The Whitby Trilogy – The story
This series of three novels recites the vicissitudes of the leading members of a huge middleclass English family of slaughtermen and butchers. Out of nineteenth century coalminers, smallholders and stockbreeders and via meat purveyors and shopkeepers, the twenty-first century produces a fifth-generation globe-trotting computer software expert possessing the resolute intent of his forbears.
The main character, Eugene Whitby, sees himself as a post-war successful businessman. But he is merely seeking atonement for a lost love. Spurred on by an older brother and resented by another, his near-death revelations to a family outsider leads to criminal examination.
The reader will question the Whitby clan’s place in modern English history.
Curiosity killed the cat. Why did I write a trilogy?
Why wasn’t Eugene (Book 1) a standalone? After all, my previous books such as “Derbyshire born” had been. Looking back, it was due to reaction to the story.
You see, Pearl (Book 2) had befriended Eugene as an old man. She heard about a huge family of slaughtermen and butchers, his war service in Burma and the opening of supermarkets back home. She never doubted his take on events, why would she? He played no part in the ruination of the original family business.
So, the contents of a note handed to her at his graveside came as a huge shock. It said Eugene had murdered two of his brothers. Had he?
Pearl had a mission: she would prove Eugene had been an honest man. But, the police opened a cold-case review based on notes left by a junior officer in the 1950’s. Eugene had been under suspicion and a new approach might prove his guilt.
There would have been no third book except for one thing. An onlooker at a wedding thought that a young man leaving the church “walked with a slight swagger”. Enter the fourth generation Luke.