Contact by Jonathan Buckley - review by Toby Lichtig

Toby Lichtig

The Boy Is Back In Town



Sort of Books 256pp £9.99 order from our bookshop

From Ancient Greece to Mills & Boon, the turbulent return of the love child has been a fertile literary motif. In Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, Spurio cuckolds his father and eventually contributes to his murder; in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, the king's bastard son Mordred foments a civil war. The afterlife of past dalliances may not be as ruinous in Jonathan Buckley's new novel, but it is no less gratifying for it.

Contact tells a deceptively simple story. Dominic Pattinson, a successful businessman in his late fifties, married but childless, is approached by Sam, who claims to be his son. Sam is a labourer and ex-squaddie, uncouth, potty-mouthed and truculent. He's had a tough life and saw terrible things in

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter