In his second collection of novellas, first published in 1957, Bates tackles bitter romantic deceptions and love triangles in what the Times Literary Supplement calls 'Mr Bates at his best.'
In 'Night Run to the West' a greedy wife plots the death of her invalid husband, as seen through the eyes of her lover, a civilised truck-driver who has been innocently drawn into her web.
'Summer in Salander' involves an inert shipping clerk and an attractive, demanding woman who visits his island. Having left her own husband, she selfishly sets out to destroy the young man she meets while on holiday. Bates cites this story as a rare case in which a work of imagination is later simulated in real life, when a similar woman appeared on board a ship where Bates and his wife were returning to the island he used as the story's setting.
'The Queen of Spain Fritillary' looks back at a summer flirtation a woman pursued with an older man when she was seventeen. Bates portrays the pastoral setting of their romance, and the foolishness and thoughtlessness that characterised their relationship.
Also included in this collection is bonus story 'Victim of Silence'. First published in the Daily Mail in 1939 it follows a young man, new to London, who is offered lodging in an ominous building. With just a torch for light, he encounters a fellow lodger, 'a war-crazy man with a gun in his hand.'
Bloomsbury Publishing; July 2016
- ISBN 9781448215171
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: Death of a Huntsman
- Author: H.E. Bates
Imprint: Bloomsbury Reader