The Art Teacher
By: Paul Read
Publisher: Legend Press
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
My Rating: 3 Stars 'A superb debut... gritty, disturbing and pacy.' Alex Lake, author of After Anna
Perfect for fans of dark thrillers with a commercial-literary appeal. Patrick Owen managed seven years at Highfields Secondary School without punching a pupil in the face. Unknowingly drawn into a war against his own pupils, Patrick’s patience finally snaps as he finds himself the number one target with the boy the school just can’t seem to expel.
When one of his Art students needs his help, she unwittingly pulls Patrick further into the line of fire, altering their lives forever.
With the media circling and rumors of his involvement reaching new highs, Patrick must escape the world he lives in, or face the consequences. ‘The Art Teacher is for anyone who is living life plan B whilst dreaming of plan A.’
A special thank you to Legend Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Paul Read’s THE ART TEACHER, a twisty edgy and gritty debut from a new voice in fiction. With a mix of literary and crime suspense, a school teacher gets caught in the middle of a war between his pupils--gangs, drugs, intimidation, bullying, and murder. Patrick Owen teaches at London’s Highfields Secondary School. Denis Roberts was one of the more problematic members of his Year Eleven Art group. As a child, he had an operation to repair a cleft lip and the scar remained, running angrily up the left side to his nostrils. (you definitely do not feel sympathy toward this character). Patrick found the kids of today communicated with words he simply did not understand. From their walking to their exposure of boxer shorts. Control was something that had gone out the window. From confiscating mobile phones to breaking up fights. An ongoing battle. We also hear about Patrick’s past and his personal life. Separated from his wife, Ana and his three-year old son Danny whom he misses dearly. He was once a musician- a guitarist for a band. Soon a student is murdered in cold blood. Patrick is drawn into the investigation. Read captures the realistic classroom and the brutality of the environment of the school, teachers, teens, and the emotions. A total chaotic nerve racking stressful out of control world. With youths taking over and the teachers are at their mercy. Read is also a teacher which lends itself to insights of today’s troubled teens. Patrick is drawn into dangerous situations, horrific cultures, classroom tensions, and devastating consequences. Not a lot of likable characters and difficult to read at times. The book also includes a sneak preview of Blame, his second novel centering around a man called Lucas, with a job in pharmaceuticals. A dark disturbing psychological suspense of social issues, violent gang cultures and a police investigation, centered around an educator in an inner city school culture. Review Links:
About the Author
After gaining a first in Fine Art at the Kent Institute of Art and Design at Canterbury, Paul Read moved to London, finding employment at Foyles bookshop before becoming a teacher. He has worked in several inner-city schools as an Art, English and supply teacher, both in England and Italy. He received a distinction from City University London for his creative writing MA. A few years ago, Paul was involved in a hit-and-run incident which put him in a wheelchair for several months and was where he wrote the first draft of The Art Teacher. He lives with Patricia and their two children. Read More