The Black Fox of Beckham

January 3, 2019

 

Set in the village of Beckham, nestled in the English countryside, where fox hunting has been a way of life for hundreds of years, a rare black fox is spotted shortly before the opening of the hunt season. The Beckhamshire County Hunt Club seizes on the opportunity to exploit a long history of sinister legends concerning black foxes in order to generate interest in the hunt and raise money for a sport that a growing segment of the population regard as cruel. The disturbing stories about black foxes quickly spread through the village and surrounding countryside, igniting rumors of an evil black fox and its witch handler. The master of foxhounds vows to track down and kill the now infamous “black fox of Beckham.” But this fox has embraced the guidance of her father before he was killed by hunters. “What makes you different also makes you powerful.” Arabella, the black fox, is befriended by kindred spirits: the autistic daughter of the secretary of the hunt, and a reclusive Gypsy widow who is regarded by many as suspicious. The three proudly brand themselves “the peculiars” and promise to end fox hunting in England.

The Black Fox of Beckham is a tale for young adult readers about winning at any cost, superstition, prejudice and being different and the magic of friendship.

 

REVIEW

A tapestry of intrigue, wit, drama and dare that enthralls the reader from start to finish.

Reviewed By Piaras O Cionnaoith for Emerald Book Reviews

We all like to read them at some stage, and many of us are so influenced by a good story that we adopt life changes to match. True stories and biographies are obviously the most inspirational, but there are also fictional stories that can be just as inspiring. And for me THE BLACK FOX OF BECKHAM is such a story.

Fox hunting is a traditional and royal hunting sport, popularized all over the world by the British. Hunting dogs or foxhounds are trained to chase and attack foxes from their hiding places, and these are followed by hunters on the horses.

The nature of fox hunting has strong associations with tradition and social class, and its practice for sport has made it a source of great controversy. There are those who have a moral objection to hunting and who are fundamentally opposed to the idea of people gaining pleasure from what they regard as the causing of unnecessary suffering.

BLACK FOX OF BECKHAM is an emotional, spiritual and poignant tale with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a dramatic and riveting tale of the fox hunt in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a fast-paced novel that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. It’s a story of ‘winning at any cost, superstition, prejudice and being different and the magic of friendship.’

The story had every element a good story should have. An intriguing plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I really look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader!

This is a tapestry of intrigue, wit, drama and dare that enthralls the reader from start to finish. A highly recommended read and a well deserved five stars from me.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David L. Heaney has spent his career helping individuals and organizations discover and pursue their own special transformational paths. He received a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Purchase, a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of San Diego, and a master’s degree from the Divinity School at Yale University.

Heaney has served as a parish minister, psychotherapist, and instructor with the University of San Diego’s Marital and Family Therapy program. His work over the course of nearly twenty years as an Episcopal pastor and family systems therapist has given him great insight into the psychological, spiritual, and social factors that drive individuals, families, and communities. He is cofounder of the Social Assistance Partnership, an entity that assists health and human-service organizations.

Heaney lives with his wife, Lynda, and their three dogs in Durham, North Carolina.

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