As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Publishing Ltd, 28 February 2020. ISBN: 978-1-91320820-2 (PB)
Unwritten Rules is set mainly in London as the Cuban Missile crisis
begins and threatens world peace.Closer
to home, the Profumo affair raises concerns about Britain’s national
security.The book’s main character is Anthony
Fernand, a comparatively minor civil servant whose complex personal life begins
to unravel at the same time as his senior colleagues believe that the world is about
to erupt into a global conflict.Fernand’s professional role is the link between these two distinctive
plots.Inevitably, the personal and
political narratives escalate and begin to overlap as the story develops.
Fernard joined the Home
Office after a chequered start to his working life.Now married with two sons, he owns a
comfortable home in the suburbs and is employed as an Immigration official. Beneath
this respectable persona, however, lurks a discontented soul.Early on in the narrative Fernand’s actions
betray him as an individual who likes to believe he is just a little more powerful
and influential than he actually is.He
also has a wandering eye and makes the most of the opportunities he has to meet
young women working in the increasingly “permissive society” of London in 1962.
The book evokes the
claustrophobic atmosphere of English suburban living during the 1960s.Anthony’s wife, Ruth, is located at home with
the couple’s two sons whilst her husband commutes into town hoping to pull
himself and his family ever higher up the socio-economic ladder.Gender norms are everywhere in evidence and
if Ruth is trapped in the marriage so Anthony is constrained by his role as
head of the household in a job that seems to be going nowhere.Fernard is an intriguing protagonist
precisely because he is so ordinary. His risky behaviour seems clichéd in the
twenty-first century, but he is a creature of his time - not always likeable,
but never completely despicable either.A
series of small, but cumulative, errors of judgement conspire against him.They are all of his own making and yet I felt
a surprising amount of sympathy for him.
Unwritten Rules is a corker of a novel.Well researched, well written and immensely
readable.I loved it.
Graham Donnellywas born and grew up in London. His varied
professional background includes government service, international banking and
lecturing in Economics and Management. His first five books were written in the
1980s and 90s and related to his academic work. His first novel, Mussolini's
Chest, arose out of his interest in modern history and how ordinary people
react to extraordinary situations and is based on true events. His second
novel, Unwritten Rules, draws on his own experience in the Home Office and his
knowledge of the state security issues at that time. He lives with his wife
near Colchester and has two children and three grandchildren.
Dot Marshall-Gentworked in the emergency services for twenty years
first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control
officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English
in her mid-forties. She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive
Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and
writes mainly about educational issues. Dot sings jazz and country music
and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery
and crime fiction.