Pike

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Kenny's brother, Nicky, loves the stories Kenny tells. Going fishing to Bacon Pond means revisiting old favourites: how the pond was named; the legendary carp; what happened when Vinnie Tuck fell in.

But now, struggling into freezing water to rescue their lost fishing rod, Kenny discovers a human arm bearing a gold Rolex. Suddenly, Bacon Pond's story grows darker, haunted by more than just a monster fish; Kenny and Nicky have become entwined in a local gangster's dangerous narrative.

This companion to McGowan's Brock is spare, poetic, moving, often wryly funny. Strongly plotted, many-layered, the story covers difficult issues (family breakdown, mental heath, criminality, learning difficulties) with profound delicacy, the brother's relationship shining through. Exquisite, atmospheric line illustrations underpin each page of this beautifully narrated and crafted novella.

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