Giles, my sibling, my Mephistophilis. You lie whenever it suits you, but when you lie to me, surely you can take the trouble to make it convincing?
Simon Coltraine is a professional songwriter and musician. His brother Giles - market trader, rogue and amiable bully - is a crook. When Giles is killed in a car accident Simon returns to their childhood home to confront his memories and his own complicity in his brother's schemes.
The Devil has all the best tunes.
Martin Cooper links the sunlit sweep of England's West Country landscapes with the grubby shadows of London's Kentish Town Road. A turn-the-page crime story, but running through it are powerful threads of humour and melancholy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Martin Cooper’s novel, Cold Hillside, explores the relationship between two brothers, Simon and Giles Coltraine. The story unfolds as Giles figures in what looks like a tragic car accident. Now a professional musician, Simon returns to his hometown to bury his brother. Giles was five years older than Simon and the two had grown up on a farm where the neighbors were few and far between. While Giles’ first major possession was a beat-up moped that he transformed into a motorbike, Simon discovered the violin while still in secondary school. And while Giles opted to stay on the farm, Simon chose to live in London. Now, Giles’ death opens a can of worms that eventually catches up with Simon himself. Cold Hillside is a story that one has to carefully dissect to get to the bottom of it. Giles is dead and it is his brother, Simon, who has to sort out the mess that he leaves behind. In the first few chapters, one could get completely lost as to the kind of activities that Giles involved himself in. And as one reads on and finds out, it is sometimes necessary to turn back the pages again just to make sure that you get the facts right. The first few pages contain a violin, the lyrics of the song, Cold Hillside, composed by Simon, and the very short chapters entitled Sound Check and First Set. I was intrigued by this format and only belatedly realized the reason why they are there. For those who want a challenging read, this book is a must.