Cover Image: The Hickory Stick

The Hickory Stick

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Member Reviews

This book got my attention for several reasons. 1. Historical fiction.  2. I love seeing a time when degrees weren't necessary for success. 3. Last name is also one of my ancestors surnames!  After all that, I figured the book would be a good read. And it was for the most part.  I'd recommend it for reading over some coffee, tea of pastries in the afternoon. Barnaby leads quite a life.... he rubs elbows with the creme de la creme and the bottom of the barrel, has lovers, and lots of experiences. Weakest part of book was the ending... is there a sequel in the works???
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This is a fun book to read with Barnaby telling us the story of his life. It has a bit of an  awkward ending with the clear view that you need to pick up the next in the series. I don't mind a vague ending in books, I don't need happy endings but I don't like it when a book is split like a serial. I'm one of those people who saves up a series on sky+/Tivo to watch all in one go as I hate waiting a week for the next episode. It's worse with books.

It is a fun, fast paced book besides that point. It's a fun book and a good summer read

Free arc from netgalley
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This was a bit different than what I usually read but different is good, right? A true coming of age story. Barnaby Madden is nineteen and cocky as all get out. He signs up to be a constable an as luck would have it he gets hired with virtually no training. Nothing like the police academy they put them through today. My son just went through the police academy this past Summer and is now an officer. Young Norfolk Police Constable Barnaby is to meet with his superior buy before he can do so meets a group of men he doesn't know and takes the leader down. Now this is a man the town has feared and the town's people are happy with him for his actions and have a bit of fear of him as well. His cockiness disappears along the way as his tasks get harder and some of the town's people just don't like him. He is a roving constable as he is assigned to different towns in the early 1830's England. The ladies certainly seem to like him in each town he is stationed in. He deals with his fair share of troubles and a few times he looks like he is in over his head . Very interesting fictional account of a police constable in the early days of Queen Victoria.
Pub Date 23 Nov 2015 
Thank you to NetGalley and Thistle Publishing for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Barnaby Madden was nineteen and ready to make something of himself in the very early  Victorian era of 1839. He knew he didn’t want to follow his father into working the seas, but he needed to have some kind of career to set him up for life, when along came a helpful friend to show him a lucky advertisement asking for constables for the law enforcement  in the local area.  With nothing to lose he set out to apply and despite lying about his age he was accepted into the force. What follows this introduction to the hero is the daily ups and downs of life as a roving constable in country England.

Barnaby is a likeable lad and it has to be said that he certainly gets his fair share of luck with the ladies. He deals with all manner of situations from theft to rape to smuggling illegal substances in his daily work.  This story shows the harsh reality and dangers of having to find somewhere to live, being an unwelcome interloper to a community and the skills required to ingratiate himself into the said community. 

Often based on real people and their real stories, there is a good mix of fiction and historical nonfiction woven into this story. The characters are finely drawn and lure you into the piece. It is a fun book to read, often feeling like the diary of Barnaby Madden rather than a story being told from an outside source. It does end somewhat awkwardly however, with no sense of closure to the story; rather the desire to keep reading about his story is strong. 

Easy summer reading.
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The Hickory Stick by Ted Bocking/Thistle Publishing
3 Stars
The story of a inexperience young Constable.  19 yr old Barnaby Madden has many adventures his first year as a County Constable.  He quickly learns how to earn the respect of his community.
The story is full of fast pace adventure, humor and a splash of sexy.  
I would recommend this book to friends.
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