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