White Rabbit, Red Wolf

White Rabbit, Red Wolf

Tom Pollock,

White Rabbit, Red Wolf

Walker Books, 2018

ISBN 9781406378177

14-16 Shortlist 2019


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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Tom Pollock is a graduate of the Sussex University Creative Writing Programme, and a member of the London-based writers’ group The T-Party. A long-time fan of science fiction and fantasy, he has spectacularly failed to grow out of his obsession with things that don’t, in the strictest sense of the word, exist. 

He has his master of fine arts degree from Sussex University and also holds a master’s degree in philosophy and economics from Edinburgh University. 

He has lived everywhere from Scotland to Sumatra, but the peculiar magic of London has always drawn him back.

What's It About?

A taut thriller about murder, maths and the mind.

Peter Blankman is afraid of everything but must confront truly unimaginable terror when his mother is attacked. Seventeen-year-old Peter is a maths prodigy. He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as well as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Pete is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine.

Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength.

Fact File

Tom’s writing influences and inspirations are Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, David Almond and Alan Garner.

Tom pretty much does all his writing at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank. He says, “It’s light and airy, has plug sockets, and as a bonus, internet access flaky enough to guarantee that I’ll concentrate on my writing”.

Battersea Power Station is a London landmark that has inspired Tom’s writing!

Tom has a sweet tooth and particularly loves ice cream. 

To find out more about Tom, follow him on Twitter @tomhpollock

Your Reviews

Diana from Southfield Grange Campus:

What a roller-coaster of a book! Tom Pollock really knows how to intrigue a reader and make them feel what the characters are feeling. He knows how to create real panic in just a few words and that makes this story stand out in the crowd. Whenever Pete would have a panic attack, I would also get a racing heart and hear my blood pounding against my ear drums. Pollock’s words painted base colours on a blank canvas, sentences painted shapes, and paragraphs painted the finishing touches, which by the end of the book created an almost finished masterpiece.

Also, the amount of time and energy that was put into this book is visible when you’re reading it. So much intricacy and care were put into all the mathematics. It was a real change from what I’ve ever read before. I am not a big fan of maths, but this book has made me see the beauty of maths and how much of it affects our lives without us knowing it. Simply fascinating.

But, as I’d mentioned, the novel was an almost finished masterpiece. By this, I mean that the ending seemed quite rushed. When Pete’s mother revealed something quite shocking near the very last pages, it seemed like we were going to get a complete answer on the very last page, but that was not the case. It was very abrupt, almost as if Pollock didn’t know how to finish the novel or had gotten bored of writing the novel by the last few sentences.

The entire novel is really well done, one of my favourites to be exact, but the only thing that bothers me is the last two or so sentences. If the story was meant to be left open-ended and made to make the reader make up their own ending, then Tom Pollock really did do a good job of that. If not, then I really do need a sequel because the story really is too interesting and unique to be left at such an abrupt ending.

Diana gave White Rabbit, Red Wolf 3 out of 5 and now plans to read The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart.