'A Scarlet Letter for our times' MARGARET ATWOOD
'An extraordinary and disquieting work of imagination, and as original as any novel I've read in recent memory' ROB DOYLE
Duncan Peck has travelled alone to Dartmoor in search of his cousin. He has come from the city, where the fires are always burning.
In his cousin's village, Peck finds a place with tea rooms and barley fields, a church and a schoolhouse. Out here, the people live an honest life - and if there's any trouble, they have a way to settle it. They sit in the shadow of a vast wall, inscribed with strange messages. Anyone can write on the wall, anonymously, about their neighbours, about any wrongdoing that might hurt the community. Then comes the reckoning.
The stranger from the city causes a stir. He has not been there long before the village wakes up to the most unspeakable accusation; sentences daubed on the wall that will detonate the darkest of secrets.
A troubling, uncanny book about fear and atonement, responsibility and justice, and the violence of writing in public spaces, The Last Good Man dares to ask: what hope can we place in words once extinction is in the air?
A Scarlet Letter for our times ... Zamyatin's We meets Lord of the Flies meets de Tocqueville meets cancel culture meets spite and malice meets Jesus. Should words be power? Justice or mercy? What price rage? -- MARGARET ATWOODThis is a visceral and disquieting debut novel about the power of words, and should be read by anyone who uses the internet * New Statesman *McMullan makes highly effective use of the rugged landscape, full of unease and portents, in his creepily unsettling debut, a timely tale about the dangers of toxic rhetoric and mob rule * Daily Mail *A brilliantly unsettling parable about how we police our societies through violence, language and shame * independent.co.uk *Innovative and timeless * Irish Times *An extraordinary and disquieting work of imagination, and as original as any novel I've read in recent memory ... The Last Good Man makes visible the dark matter of our troubled zeitgeist, and the cruelty that animates moral community -- ROB DOYLEA clean, crackling novel ... McMullan updates Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter to today's sanctimonious climate ... An arresting debut about medieval justice that has plenty to say about the dangers of moral puritanism * Metro *An earthy, gripping piece ... A serious and seriously good book * NB Magazine *McMullan's skill truly lies in his prose...a startling and evocative tale * Set the Tape *An unsettling and startling work of literary imagination ... A shocking but compulsive read * ON Magazine *Brilliantly eerie * Dystopia Junkie *Eerie and atmospheric * Sunday Post *An essential and commanding slice of folk horror - a wholly successful exercise in world-building that straddles an uncomfortable line between reality and fantasy * Lunate *
Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery' meets Cormac McCarthy's The Road: a taut, mud-spattered debut about violence, shame and redemption
Thomas McMullan is a writer, critic and journalist whose work has appeared in publications including the Guardian, Observer, Times Literary Supplement, Frieze and BBC News, and has been published in 3:AM Magazine, Lighthouse and Best British Short Stories. He has worked with visual artists, game studios and theatre companies in London, Amsterdam, Beijing and Los Angeles. He lives in London.