The Ugly Man (Short Story): A Dani Lancing Story
Random House UK, Ebury Publishing
The summer of 1976.
The whole country baking in a heatwave. And in a sleepy Derbyshire village a man, known locally as the Ugly Man, walks into his local with a claw hammer and in front of everyone brutally murders the young woman behind the bar.
For Patricia Lancing, juggling the demands of being a wife and mother alongside her desire to get recognition as an investigative journalist, this could be the case that makes her career…
If she survives it.
This is the second short story in the Dani Lancing series and it is a very dark and revealing expose of the ugly side of relationships and how fear, superstition and “difference” can prejudice and limit our experiences. I really felt sorry for The Ugly Man shunned since birth, for no fault of his own doing. His story breaks your heart and asks who really the victim here is?
Patricia Lancing fights sexism on all fronts – the sad thing is so much of what she faced in the 70’s hasn’t changed. The sly sexist comments slipped into conversations, the demeaning dirty jokes, the glass ceiling that does exist… Patricia Lancing has to prove herself in the work place over and over again…
The Ugly Man enriches the reading of one of my favourite books, The Last Winter of Dani Lancing and I cannot wait for the new book Summer of Ghosts to be available.