A tighter book, and less patchy than The Deaths, this upbeat piece focuses on Media historian Ned Marriott and his close friend, academic Tom Pimm, whose glittery worlds turn round and bite them.
Upbeat and bordering on tragic-comedy, there are strong overtones of the popular professor, Pimm being a victim of a witch hunt at his London university. Not taking these anonymous complaints seriously, Pimm's world starts to collapse.
However, Marriott, after a sparkling 60th birthday celebration, has the Police at his London door at an ungodly hour of the morning. There had been an allegation of rape from a past lover. A second complaint following fast.
The television company, and the egotistical Ogg, and his publisher, once a close friend, put a hold on his programmes and books, and his academic career suspended. The nightmare continues as people once close to Marriott show their doubts. His son's friend's parents, for example, have doubts about Ned being alone with their over privileged children.
The downslide of Ned and Tom cleverly unravels. However, Tom Pimm does come over a little irritating, and his Trail investigations wordy and lengthy. Ironically, these enquiries are sinister and more intimidating than Pimm could ever have been.
Meanwhile, we ride with Ned on his lot better paced, decline, not only professionally and medically, but even his beautiful second wife is repelled by his past, his son secretly bullied by once close friends. There is one supportive twin daughter bravely taking on Twitter, the other stays with the doubt. Even when the Police inform him that it will not come to trial, the damage is done. Mud, as they say, sticks.
An intriguing novel, but I felt the parallel experience of the two men were unequally spread. However, worth a read on this modern nightmare, what is classed as bullying? How is victim really defined?, and the question of rape and misunderstanding.
Really worth a look