"Witty dialogue, lively characters, and a shrewd political awareness of the times" — MARELE DAY
"It takes a talented writer to imbue history with colour and vivacity. It is all the more impressive when the author creates a compelling narrative. As an example of a burgeoning genre, A Few Right Thinking Men more than matches its historical crime contemporaries in both areas....Rowland, his friends Clyde and Milton, and lover Edna all lovingly evoke a past artistic spirit. The brushes, paints and portraits hung around the house all leave an indelible impression of early Australian bohemia. Eric Campbell and Henry Alcott are also memorable, and a devilish sense of humour helps buoy the novel’s more historic roots. Put simply, Gentill shows great understanding of both craft and structure...It is rare to find such an assured début as A Few Right Thinking Men. The novel deserves to be both read and remembered as an insight into the Australia that was; its conflicting ideologies, aims and desires; the hallmarks of a country still maturing." - LAURIE STEED, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVEIW
Rowland Sinclair paints in a superbly tailored, three-piece suit. Friend of the Left, son of the Right, he indulges his artistic passions supported by the old money to which he was born. At times it can be awkward but on the whole he manages rather well.
Until his uncle is murdered. Suddenly he is no longer indifferent.
As political tensions escalate, the nervous establishment gathers in secret fascist armies and Communism finds support amongst the unemployed masses. New South Wales balances precariously on the verge a bloody revolution, and Rowland Sinclair stands between the increasingly belligerent extremes
“...Campbell cut an impressive figure. He was a tall man of about forty years, broad shouldered and immaculately dressed in a double-breasted suit of fashionably light fabric. He was bald on top with the remaining fringe cropped short in military style. His face was surprisingly soft, his smile broad under a small brush-like moustache...”
“...Clyde looked up and caught the direction of Rowland's gaze. He regarded him sympathetically. The Sinclairs had more money than God, yet the poor bastard was still in love with Edna. Clyde shook his head. They'd all been in love with Edna at some point, but loving her was like looking at the sun - it would send you blind in the end...”
“...By the time Lesley had bet his newly acquired motorcar on a single hand, a significant crowd had gathered to look on. The triumph of the colonial upstart was a public sensation. Rowland would probably have forgiven the wager to anyone else, particularly since the car in question was German. But it was too sweet a victory. He drove the Mercedes whenever opportunity allowed, even if the distance was short enough to stroll...”
“...MacKay was not alone. A second man, in one of the visitors’ chairs, sat with his legs stretched out halfway across the office. Rowland needed no introduction. The jutting lower jaw and the drooping moustache had been caricatured for years by countless cartoonists and poster artists.
Delaney was mortified. "Premier Lang, I'm sorry to disturb you, sir,…”
...The housekeeper clutched the silver cross that hung from her neck. "I saw something, Mr. Rowly," she whispered.
"It was not of this world, sir."
"All right," said Rowland carefully, trying to keep the scepticism out of his voice. "What was it exactly Mrs. Donnelly?"
She was now gripping her cross with both hands. She kissed it before she spoke again. "Ghosts, Mr. Rowly. Dark spirits."...
...DeGroot, Captain DeGroot apparently, was a softly spoken retired soldier, now manufacturing period furniture and dealing in antiques. While he did not say so explicitly, Rowland gathered that he was quite highly positioned in the New Guard heirarchy...
...It occurred to Rowland that perhaps these good men were confused as to which secret Fascist army they belonged...