Mickey Donnelly as Tom Ripley – the wonderful Sarah Hilary, winner of the Theakson’s Crime Novel of the Year, compares ‘The Good Son’ with crime novels and ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’.
“In Mickey Donnelly, readers have an amateur detective who is also an innocent bystander. It’s a clever conceit, and a neat departure (intentional or otherwise) from the current fashion for unreliable narrators. Mickey witnesses events which readers understand to be depraved and brutal, but which Mickey relates with an innocent impartiality. This impartiality, were he not 10 years old, would hint at a lack of empathy, perhaps even sociopathic leanings. But Mickey is 10 and brutalised by his surroundings, growing up in a place so scarred and dangerous it rivals any improvised prison dreamt up by the worst of crime fiction’s serial killers. The pit in Buffalo Bill’s house has nothing on the Bray or the Bone hills. Hard to imagine a more degrading fate than that suffered by the young woman found tarred and feathered for sleeping with the wrong man, an image made all the more powerful because we know it happened often and to many.”