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Martin Hesp was born and brought up in West Somerset as the eldest son of a well known journalist. He joined the local newspaper as a cub reporter and has been involved in journalism ever since both in print and as a broadcaster. Aged 53 he is now senior writer and columnist of the Western Morning News – a job he took up shortly after writing The Last Broomsquire a decade ago.
The turn of the 17th century, Somerset, the Quantocks to be precise, where an extraordinary number of events occurred in an idyllic area – fact. Martin Hesp has concertinaed these events into the lifetime of one Johnny Walford, so if you’re looking for historical accuracy you’ll not find it here. What you will find is a number of true stories woven into an adventure yarn that takes Johnny through from his first (and only) love to being hanged for murdering his wife. Along the way we have Coleridge, Wordsworth, the scientist experimenting with electricity, Andrew Crosse, and an indulgence of local colour and lore, from smuggling, drugs and 17th century rock’n’roll, to the death (or not?) of a much loved local hero. It’s a great read, highly recommended. Comparison: Melanie Gifford, Roland Vernon, Ian R Macleod.