In a Liverpool torn apart by the Second World War, the 'Rescue Man' takes to saving the wounded from bombed buildings. But can he stop his own life from unravelling?
Rescue Man opens on the eve of the Second World War. With uncertainty in the air as the world seems on the brink of disaster, Liverpool is a city tense in anticipation of the coming conflict. Orphaned as a child and now approaching forty with no prospect of a family of his own, Tom Baines is a man emotionally adrift. Unable to commit to anything, either personal or professional, he is left looking in at life from the outside, with only his fascination for architecture to connect him.
The outbreak of war brings a new sense of purpose and unexpected relationships. Baines joins the Rescue Men –retrieving the wounded from bombed buildings.The Blitz is yet in wartime ordinary rules are suspended, risks taken and Baines finds himself caught up in a love affair that is as heady and all-consuming as it is transgressive.
With writing that is both immediate and deeply steeped in its time, Anthony Quinn recreates wartime Liverpool with emotional intensity in this powerful story of love found and lost.
“Thoughtful, beautifully observed and utterly compelling”
Independent on Sunday
“A fascinating novel - very moving and beautifully nuanced and observed - it beguiles with a tremendous slow-burning power”
“A real page-tuner”
Mail on Sunday
“Quinn has a cinematic eye for narrative scope ... Like all good novels this book tells us something new”
“Tells the slowly unfolding story of Baines' journey of self-discovery with great subtlety”
“A love letter to Liverpool ... ambitiously conceived ... [with] perfect pitch”
“a most impressive debut... This is an intelligent and well-paced novel...Quinn has a fine ear for language and penning original and shining similes”
Doug Kemp, Historical Novels Review
“An absorbing tribute to the city and its unsung heroes.”
Holly Kyte, Sunday Telegraph
“He [Anthony] hooks you in with his deep, complex characters; he meticulously sets the scene”
“In a novel of cinematic denouements, Quinn has reclaimed an intriguing chapter of Liverpool's past”
Emma Hagestadt, Independent
“The narrative is elegantly constructed. The novel was deservedly shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott prize for new fiction.”
Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian