‘Our lives were good – great, even. We were happy and secure. We had everything we needed. There was no way for anyone to know – least of all me – that it would all end the way it did.’
Thomas Martin is everything a man is supposed to be. He has a beautiful wife and a loving daughter, a good house on Long Island, a flourishing career at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He’s a good son and brother, taking it upon himself to support his ailing mother and adult sisters. He knows it’s his God-given duty to shield them, his girls, from the everyday horrors of the world.
But he has failed, and unspeakable tragedy has befallen his family.
Now, Thomas struggles to come to terms with what has become of his life. If only he can tell the story as he saw it, he believes he might find out how and why things unravelled so horribly; how he failed so disastrously.
Because Thomas Martin is a good man.
I started “A Good Man” thinking I’ll read a couple of chapters, get a feel for the story, then suddenly, almost without blinking it seemed, I finished it. I fell into Thomas Martin’s story and followed it with an ever growing sense of unease, that off kilter sense that tells you it’s going to hurt. Indeed I think the very last sentence of this novel will haunt me for the foreseeable future, I had tears in my eyes as I read it.
The intelligence of this book comes in its nuances, in a lot of ways it is an interpretive story. You’ll bring your own experiences and influences to the narrative, we hear solely from main protagonist Thomas and you’ll hear in your own way…
An idyllic life, a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter. Escaping the trauma of his youth, Thomas is determined “his girls” will always be protected. To that end he works hard, provides well, loves completely. None the less tragedy will strike, but where oh where could it all have gone so wrong…
This was beautifully done, involving and addictive, a poetic flow to the prose that just drags you along in its wake – nothing is given a wider explanation you simply have to be in the moment. How far Thomas may be truthful or deceptive, whether to himself or to the reader, is all in the eyes of the beholder. You get a real feel for the lives being lived on the page but you can never really know all the players given the narrow view through a glass darkly.
Extremely disturbing but equally extraordinarily fascinating, this is far and away one of the best psychological character drama’s I’ve read in a long time.
I won’t forget Thomas that’s for sure. Neither will you.