TV naturalist ‘Prof Leo’ Sanders makes it to his deathbed without a whiff of scandal — then confesses his career-defining wildlife discovery was a hoax.
A National Treasure shattering his own reputation on YouTube is enough to spark a media frenzy, and the curiosity of part-time journalism student Claire Webster who makes him the subject of her dissertation.
Her investigations lead to Prof Leo’s estranged family, and a high-flying advertising guru he also slandered in the video.
Ultimately Claire uncovers the truth behind the discovery of the Potley Hill Lemming — the first new species of British mammal in a century.
Chris Chalmers was born in Lancashire and lives in south-west London. He’s been the understudy on Mastermind, visited 40 countries and swum with marine iguanas. His first novel, ‘Five To One’, was winner of a debut novel competition and nominated for the Polari First Book Prize; his latest, ‘The Last Lemming’, is out now in paperback and ebook. He has written a diary for 42 years and never missed a night.
Click on a reading from ‘The Last Lemming’, or a Five-To-ONE-MINUTE-MOVIE for a 60-second intro to the main characters and themes of ‘Five To One’. Or search ‘chris chalmers novelist’ on YouTube, for clips of Chris reading from his other books, poems about Christmas Eve and butcher’s shops, and fox cubs dancing to ABBA. (Yep, it’s as high-brow as that.)
This book has an incredible number of twists and turns as Claire uncovers the truth, or some of it,behind the Potley Hill lemming and the bizarre video “Prof Leo” posted online posthumously claiming it was all a hoax.
The humour is quite black and the story eye raising to say the least, Claire is a likeable protagonist and Leo is really a rather nasty chap. I felt sorry for the lemmings and the other people Leo caused to suffer.
The flashbacks to Leo’s scheme fill in the gaps in Claire’s research and complete the grim tale of Arctic rodents in suburbia.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.