Dear Reader I read it ‘The Gorse trilogy’ by Patrick Hamilton

patrick hamilton
patrick hamilton

I have just finished reading The Gorse Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton. Though I enjoyed most of it, I felt the end  (the third part) was lacking in conclusion, though the promise was there. Yes, I was disappointed in the end. Hamilton seemed to be just filling the last couple of pages with words just for the sake of it: meaningless to me. I could almost hear the music of Coronation Street being played at high speed and the credits rolling up and myself booted out onto the street… that’s how rushed it was.

the slaves of solitude by patrick hamilton
the slaves of solitude by patrick hamilton

The rest of the book was good though. The character of Gorse is a strange one. Under a (thin) veneer of charm lurks a nasty snake with cold eyes and a cold calculating heart. I am now mystified though. I really enjoyed the TV version of these books. The series was called ‘The Charmer made in 1987 and starred Nigel Havers as Gorse. Needless to say, the series bore only a vague resemblance of the book. I’m sure he kills Plumleigh – Bruce (a fabulously descriptive name), and I’m pretty sure Mr Stimpson does some detective work on Gorse.

Nigel Havers in The Charmer
Nigel Havers in The Charmer

 And where is the rich socialite Clarice Mannors in all this? Thrown in, to give the series a ‘love’ interest, a ‘reason’ for Gorse to do what he does, probably. Of course there’s no excuse for Gorse’s behaviour, in the book. He’s just naturally bad.

I did find it a bit incongruous that barmaid Ivy Barton would have such savings, and also her father (a dismissed Gamekeeper £200). Also, Mrs Plumleigh -Bruce wasn’t exactly loaded, perhaps her weakness was greed and elitism. Gorse plays on weaknesses. I think that if I hadn’t previously seen ‘The Charmer’ years ago, I wouldn’t have had pre conceived ideas about Gorse or the plot. Parts of this book are very funny  (though Gorse himself isn’t) and some of the characters ridiculously human. I especially enjoyed the writing in Plumleigh – Bruce’s diary – absolutely hilarious!

My posts about other Hamilton books;

‘The Slaves of Solitude’

‘Hangover Square’

Note: This review appeared originally on my art blog Echostains

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