August 15th, 2020 by Jane Turner
I reviewed Anyone for Edmund? by Simon Edge as part of a Blog Tour by Damppebbles. Anyone for Edmund? was published by Lightning Books on 10 August 2020.
They dug up his bones. They didn’t know he had a mind of his own.
Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.
Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.
The only person who can see through the deception is Mark’s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?
Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.
“For a plan born of foolhardy over-confidence and nourished by fear, it had come together extraordinarily well.”
I read this in one sitting (well, two if you count the phone call I took in the middle) and can attest that it’s truly excellent.
Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect with this one. I’m not a big fan of politics or religion, I haven’t played tennis for years, and spin-doctors simply piss me off.
But what Simon Edge has given us here is a fantastical adventure, one almost seen through the eyes of a long dead saint.
Yes, Edmund is dead. Has been for 1500 years, more or less. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be useful, right?!
Simon Edge has created brilliant characters that resonate (we ALL know a Marina Spencer and a Mark Price), wrapped them in a setting of high politics and all it entails, then thrown in a bit of a religious experience…
This book truly deserves devouring in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m kind of hoping there’s more to the story! I’ll be checking out more of Mr Edge’s work, for sure.
(I spotted just two editing issues, nether of which were biggies. I’m hoping these will be caught. Let me know if not.)
This one deserves 5 stars.
Check out Anyone for Edmund?. I promise, you’ll be glad you did.
Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.
He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, where he also taught literary criticism.
He is the author of three previous novels: The Hopkins Conundrum, which was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award, The Hurtle of Hell and A Right Royal Face-Off.
Simon lives in Suffolk.
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