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Hidden Intentions by Dave Flint


Toby could… and Toby would.

‘Enjoy yourself as you rot, old man. And you’re not my dad – you never were.’ Southern England, September 1957

When thirteen-year-old Toby Mitcher’s mum collapses, never to wake up, Toby’s alcoholic stepfather becomes his legal guardian. He thought life couldn’t get much worse, but was he wrong.

Time passes, and an orderly direction comes into his life. That is until problems start and the disappearances begin.

No more being put upon or allowing bad situations to happen.

From now on, Toby is in control. Or is he?

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Dave Flint’s debut novel is a coming of age suspenseful and disturbing tale about Toby Mitcher. Abused by his stepfather, ignored by this mother, loved by his Aunt May and Tom.  A young boy larger than his years and misunderstood.  But Toby has a dark side. 

At times I forget Toby is only thirteen when this story starts out. His decisions and actions are more mature than most boys his age, but then I realized the story was set in the 50s and 60s where children were given more responsibility. One cannot help but feel empathy for Toby and his harsh beginnings, and strangely, even when Toby does horrendous things throughout the book, somehow it feels justified…until it goes too far. The supporting characters of Aunt May, Tom, Ben, and his coaches give the reader a sense of happiness that Toby could find kindness and love from adults considering his past.

The slow pace of this realistic story is done well and is fitting for Toby’s country life and the timeframe. The shocking ending was not what I wanted, but it seemed appropriate given the circumstances.

Overall, this suspenseful, heartwarming, and disturbing debut mystery is a good mix of love, loss, and revenge with an unsettling ending.  Recommend highly!

Thank you to Mr. Flint for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Hidden Intentions

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Dave FlintDave Flint has been an avid reader since his twenties. Married at the age of twenty, and eighteen months later with three days’ notice, he and his wife discovered their baby was going to be twin girls.

He thinks the shock at that time ended their thoughts of having any more children. He served in the Merchant Navy for a short period until he realised being engaged and married, for him, would not work too well. So, he worked in industry and later the aircraft and radar sector until his retirement in 2012 at the age of 64. Finding a hobby, he joined a writing group not knowing where it might lead him. Low and behold all those books he read over the years must have had an impact on him. The writing group he joined gave him encouragement and criticism, enabling him to find his feet in another world.

Together, he and his wife have holidayed in many countries. China being the most astonishing last year, they just made that one! They like the scenic trips where they can take in the different wonders of the world, such as in America’s Parks and Canyons, Yellowstone, and New Orleans Bayous, Italy’s Pompeii, and what its cities have to offer with its past. The Vatican and Rome, Sicily and Etna, The Catacombs and so much more. He did stop in Southern Africa in his early years while in the M.N. that could probably be why he was so taken with Wilbur Smith and his books.

Being in good health, he enjoys playing Badminton and going on long walks with the Ramblers group he belongs to and now looks forward to when he can get back into the swing of things.

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