A funny joke’s a funny joke. Eddie Doolan doesn’t think twice about adapting it to fit a tragic local news story and posting it on social media.
It’s less of a joke when his drunken post goes viral. It stops being funny altogether when Eddie ends up jobless, friendless and ostracised by the whole town of Langburn. This isn’t how he wanted to achieve fame.
Eddie knows he’s blown his relationship with rich girl Lily Cumnock. It’s Lily’s possessive and controlling father Brodie who fires him from his job - and makes sure he won’t find another decent one in Langburn. And Eddie doesn’t even have Flo to fall back on - his old nan died some six months ago, and Eddie is still recovering from the death of the woman who raised him and who loved him unconditionally.
Under siege from the press, and facing charges not just for the joke but for a history of abusive behaviour on the internet, Eddie grows increasingly paranoid and desperate. The only people still speaking to him are Crow, a neglected kid who relies on Eddie for food and company, and Sid, the local gamekeeper’s granddaughter. It’s Sid who offers Eddie a refuge and an understanding ear.
But she also offers him an illegal shotgun - and as Eddie’s life spirals downwards, and his efforts at redemption are thwarted at every turn, the gun starts to look like the answer to all his problems.
About Gillian Philip
Gillian Philip writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She is the author of the Rebel Angels fantasy series, contemporary crime novels Crossing The Line and The Opposite of Amber, the dystopian thriller Bad Faith, and many other novels including the Mysteries of Ravenstorm Island series. As one of the bestselling Erin Hunter team, she writes the animal fantasies Survivors and Bravelands. She has also written as Louise Byron (Hotel Summertime), as Gabriella Poole (the Darke Academy series) and most recently as I.I. Davidson (The Ghost Network). She has been shortlisted and nominated for prizes including the Carnegie Medal, the David Gemmell Legend Award, the Scottish Children’s Book Award and the Angus Book Award.
She currently lives in the north east highlands of Scotland with her husband, her teenage twins, two cats, three dogs, six hens called the Dixie Chicks and a psycho cockerel.
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