Short Books £12.99 (342pp) £11.69 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Last Day Of Term, By Francis Gilbert
Friday 05 August 2011
As a jobbing comprehensive school teacher, Francis Gilbert writes about a world he knows well, while adding a few dark classroom twists involving an expelled student, a chilling letter of accusation and an untimely death.
Martin Hicks, a school teacher seeking promotion, suddenly feels his life unravelling - his marriage is already on the rocks when an anonymous note accuses him of sexual abuse (bizarrely mentioning "puppetry with his penis").
The letter gets him a suspension. He and a Hungarian student set about clearing his name, in this clever generic hybrid of classroom drama cum whodunnit. The effect is an addictive blend reminiscent of the TV series, Teachers, mixed with detective noir.
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