Friday, 27 September 2019
TONY DRURY - THE MAN WHO HATED (2018)
Does Milton Grant, an evil, vindictive ex-police officer, reflect the hatred that lies within modern society? Milton has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Divorced, and with an estranged daughter, he feels he has nothing to live for – and nothing to lose. He begins a self-imposed mission to ‘correct’ what he believes are some of the main faults of his fellow human beings. In his way are a fumbling old lady at the supermarket checkout, an inconsiderate driver, selfish users of mobile phones, and self-satisfied chief executive Ray, who boasts about tax avoidance. Milton’s acts of corrections become more extreme and violent as the novella progresses. He is spiralling out of control. In the meantime, two police officers, Lucy and Dave Smith, are close to exposing Milton. In the explosive finale Lucy finds herself facing him, as he points a gun at her head. She is alone and has no backup. Dave is four minutes away. Will Milton kill Lucy? Or will good triumph over evil? The Man Who Hated is inspired by the 1993 film Falling Down, starring Michael Douglas. It is the fourth in the Novella Nostalgia series, which links cinema classics with modern stories.
A fast one sitting read with a main character a man on a mission.
Milton Grant is a former police officer with a death sentence hanging over him. He has cancer and not very long to live. There's a few scores to be settled before he goes.
Fat people, mobile phone users, dog owners too entitled to pick up after their dog has a dump, tax avoiders, drunks, distracted motorists, a woman he meets for sex with an annoying laugh, an elderly shopper that holds up the queue at the supermarket - all of them better watch out.
I think all of us have at one time or another become frustrated and impatient at the actions of others. Red mist can descend. Most of us keep it in perspective or locked down. Not Milton Grant.
On the other side of the coin, we have a husband and wife both police officers, both trying very hard not to talk shop at home, both failing with the man who hated getting under their skin.
Milton and the couple inevitably collide at the climax.
Quick, pacey, dark, funny and hand over the mouth shocking. It's an interesting character study of a man with nothing to lose and an agenda.
Probably not a book that will reside too long in the memory, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and would be interested in re-visiting the author's work again in the future. I can see the connection to the Michael Douglas film Falling Down, that inspired this.
Tony Drury has written about a dozen novels and novellas, including five in his DCI Sarah Rudd series.
4 from 5
Read - September, 2019
Published - 2018
Page count - 77
Source - Net Galley
Format - ePub file read on laptop