Today it is my pleasure to be bringing you an extract of The Second Son by Andy Blackman as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Authoright for inviting me to take part. Let’s start by taking a look at what this book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
As the second son of the Duke of Hampshire, Grenville St John Hampton isn’t likely to inherit his family’s title or estate, leaving him pondering an empty, aimless future. During the summer break from university, he impulsively decides to go backpacking with one of his oldest friends, Johnathan; their destination is Belize.
One sultry night on the Central American coastline, Grenville and Johnathan meet Tom. A game of darts takes a vicious turn. Realising he has nothing to look forward to back at home, Grenville decides to stay on in Belize with Tom, in pursuit of adventure. Together, the new friends establish an import business, and for the rst time in his life, Grenville has a sense of purpose.
But back in England all is not well. The sudden death of his brother leaves Grenville with an unexpected – and now unwanted – inheritance, with new consequences and responsibilities. He will return to claim the family’s seat with a dark secret in tow.
This is where Grenville first finds out his much loved and best friend in life his Grandfather has died, the first great loss of his life.
The first thing Grenville thought was, what had he recently done that could warrant him a visit to Walpole House Common Room during lesson times? Then he realised if it had been trouble then surely, he would have been summoned to the Headmaster’s study for retribution, and surely both Jonathan and Hugo would also have been summoned.
Grenville stood. Jonathan and Hugo looked at Grenville; both looked concerned, but Grenville shrugged and smiled as he left the Latin class. On the way, back to the Common Room, Grenville thought hard on why he would be summoned, especially out of a lesson. As he crossed the car park, he spotted Newton standing next to the family Rolls Royce. Newton raised his hand; this made Grenville run as fast as he could toward Walpole House. Grenville was out of breath by the time he reached Walpole House. As he entered the Common Room, Grenville saw Mr Raymond and his mother were sitting chatting over a cup of tea. As Grenville entered, they both stood. Grenville knew it was bad news, especially since his mother had decided to break the news herself.
Grenville went to his mother’s embrace; Mr Raymond made his excuses and left them alone. His mother placed him at arm’s length, and was surprised he was nearly as tall as she was. “I have some bad news for you Grenville. I am afraid to tell you your grandfather has passed away,” said his mother with tears in her eyes.
“When, how?” Grenville asked quietly.
“Yesterday tea time, I found him in the library, he looked so peaceful as if he had just fallen asleep.”
Grenville smiled. “I think that’s the way he would have wanted to go.”
“Yes, I am sure you are right,” said his mother, smiling.
“Have you told Stephan yet?” asked Grenville.
“Your father is with him now,” replied his mother.
“When is the funeral?” asked Grenville.
“Next Tuesday,” said his mother, “but your father has decided not to take you out of school to attend.”
“But mother…” Grenville started to say, but his mother took his face in her hands, and with tears in her eyes, said, “It’s your father’s decision, please respect it.” Grenville nodded, his eyes full of tears, and said, “Of course, mother, I will.”
His mother took a white envelope from her pocket, and passed it to Grenville. “We found this envelope addressed to you in your grandfather’s effects,” said his mother.
Grenville took the envelope but, not opening it, placed it in his pocket. There was a light knock on the door, and Mr Raymond poked his head round the door.
“Everything alright?” he asked.
“Yes, thank you, Mr Raymond,” replied Grenville’s mother.
Grenville was looking out of the window and saw his father striding toward the house. Not wanting to speak or see his father, Grenville asked his mother’s and Mr Raymond’s permission to be alone for a time. Grenville embraced his mother and after saying goodbye, ran from the Common Room towards his room.
The Second Son is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren. His previous novel, For the Love of Grace, was published in 2016.