Kerry Hadley-Pryce (a published student)
June 2018
Salt Publishing

About the publication

Greg Gamble: he’s a teacher, he works hard, he’s a husband, a father. He’s a good man, or tries to be. But even a good man can face a crisis. Even a good man can face temptation. Even a good man can find himself faced with difficult choices.

Greg Gamble: he thinks he can keep his head in the game. He thinks he’s trying to be good. Until he realises everyone is flawed.

And for Gamble, trying to be good just isn’t enough.


"You’ll say, after you’ve read it, that you had no sympathy for him at all, for any of them, perhaps, and were not complicit in any way, but you’ll be lying, of course. And it’s that sense of complicity, of being pulled into the intense, claustrophobic disintegration of this selfish man, and the people around him, that makes reading this novel such a vivid experience. I found Greg Gamble’s thoughts sticking to my own like towpath mud. With sensual, nuanced detail Kerry Hadley-Pryce creates an unrelenting portrait of a man’s dissolution into the dark waters of the Stourbridge Canal. Gamble’s unnerving syntax of justification and exoneration – reminiscent in style of Antonio Tabucchi’s Pereira Maintains or Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist – builds on the Black Country edgeland noir of her first novel, with painful psychological honesty and bite."

Anthony Cartwright