Families have secrets. War will expose them.
1912. A young boy Tom Shepherd is invited to stay at Hardinge Hall. Mr and Mrs Hardinge are trying to arrange the marriage of their son Teddy to Iris, the daughter of a local businessman. Tom becomes the innocent messenger who delivers the secret arrangements. Armistice Day 1918. The First World War has changed everything, especially the closeted world that Iris, Teddy, and Tom existed in. Will things ever be the same again? 1927.
Tom is now a journalist investigating the discovery of a baby’s bones in the woods around Hardinge Hall. Will the past and present move towards a resolution that could bring everything crashing down?
The Good Messenger is an epic tale of love, loyalty and deception set across two decades.
What readers are saying about The Good Messenger
"John Simmons captures a sense of place and time beautifully."
"A rewarding novel of love, war, family, childhood, identity and class."
"There is a mystery at the heart of this fine novel."
"A beautiful story, beautifully told."
A distinguished career as a brand consultant has turned into a parallel life as a novelist in recent years. John was a director of Interbrand where he created the brand discipline of tone of voice, working internationally with some of the world’s most famous companies. He became a freelance writer while establishing two organisations for writers – 26 and Dark Angels. For Dark Angels, named after John’s book on writing creatively for business, he continues to run writing workshops that have become legendary. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Falmouth for ‘outstanding contribution to the creative sector’. John’s first novel Leaves was originally published by Urbane in 2015, having been in his head since university days. This quickly led to Spanish Crossings, with the Spanish Civil War and a family story as background. His third novel The Good Messenger is set on Armistice Day 1918 and on either side of the first world war. Above all John believes in the power of storytelling.