An arresting, masterful novel that asks us to confront one of the most difficult moral dilemmas of our ages.
James Darke helped his beloved wife, Suzanne, die. And now he is holed up in his house waiting for his daughter, Lucy, son-in-law, Sam, and beloved grandson, Rudy, to arrive for Christmas.
But what James does not realise is that Sam is still troubled by the part James played in Suzanne's recent death. Thus, the events that will come to tear apart the family - and force James to confront one of the most difficult moral dilemmas of our age - are set in motion.
Praise for Darke:
'An original and bleakly funny portrait of grief' - Economist
'A supreme example of a natural and skilled storyteller' - Colm Toibin
'Surprising . . . with a warmth that is genuinely and unexpectedly moving' - Guardian
'A wondrous book with two fathers, Kingsley Amis and Dante' - Sebastian Barry
'Makes for dark, thrilling reading . . . In James Darke, Gekoski has created a powerful, raging voice' - Spectator
'I was beguiled and charmed by the vivid personality being revealed. By that, and by the fact that I couldn't stop reading. Gekoski puts words together with a sure touch and deep craftsmanship' - Philip Pullman
'Rick Gekoski's impressive debut novel . . . Darke is both a tender and hard-hitting examination of grief and the slow, singular healing process . . . A brilliantly vivid creation . . . life-affirming and life-shattering' - The Herald
'Stuffed with more wisdom, bile, wit and tenderness than many writers create in a lifetime. In James Darke we have a hero as troubled and eternal as King Lear . . . And in Rick Gekoski we have a late-flowering genius of a novelist who proves it's never too late to start a glittering career in fiction' - The Times
'An immensely enjoyable elegy . . . done with precision and patience' - The Scotsman
'Debut delight . . . Just how this gleefully conjured misanthrope came to wall himself off from the world is the mystery at the heart of a singular first novel that evolves into a moving meditation on loss and redemption' - Mail on Sunday