Catherine Marshall’s debut novel, Excluded, is a griping, gritty and utterly authentic depiction of relationships stretched to breaking point under the pressure of secrets, misdeeds and the relentless pursuit of vengeance.
Dean Bywater, newly released from prison is on a mission to track down the man responsible for the death of his best friend, Donna, sixteen years earlier. He doesn’t anticipate the irksome presence of his nephew Callum, ringleader of an anarchic gang of teenage thugs.
Cal and his gang are causing trouble for their headteacher, Stephen Lord, who cannot reconcile his idealistic principles with the need to stop the gang’s behaviour spiralling out of control. Soon there is another violent death to be avenged.
As this series of menacing events develops its own unstoppable momentum, old secrets and betrayals surface, ensuring that many lives will be destroyed before any kind of resolution can be reached.
Catherine Marshall has written an unforgettable novel, filled with sharply drawn, memorable characters and a story that takes us to a very modern heart of darkness, where decent people strive to do the right thing, only to find themselves brought low by events they are powerless to shape.