One Lost Summer

One Lost Summer

4.36 (36 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Rex Allen loves star quality in women. He moves into a new house in a heat wave with few possessions apart from two photographs of his dead daughter. His next door neighbour, beautiful Evangeline Glass invites him over to one of her many summer parties, where he meets her friends and possessive husband Harry. Rex feels he knows Evangeline intimately. He starts to spy on her and becomes convinced she is someone other than who she pretends to be. When he discovers she has a lover, he blackmails her into playing a game of identity that ends in disaster.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 110 x 178 x 18mm | 230g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0956711340
  • 9780956711342
  • 1,598,194

Review quote

Midwest Book Review One Lost Summer is a dark novel of sex, deceit, and abuse. Rex Allen is alone when he moves into a new house; he is estranged from his actress ex-wife, and his daughter has recently died at far too young an age. When he observes his dramatically beautiful neighbor Evangeline Glass, he is at once convinced that she is hiding her true self from everyone, especially her possessive husband. He spies on her, discovers that she has a lover, and even dares to blackmail her. But Rex is not the only one attempting to manipulate people with dangerous secrets, and when his questionable games cross paths with the cold-hearted machinations of a far worse person, his fragile world comes crashing down in a hail of ruin. Raw and gripping, One Lost Summer pulls no punches in its vivid, unforgettable portrayal of disturbed human beings. Mike Stafford The Nudge Weekly 'One Lost Summer' is the third novel from noir Prince of Darkness Richard Godwin. His first two books, 'Apostle Rising' and 'Mr. Glamour,' were ultra-violent serial killer fare, so 'One Lost Summer' represents a marked change in content. Here, we meet Rex Allen, purchaser of The Telescope, a vast home in an exclusive, secluded street. He has few possessions other than photographs of his dead daughter, and despite his evident wealth, lives in cold, sterile conditions. When invited to one of the notorious summer parties on the street, he becomes obsessed with neighbour Evangeline Glass, a sultry siren with a possessive husband. His obsession swiftly results in clandestine filming of her, and ultimately in blackmail and a disturbing game of identity. While the use of weather to reflect mood is potentially the oldest literary device in existence, here Godwin uses it masterfully. Rex moves into The Telescope at the dawn of a blazing summer. The temperatures are stifling and inescapable, the perfect backdrop to Rex's obsession. The knowledge that the swelter must end gives a natural timescale for events; we sense that if disaster is to strike, it will do so not in autumn or winter, but at the climax of the heatwave. Thus, with temperature comes a powerful tension, with Godwin building it superbly over the course of the book. Godwin's characters are never warm, cuddly types, and 'One Lost Summer' is no exception to this rule. Rex Allen and his neighbours are part of a wealthy, decadent elite. Some are violent, others are avaricious, all have set morality aside. Deceit is ubiquitous, as if the truth is a luxury their wealth prevents them from possessing. Rex himself is disturbing figure. Godwin reveals little about the man with the penchant for filming his neighbour, but for those familiar with the author's work, references to high-class brands will likely evoke Patrick Bateman. As more about him is revealed, he never becomes the type of character we'd like to share a bottle of vintage Meursault with, but we are drawn inexorably into his story. Ultimately, the reader's compulsion to 'know' Rex becomes much like his own compulsion to 'know' the character within Evangeline. 'One Lost Summer' is a darkly beguiling noir tale, a seductive and disturbing musing on identity and deceit. Here, he has built on the psychological drama at the heart of his previous work, examining the fragility of identity through a cast of characters who seem both chimerical but utterly plausible. If you've not yet read Godwin, now would be the perfect time to start. - See more at: Tara Fox Hall Good Book Alert I agreed to review this book as I had previously read another ARC book by this same author. I wasn't sure what to expect, other than that this book would be dark and contain some kind of mystery. But it was that and more. The author is clearly maturing into a seasoned storyteller, though I still find emotional connection to his characters hard to accomplish. But the plot is excellent, and I read this book in one sitting, because I had to know what was going to happen. While this book also takes place in the world of the rich - as most of Godwin's novels do - complete with a lot of high-end clothes, things, and alcohol, it's a lot less about that than about the story. I do appreciate the mention of some 64yr Macallan, which is a kind of super expensive single-malt scotch; it had me salivating. The name-dropping is kept to a minimum and does not overshadow the story. I enjoyed the character of the protagonist, who calls himself Rex throughout most of the book. I wanted to know what his secret was, and the well-timed revelation was not disappointing. There was immense build up, a perfect and slow unveiling, and a riveting conclusion. It's the kind of work that begs you to read it over once you know the secret, looking for clues that you missed the first time. Now on to favorite or striking passages. There were so many deep ones I can't begin to list them all here. Suffice to say that this book explores how people view themselves in contrast to how the world views them; how wanting to be seen as a certain type of person leads people to act subtlety differently than they otherwise might. That concept isn't anything new to most people; everyone puts on a special "face" for at least one person in their lives. But the idea that some people's natural desire to explore different aspects of their personality can lead to dire consequences is interesting to me. So is the nature of obsession, another key aspect of the work. Here is a great passage about that very thing: Obsession is not a modern disease. Its roots lie deep inside humanity and may be the reason we're here. You don't know you're obsessed until you can't move, until all you see is the one thing. By then the tendrils have wrapped themselves around your unsuspecting heart - And you realize you have to hack them away, and with them some living beating part of yourself to be free. Overall opinion: If you like edge of your seat mysteries with lots of foreboding, this one is a sure bet!
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About Richard Godwin

Richard Godwin is the author of bestselling crime novels Apostle Rising and Mr. Glamour. He is a crime and horror writer as well as a produced playwright. He was born in London and obtained a BA and MA in English and American Literature from King's College London where he also lectured. He is a widely published author with 29 distinct works to his name. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, not least recently The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery. He is an author who is adept in many styles, as well as a skilled interviewer. A full list of his works can be found at his website
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Rating details

36 ratings
4.36 out of 5 stars
5 69% (25)
4 11% (4)
3 8% (3)
2 8% (3)
1 3% (1)
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