This is Nicholas Gordon's first novel and it provides a very deep and profound insight into his feelings about the countryside and many of the problems it currently faces. Not only does it provide some excellent observations of the sport of shooting both past and present; it also has the elements of a good thriller and crime novel. Anyone with an interest in the countryside in general is likely to find it an interesting and absorbing read. Far from being bland political statement; the book is a finely crafted tale with an intriguing and at times very disturbing plot.
The Shrew tells of one country man's struggle to protect his livelihood and the traditions that he grew up with against a rising tide of terror and destruction. When Victor Drew the gamekeeper at the Brockleston shoot receives a threatening letter from what appears to be a group of animal rights activists he becomes concerned for the security of his job and the continuation of sporting activities on the estate. He knows that Richard Mowbray, Lord Hugo Brockleston's land agent, has no loyalty to the long-standing traditions of the estate. Mowbray would gladly replace the shoot with any more profitable enterprises to fund his absentee employer's extravagant lifestyle in the Bahamas, thus protecting his own post in the bargain. Victor cannot imagine the size of the storm that is just over the horizon or the strength of the forces stacked against him and the shoot.