correspondent and spaceflight insider. He is the winner of a Glaxo science-writing award, the first 'Arthur' - the space 'Oscar' for reporting. He is a past President of the Society for Popular Astronomy and is the author of The Moon: A Biography and The Sun: A Biography. Asteroid 4036 Whitehouse is named after him.

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