BRAT FARRAR (Suspense-England-1950s) – Ex Tey, Josephine – Standalone

Colliers Books, 1988, Paperback – ISBN: 0020088221

Brat Farrer is an English orphan who, after much travel, has decided to come back to England. He is soon mistaken for Simon Ashby of Latchetts by Alec Loding, a cousin of the Ashbys. Brat is talked into impersonating Patrick Ashby, Simon’s older twin who allegedly committed suicide when they were ten. Now about to come of age and inherit Latchetts, the plan is for Brat to claim Patrick’s inheritance and provide Alec with a lifetime allowance as reward. What Brat doesn’t expect is to care so much for the family and, more than fearing his fraud being uncovered, he is in fear of his life.

It has been 30 years since I first read this book and I’d forgotten just how good it is. The story starts off gently at the first sentence. I immediately find myself caught up in the lives of the characters and environment Ms. Tey created. Soon the suspense begins to build and I can’t put the book down. Even after the climax of the story, I am still kept in suspense until, at last, Ms. Tey kindly provides me with the resolution. I particularly wish other authors would take note that this completely enjoyable, engrossing and suspenseful story took only 276 pages to tell. If you’ve never read Brat Farrer or, as with me, it’s been a long time, treat yourself and pick it up. Also, for the Dick Francis fans, it not only has horses, but a somewhat similar feel in its style. It was, as my British acquaintances say, brilliant!

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