By Eugenie C Smith
Elizabeth William and Me is a book with a difference and a captivating read, in my opinion, for people of all ages. It caught my imagination from page one and I found I had to carry on reading in order to find out more about the intriguing characters who are so well portrayed on the striking cover of the book. Humorous and skillfully written, S.Lynn Scott brings another dimension to the world of Shakespeare.
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant
Mrs S P Lovett
Absolutely brilliant read, couldn't put it down. So well written and imaginative. A joy to read.
What a wonderful book, I absolutely loved it, a must read!
Mikey is an 8-year old who lives on Canvey Island just outside of London, where he roams free and wild, having the time of his life. His parents don't seem to care about him going to school, so why should he? He gets up to some funny and not so funny antics, all the while scavenging for the odd coins to buy himself drinks and fast food. His mother isn't the kind of mum who cooks, she's too busy going to the pub with her best friend. His dad spends most of his time in London, hovering on the edges of the big crime syndicates.
Everything changes when an elderly couple, Peggy and Bert, up the street from them wins an enormous amount of money from the Lotto and end up being the victims of a cruel crime, leaving Peggy dead. Life as Mikey knows it, is no more and Bert's revenge causes Mikey's family to fall apart irrevocably.
I found this book so touching; Mikey's love for his mum is heartbreaking and his Dad is quite an appealing character, but not so his half sister and brother. Although that's not surprising considering the appalling conditions of their home life.
The story ends on a hopeful note and I have to say this is an extraordinarily insightful mystery that makes you think about retribution and what it does to one's psyche. Highly recommended!
There was just something about this story that caught my attention, and I knew I had to give it a try. Part of this feeling probably has to do with the setting, but I think the main reason would be the fact that A Patient Man is told from the point of view of a child. Most psychological thrillers out there show things from an adult perspective, so I was intrigued by how this story would work out by following little Mikey's perspective. There is no doubt that this one of the things that makes A Patient Man stand out from other stories. Mikey is only eight years old, but street wise and definitely smarter than people think. It was interesting to see things from his perspective and see his character react to the situation and evolve over time. A Patient Man is without doubt a character driven psychological thriller, and the pace can be slow at times. A lot of attention has been given to the different characters, although we always see them through the eyes of Mikey. Things are not told in a chronological order and rather as our main character thinks it should be, leaving us wondering what really happened and how things fit. I'm not sure about the credibility of it all and I had my doubts about certain aspects of the plot, but overall it was an entertaining enough read.
A Patient Man isn't your typical psychological thriller as you experience everything through the eyes of an eight-year-old and very street wise kid. This definitely adds a little something extra to this character driven story, although I do have to say the pace is quite slow at points. I kind of saw the ending coming and didn't like some of the characters, but overall this was without doubt an interesting story with a few hidden morals as well.
by Yvonne Mennink
Surprisingly decent read this turned out to be, the latest in a series of randomly found yet very similar quiet slow boiling British dramas centered on crimes. The crime here is murder, but the story is about revenge, the slow simmering strategic kind. And also this is a coming of age story, the protagonist is a nine year old kid from a low class (ok, quite trashy really and potentially criminally inclined) family in a small seaside island (only at high tide) community. Mikey (don’t call him Michael) is a rough kid, but smart and perceptive, balanced as such by both nurture and nature. When a neighbor’s wife gets kidnapped and eventually found dead, the police has no clue, but the neighbor is convinced Mikey’s family is at fault, so he decides to kill them with kindness or more accurately give them enough rope to hang themselves by bestowing a large sum of money on each person, with exception of Mikey who gets to have posh education instead. Of course, the money rips the family apart as they engage in various pursuits suddenly available to them after a lifetime of privation. And Mikey isn’t particularly thrilled to have his old life taken away from him. But life goes on as the old neighbor patiently waits for his revenge. It’s a very quiet dense meticulously plotted story (for such a small book especially), a proper heavy drama with a murder mystery (and even an ending plot twist) thrown in, albeit mostly it’s a meditation on the nature, meaning and value of revenge and as such makes for a very interesting read. All the mores and moralities. Thanks Netgalley.
by Mia D
What an incredible book! It is unlike anything I have ever read before. Told in retrospect from Mikey’s point of view, when he was 8-9 years old, it’s an engrossing story that has much humor but even more pathos. This is a very difficult line to straddle, and the author does so with a deft hand. The writing is very expressive; the pictures painted in the descriptions are extremely vivid. There were times when I felt like I could even smell the salt air in the scene being described. The dialogue is written in the lexicon of the characters, which lends so much authenticity to the plot. I’m someone who likes to read dialogue out loud (if I’m by myself), and the usage of dialect here is extremely effective. The plot itself is straightforward, and told in such a way that even with long paragraphs of exposition, it never gets boring. An extremely unique book that I definitely highly recommend.
by Jeanne McAvoy
There were so many things I loved about this book! There was the matter-of-fact, clear-eyed depiction of poverty, petty crime and family dysfunction in London's East End during the 1970s. There was the quiet but powerful contrast between the heavy Cockney dialogue of Mikey's family and the cultured, highbrow voice of the narrator in his 40s.
