The Penal Colony
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It is 1997. The British government now runs island prison colonies to take dangerous offenders from its overcrowded mainland jails.
Among all these colonies, Sert, 25 miles off the north Cornish coast, has the worst reputation. There are no warders. Satellite technology is used to keep the convicts under watch. New arrivals are dumped by helicopter and must learn to survive as best they can. To Sert, one afternoon in July, is brought Anthony John Routledge, sentenced for a sex-murder he did not commit. Routledge knows he is here for ever. And he knows he must quickly forget the rules of civilized life. But not all the islanders are savages. Under the charismatic leadership of one man a community has evolved. A community with harsh and unyielding rules, peopled by resourceful men for whom the hopeless dream of escape may not be so hopeless after all ...
Slow starter, worth the wait though
Took me a while to get into this book and you can tell the author has an interest in natural history by the sometimes lengthy descriptions of wildlife and/ or landscape. Once the story gets going though I was hooked and finished the last hundred pages at every opportunity as I couldn't wait to see what happened next! There is something of a 'Lost' quality about the story with the men on the island managing to fashion ingenious devices out of the materials available to them. All in all I really enjoyed this book even though as a woman I may not have been the anticipated audience!
The Penal Colony
What a fantastic book. I found that my imagination was fired to the extent that I could easily see most aspects of the island and the characters. The stark differences between to the three camps and how quickly certain sector of humanity break down was superbly written. OK, the departure from the Island could have been played out over a least on more chapter after the huge build up to them leaving but - and this is the big but - what happens next?????! The story is crying out for a sequel and I would love to find out what adventures await in S America.
I have now bought all of the authors other books!
What a great surprise!! This is a great novel and i would advise all to read it. The author has a great understanding of how desperately thin is this veneer of civilisation we cling to.