Published: 28/10/2015
ISBN: 9781784624774
eISBN: 9781784626167
Format: Paperback/eBook

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Shattered Pretensions
by Colin M. Andrews

Two very different stories in which the actions of a young teacher have devastating and career-threatening consequences...

Shattered Pretensions brings together a short story and a full-length story into one novel. In the short story, ‘Fragile’, a headmaster standing as a parliamentary candidate is reluctant to answer allegations in the local press concerning the mysterious disappearance of his wife many years earlier.

His blow, nothing more than a mild slap with the back of his hand, must have caught her off-balance. Still spitting invective, she fell awkwardly, her arm twisted beneath her body. Her screams shrilled – and died. A red stain spread from beneath her blouse, mingling with the white of the milk. The pool of liquid grew larger.

Written with a sprinkling of black humour, the main story, ‘Out Of This World’, focuses on the tensions generated among the teenage students participating in an ambitious, extended role-play exercise. Their aggravation explodes beyond the classroom, triggering a catastrophic series of events. Real-time action in the school runs parallel with the reflections and aspirations of the teacher, Martyn Carberry, and the diary of Lizzie, an immature young female student.

I’m so happy. Patsy Clements has chosen me to join her crew! I’m going to be the Navigator on her spaceship. Of course, it’s not a real spaceship. It’s Mr Carberry’s idea. I really like him. His lessons are never boring – not like some other teachers I could mention.

Shattered Pretensions is an intriguing novel that forces the reader to ask themselves: “What would I have done?”

Author Colin is inspired by the writing of Ian Rankin and James Runcie.

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