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Peter J. Hedge

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Legacy of a Hanged Man
by Peter J. Hedge   

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Publisher:  Ist Books Library ISBN-10:  1410774309 Type: 


Copyright:  Oct 7, 2003

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Fictional account of the last two weeks in the life of a condemned British prisoner.

Barnes &
Bolen Books
Munro's Books

 The novel has two settings: Vancouver, BC in 1994 and the condemned cell of a British prison in 1959 A successful Canadian author (Vincent Sutherland) is given the last writings of an 18 year old boy who was hanged for the murder of a British policeman in 1959. He takes the manuscript home and reads it.The story is not based on any actual case. However, it is an accurate account of how murder was oftentimes punished in the United Kingdom just over a generation ago.The novel has a "surprise" ending that can be interpreted several ways.

PLEASE NOTE!! My novel is now available at the site below for $12.50.  But before you shell out your hard earned cash, feel free to visit and read a lengthy extract at:

My book is also available in the UK from Bertrams (search necessary) and Books on the Web. Their respective URL's are:

I will update my webpage when it is available elsewhere.

Please send me an e-mail if you have any comments. 


The writing on the last few pages of paper was in complete contrast to Matchin's. It was graceful and flowing, full of loops and fancy tails that forced him to read slowly, digesting every word, in a once purple ink that had now faded to rust-brown in the more than thirty-six years that had passed since it had been written.

Sutherland downed the remainder of his drink in one swallow and then replaced it generously. The bottle was already half empty, but that was necessary: the alcohol was his crutch, that which he must lean on in order to finish the final act of the hanged man's legacy.

Professional Reviews

All of a sudden it's over and the waiting has begun

"It's about ten hours since the judge put on the black cap and sentenced me. All of a sudden it's over and the waiting has begun".

Steven Matchin's life is about to end. There is nothing more to do but wait. He takes pen in hand and writes about what he is feeling. This is his story.

A teenager so influenced by peer pressure in an attempt to impress his older friend - Shell - shoots a policeman in a robbery gone wrong. Now he sits in a jail cell, a Padre and prison guards his only companions. The reader is taken on a roller coast ride of emotion as the days tick away. Short bursts of humor dispel the tension only to be replaced by dark depression and fear. Steven becomes as familiar to the reader as one of the family in the brilliant exposure of his character by the author. Steven tells of his many attempts to earn money, some a success but most a failure, he and his best friend Shell working side by side always sharing their adventures. But where is his friend now? The murderer is transformed into a typical teenager in the minds of those who listen. Colorful vocabulary make this a believable story. Vivid imagery of the prison allows the reader to envison not only the state of Steven's surroundings, but also the bleakness of his future. Padre Llewellyn consoles, listens and comforts until the end when he becomes the keeper of the manuscript. Upon his death the manuscript finds its way into the hands of a famous writer, Vincent Sutherland. Sutherland is a man whose life is in turmoil, haunted by his past. Why does the manuscript come to him? What is the connection?

Author Peter Hedge's ability to tell a story shines in his novel. Long after you set it down the book haunts you. How often have you said, "He deserved what he got. Justice has been served"? This book will make you think twice.

Highly recommended

Reviewer: Shirley Roe, Allbooks Review

Rating: ****

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Reader Reviews for "Legacy of a Hanged Man"

Reviewed by Richard Eastwood 6/3/2008
If you know of anyone,or have been in a situation similar to Stevens,then you will understand the uncanny accuracy of this novel and especially the prison officers and padre.
This should be a "must read" for all youngsters,especially those who may have strayed from the straight and narrow.
I thoroughly reccomend this book.
Reviewed by Mark Phillips 11/21/2003
Fancy coming across this book again as I browsed around having just joined the site. I last saw it over here in England, when a friend had just read it and was raving on and on about it being such a brilliant read. I reluctantly, and at his insistence took it home; mostly just to shut him up, and rather hoping I would hate it or find it too boring to get through, and be able to tell him it was crap... I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it!

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Peter J. Hedge

Legacy of a Hanged Man

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