The Last Good Man

A Scarlet Letter for our times’ Margaret Atwood

‘An extraordinary and disquieting work of imagination, and as original as any novel I’ve read in recent memory’ Rob Doyle


Duncan Peck has travelled alone to Dartmoor in search of his cousin. He has come from the city, where the fires are always burning.

In his cousin’s village, Peck finds a place with tea rooms and barley fields, a church and a schoolhouse. Out here, the people live an honest life – and if there’s any trouble, they have a way to settle it. They sit in the shadow of a vast wall, inscribed with strange messages. Anyone can write on the wall, anonymously, about their neighbours, about any wrongdoing that might hurt the community. Then comes the reckoning.

The stranger from the city causes a stir. He has not been there long before the village wakes up to the most unspeakable accusation; sentences daubed on the wall that will detonate the darkest of secrets.

A troubling, uncanny book about fear and atonement, responsibility and justice, and the violence of writing in public spaces, The Last Good Man dares to ask: what hope can we place in words once extinction is in the air?


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