The story

This series of three novels recites the vicissitudes of the leading members of a huge middleclass English family of slaughtermen and butchers. Out of nineteenth century coalminers, smallholders and stockbreeders and via meat purveyors and shopkeepers, the twenty-first century produces a fifth-generation globe-trotting computer software expert possessing the resolute intent of his forbears.

The main character, Eugene Whitby, sees himself as a post-war successful businessman. But he is merely seeking atonement for a lost love. Spurred on by an older brother and resented by another, his near-death revelations to a family outsider leads to criminal examination.

The reader will question the Whitby clan’s place in modern English history.
Part 1
Born at the wrong time, to the wrong family and loved the wrong girl. But, lived long enough to tell his extraordinary life story
Part 2
A true friend with the grit and determination to find out what actually happened
Part 3
A man of our time: techie with entrepreneurial flair. Refuses to be bettered
The Whitby Trilogy
1920 – 2020 Century of Change
Copyright 2020 ©John G Smith -


Bookbag: - Top 10 Pick 2016 (Eugene)

Eugene Review That's Books: This is a well written and very moving novel.

M.C. Notts:
"If you like plot twists, betrayal, intrigue and murder in your books then Luke will not disappoint."

Luke Review ML:
This very readable third book in the anthology brings the storyline to the present day with the plot this time involving Australia as well as the previously oft-travelled Myanmar. With financial chicanery, exploitation of university students, artificial intelligence and assorted entanglements, the plot moves at a rapid pace. I really enjoyed the characters and trying to guess where the events would lead.  An immensely enjoyable book with a completely unanticipated plot twist.

Luke Review AM: This novel, in my opinion the best of the trilogy, gallops along, melding the complex relationships between a disparate group of people with some clever and knowledgeable insights into the money markets. I didn’t understand all the technical aspects of currency exchange but that didn’t affect my enjoyment. Two things I liked: the way the personality of the eponymous Luke gradually alters over the course of the story and, as with the other novels by the same author, the gathering pace of the narration, leading to a crescendo and a spectacular finish.

Luke Review DB. IOW: I have finished your book!!! Well, I was blown away by the ending. I just kept thinking what, what just happened and then had to go back and read it all again.

There has to be another book, I need to know what happens to Luke (he cannot get off that easily, like Harold did) .  I can see why you said the characters lives can carry on and their stories of what they can get up to. ??

The book was a captivating page turner. It makes you think and question what you have just read. The characters and their lives are beautifully described that you can feel and connect with their fury and frustration towards a vengeful man.

Luke Review MC: Luke is the final part of a trilogy of books outlining the journey of members of a large Derbyshire family, from 19th century rural slaughterhouse to modern day software house, with a large slice of Burmese culture thrown in.

This third part charts the ambitions and machinations of Luke Brown, a computer expert who uses his skills to advance an inherited fortune - by reducing trading risks in options and futures, rationalisation of international money transfers and Artificial Intelligence. Is he genuine, or is he using those around him? Much of the story is told in conversations, and the limited amount of background narrative allows the reader to form their own opinion on his good, or bad, intentions as the story progresses.

This is an eminently readable book as we follow the actions of Pearl, the confidant of Luke’s great uncle, and her friends, as they seek to determine his designs and intentions.

Luke Review SM: I was blown away by your last book Luke. Fantastic, compelling and technical that I have to understand before I can read further. Wow you have written yourself forward into a wonderful tome. I found it a cross between Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes and Fear Index by Robert Harris. Luke is concise, moves a pace and while explanatory it is very diverse. What an achievement. Thank you I thoroughly enjoyed it, took me longer than expected but that’s a bonus for me.

NEW - The complete Trilogy is now available as an E-Book
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The Whitby Trliogy Parts 1-3