At a bus stop in south London, black teenager Eldine Matthews is murdered by a racist gang. Twenty years later, L Troop’s top boys – models of vice, deviance and violence – are far beyond justice. There are some people the law will not touch.
But Eldine’s murder is not forgotten. His story is once again on everyone’s lips and the streets of south London; a story of police corruption and the elimination of witnesses. A solicitor, a rent boy, a one-eyed comedian and his minder are raising ghosts; and Carl Hyatt, disgraced reporter, thinks he knows why.
There’s one man linking this crew of rambunctious dandies and enchanting thugs, and it’s the man Carl promised never to challenge again: Mulhall, kingpin of London’s rotten heart and defender of L Troop’s racist killers. Carl must face up to the morality of retribution and the reality of violence knowing that he is the weak link in the chain; and that he has placed everyone he loves within Mulhall’s reach.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel quite like Michael Nath’s The Treatment- written in a uniquely involving style, peppered with vivid reality through an almost stream of consciousness prose, it is a story of murder and justice failed, a cautionary, authentic tale of our time.
Set in a vibrant, darkly intuitive London, this story of a murdered black teenager, a racist killing that has echoes of Stephen Lawrence – resonates down the years until an eclectic, genuinely engaging and oft edgy group dynamic comes together through an almost Chinese whisper like contemplation of the past crime. At the centre of their focus sits crime lord Mulhall, a darkly enigmatic and hugely compelling character who holds power over the streets and the hearts and minds of the populace.
The Treatment is a novel you inhale, the central heart of it sits within that place where certain acts of violence get absorbed into the subconscious of a nation. As such it is a hugely realistic tale viewed through a glass darkly, one that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
Highly Recommended for fans of literary magic tricks. One of the most intelligent novels I’ve read for a while.