Mick Jackson's first novel, The Underground Man,
was hailed by critics worldwide as expertly written
( The Times,
London), the literary hit of the season
), and "highly imaginative" ( New York Times
), establishing him as a terrifically funny writer with a gift for visceral impact. Now, with Five Boys,
Jackson creates a brilliantly captivating and distinctive tale of the impact of World War II on the home front, bringing to light a lost place and time with an expert touch.
When Bobby is evacuated from London to a remote Devonshire village, a strange new chapter of his life begins. Empty of its menfolk, the village is given over to the "stay behinds": the women, the old and young, the nonconscripts, and five terrifying boys who accuse Bobby of being a Nazi spy -- subjecting him to horrible mistreatment. At the center of these eccentric folk is the enigmatic Bee King, a mysterious figure who exercises a powerful, hypnotic influence on the village, and especially the boys.
As the days wind down to the D-day invasion, excitement and tension overtake this remote coastal town. While the Allied soldiers crash the beaches along the French coast, the villagers will enact their own drama -- a tense interplay of events that will engulf them all and ultimately reveal the truth about the Bee King.
Riveting and thoroughly researched, Five Boys
offers an unforgettable poetic fusion of fable and history that is certain to linger with the reader long after the last page has been turned.