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'Simply the best British novel I've read this century' David Peace
At a bus stop in south London, black teenager Eldine Matthews is murdered by a racist gang. Twenty years later, L Troop's top boys - models of vice, deviance and violence - are far beyond justice. There are some people the law will not touch.
But Eldine's murder is not forgotten. His story is once again on everyone's lips and the streets of south London; a story of police corruption and the elimination of witnesses. A solicitor, a rent boy, a one-eyed comedian and his minder are raising ghosts; and Carl Hyatt, disgraced reporter, thinks he knows why.
There's one man linking this crew of rambunctious dandies and enchanting thugs, and it's the man Carl promised never to challenge again: Mulhall, kingpin of London's rotten heart and defender of L Troop's racist killers. Carl must face up to the morality of retribution and the reality of violence knowing that he is the weak link in the chain; and that he has placed everyone he loves within Mulhall's reach.
The Treatment is steeped in London's criminal past, its shadows of corruption and institutional racism. Like a seventeenth-century revenge tragedy, its characters reel from the streets, bars and brothels, hyperarticulate and propelled by wild justice.
'Simply the best British novel I've read since I don't know when - this decade? This century? And why? Because it engages with and confronts the central, crucial subjects of our time: race and racism, individual and institutional, of the corruption and failure of the police, the media and the law itself, asking where that then leaves us as citizens of such society, where revenge is the only justice left to us. But its brilliance is also in the telling of this tale, urgent and moral, in the sheer exuberance of the language and its narrative, filled with both humour and tragedy, and which really does reaffirm the potential and power of the novel, and the British Novel, no less.' David Peace