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The Beast of Theydon Garnon
The Beast of Theydon Garnon Peter Gilderson
by Peter Gilderson


 
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Peter Gilderson (2018)

Harold Bates, a greedy and power-hungry manor lord in the quaint English village of Theydon Garnon, would seem to be firmly above the law, especially when he's able to hand-pick his own constable -- the area's top law enforcement officer -- through sheer sleight of hand. And that's crucial, because his lordship's smuggling business is growing by leaps and bounds.

But Bob Gill, a good-hearted but rather ordinary shoemaker, decides enough is enough when friends of his, Jason and Caroline Hightower, are forcibly removed from their home by Bates and his constable after a highly-suspect series of business transactions with the young couple -- which are disguised as help -- not only ruins them, but contributes to Caroline's death.

In an extremely risky and complicated play, Bob enlists the aid of several friends -- including the recently-widowed Jason Hightower -- as well as both a neighboring constable and the newly-deposed Theydon Garnon constable in a ruse that puts them face to face with Bates and his lovely young mistress.

Bates appears to be lubricated enough with alcohol to fall into the trap Bob has set. And the young mistress seems not to know anything of the evil her lover perpetrates behind the scenes. But if something goes wrong, Bob and his brave friends could all find themselves behind lock and key...or worse.

Set in the late eighteenth century and penned by Mississippi resident and native Englishman Peter Gilderson, The Beast of Theydon Garnon is suspenseful, fast-paced, and poignant, with a rustic British backdrop that rings true and a cast of authentic characters that will get under your skin and stay there. A timeless story of good and evil, Gilderson's thoroughly enjoyable literary debut shows that politics -- whether on a huge stage or in the smallest of hamlets -- hasn't changed much in over 200 years.

PETER GILDERSON was born in 1934 on the south coast of England in the community of Lancing. After emigrating to Canada in 1957, he completed a Bachelor's in Chemistry at the University of Alberta and a graduate scholarship at the University of Washington in 1962. He worked in chemical research (and later in marketing in the petrochemical field) before coming to Mississippi in 1983 for a position with First Chemical Corporation in Jackson. He has five children, thirteen grandchildren, and several great grandchildren. He and his wife, Betty, live in Madison. The Beast of Theydon Garnon is his first novel.

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