About A Son by David Whitehouse: book review

Book title:

About a son


David WhiteHouse

The 2015 murder of Morgan Hehir in Nuneaton, a Warwickshire market town, shook the local community – the brutality of the attacks, and also the fact that something so horrific could happen so close to home. Morgan’s father, Colin Hehir, began keeping a diary shortly after his son’s death – one that chronicles his grief, how Morgan’s death affected his family, and then his fight for the justice he felt his son had not received, refusing to let Morgan became another statistic, another unnamed victim of knife crime.

The journal eventually fell into the hands of David Whitehouse, an author from Nuneaton, and what emerged from this unique collaboration is a feat of creative non-fiction. A mix of true crime and memoirs, it’s a book that pays homage to Morgan as a young man whose life was suddenly cut short, while also being a book about Nuneaton himself, capturing the courage and tragedy beneath the surface of the city, as well as a sense of community and openness.

Whitehouse’s writing is brilliant and devastating, taking Colin’s diaries in their rawest and most vulnerable form and turning them into a compassionate depiction of a family’s grief and trauma, and an indictment furious at the institutions that failed Morgan and so many other young people like him. . A difficult but necessary read.

Phoenix, available now, £16.99

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