Liverpool, 1939. Lonely historian Tom Baines is at work on a study of the city's architectural past but the ominous news from Europe, together with his burgeoning friendship with Richard, a young photographer, and his beautiful wife, Bella, are proving a distraction.
When the bombings begin, Tom joins up as 'rescue man', retrieving the wounded and dying from the ruins of buildings, but the love affair he embarks on soon leads him into a very different kind of danger.
Thoughtful, beautifully observed and utterly compelling
A fascinating novel - very moving and beautifully nuanced and observed - it beguiles with a tremendous slow-burning power
Brilliant...an involving meditation on passion, history and architecture
A love letter to Liverpool...ambitiously conceived... He has perfect pitch when it comes to the prose of each period, so much so that when I started the novel, I had the uncanny sense that what I was reading must have been salvaged from the 1940s. Its every line convinces
The story has the resonant simplicity of a poem... The Rescue Man turns the ongoing frenzy of construction and destruction into a quietly powerful metaphor of how we grow up