The author of this debut thriller was himself a teacher and it shows. Read is very good on the mixture of drudgery and dread that characterises life at the chalk face.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the rest of The Art Teacher. Although the book has some of the makings of a pacy thriller, it’s let down by a plot that doesn’t so much twist and turn as flail around in blind panic.
The action revolves around Patrick, a teacher with an interesting history as an almost-made-it pop star, and his escalating conflict with a particularly unpleasant pupil.
There’s a lot of stuff about drugs, gangs, guns, Patrick’s failed marriage and his sort-of-affair with a pupil’s mum. But for the most part, it’s a bit of a mess.
A shame, because the sink-school setting and Patrick’s surly, indifferent pupils are convincingly portrayed. Could, and hopefully will, do better.
Published by Legend Press