Mikey is eight when "the first thing" happens -- a neighbor couple wins an enormous lottery jackpot. Next follows a kidnapping, intended to be for ransom, which goes awry. So far, so predictable. The third and fourth momentous events are surprising, even astonishing, as they occur, yet there is a sense of inevitability when they occur from what we've learned of the characters.
This book was not a thriller, but it was thrilling. It simmered with class tension and greed, and revenge played a huge role,and yet there was a thread of hope hiding throughout the narrative. We were treated to multiple views of each person's character -- Mikey's parents', his neighbors', his half-siblings' and in the end, his benefactors' -- and of the effect of money on each.
by Kaye Winona
An incredibly enjoyable book from start to finish. So much attention to detail, both of setting and characterisation. Totally transported me to that time and place and spun a unique twist on the usual murder mystery genre.
by Beverley Crofts
A Patient Man by S. Lynn Scott is an English murder mystery set in 1976 and told from the perspective of an 8 yr old boy named Mikey. Mikey is a wild child so to speak and roams the streets all day and some into the night. His mum is out with her friend at pubs and his father is gone a lot. So with that he does not attend school and searches for coins and things to buy his food and drink. One day his neighbors find out they have won the lottery. Everyone shortly finds out. Including Mikey. Mrs. Freeman, one of the winners, turns up dead. It is a very interesting tale told by a child that is what keeps the readers interest. The writer has a passion with descriptive writing also. You can visually see what is being written. The tale of revenge afte the murder is the best part I think of how the writer shares her gift with us, the reader. I highly recommend this book.
Thank you to netgalley as well as the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
5 stars out of 5
by Laura Hundley (via Netgalley)
What an interesting read. It was like living as an 8 year old boy. Book about revenge and redemption, sprinkled with humor and hard to put down.
Thank you NetGalley for the free advance copy.
by Aggie Barnes (via Netgalley)
Wow was that a book.. it had a killer( no pun intended) opening sentence. “The man who murdered my mother lived at the end of our street.” You would think this would give away the plot and the ending, but the author manages to keep the readers guessing. My only complaint was that they spoke a lot in their local dialect and it was kind of hard to understand.
by Dawn McCauley (via Netgalley)
This bold and striking work by Scott pushes and pulls you in all directions, conveying humble upbringings on Canvey Island, boyish mischief and playfulness, and adult flaws and skulduggery. As soon as you’re settled in for a comfy mystery, another twist or jaw-dropping conundrum places it more in thriller territory. The descriptions of lives and places are vivid and earthy, and a step back to 70s Essex with all its quirks and hang-ons from the East End. Often bittersweet, A Patient Man is filled with humour and subtlety, yet uncompromising and delivered with brutal honesty until the final scene plays out.
by James Smith, Raya Films
‘Whatever my father might do to earn his daily bread, much of which was not entirely restricted by the law, he still considered begging another for money as beneath him.’
It is lines like these that make this book a wonderful read; full of humour yet also filled with tragically things going wrong. Mikey looks back on the most painful period in his life, yet he is not bitter. He wants revenge for what has been done to him and his family, yet he can find it in himself to forgive. The book makes you alternatively smile, giggle or a little sad. It makes you realize that it is not always possible to live your life as you would want to, that you need to go through a difficult time to get what you want. And even that may not always be what you thought you would like to have.
Thank you Netgalley and Troubadour for a digital copy of this book.
by Jannelies Smit
What attractiveness, had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. So well written you could put yourself in the story, so well thought out.
by Michelle Perry
“The man who murdered my mother lived at the end of our street.” This is the opening sentence. With a sentence like that, you know it's going to be a good book!
It's told through Mikey’s point of view, when he was 8-9 years old, he adds a bit of humor to the story. A Patient Man is definitely an interesting and recommended read.
by Melinda Henning
I absolutely loved this book. The opening line of 'The man who murdered my mother lived at the end of our street' just grabbed me. You start off knowing who was murdered but the story is beautifully told by Mikey, an 8 year old boy from a dysfunctional family living on Canvey Island, Essex in the 1970's. His father is away a lot mixing with criminals in London, his mother doesn't care about him, and so Mikey is left most days to fend for himself. But then his elderly neighbour Bert Freeman and his wife are attacked in their home and fingers soon start pointing at Mikey's family.
It's a story of revenge and breaking the cycle of an eye for an eye but it's the way the revenge is meted out that is the twist. I highly recommend this book.
by Pauline Smith
Kim Addonizio (American poet) says “All artists’ work is autobiographical. Any writer’s work is a map of their psyche. You can really see what their concerns are, what their obsessions are, and what interests them.”
S. Lynn Scott began her adult life determined to take the theatrical world by storm. The theatrical world, it turned out, wasn’t quite so keen to embrace her as she had expected it would be, and so, nothing daunted, she successfully turned her undoubted talents to Terpsichorean entertainment in dark, exotic places. There she learned that a jewelled bra and a very large feathered fan are no substitutes for a good book and a cheese and Branston Pickle sandwich. Her further youthful adventures are, mercifully, lost in the mists of time and she now lives with suitable decorum in Leicestershire where she writes, insists on directing others who are better at acting than she is, dreams of working for the RSC and then writes some more. “Elizabeth, William…and Me” is her first published novel. There are others waiting nervously in the wings.