Shocked by the violent beating of their popular high-school quarterback, a small New England town immediately calls for justice, and for police chief Jack Baker to restore order.
Caught in the political spiral of the town elders and their ten-cent dictator, first selectman Mason, Baker has no choice but to place one of his most trusted officers, Charlene Goodlow, in the school.
As Baker manages the ‘grown-ups’ of the town, Charlene soon finds that she is regressing, her own long-buried high school anxieties returning to gnaw at her.
Increasingly isolated and frightened, Charlene finds herself at the corner of a vicious triangle of lust and animosity. As the violence and tension escalate, she slips further down the rabbit-hole, until she is left with a teenage boy in the sights of her police issue revolver and the singular decision of whether or not she will pull the trigger.
Escalation is a fast-paced work of contemporary fiction, deeply rooted in the darkest of unintended consequences.
|Family Rules (2011)
New York. In this city that never sleeps, anyone could make a brand new start of it. Or so the song goes.For some people, starting again is no option.
Kenny is adrift in the city, tormented by the scars and memories of his unique upbringing as a child star in the UK, chasing any addiction that can fill the void he carries at his core.
Increasingly unable to paper over the cracks, to numb himself with street corner narcotics, or build an abiding relationship with his junkie soul-mate Ivvy, he turns to stealing cars to provide momentary escape from his increasingly desolate life.
Estranged from his parents, Kenny has no hope or vision of a better future.
Until one night he steals a car from a gas station in New Jersey and is offered an unexpected, final opportunity for redemption; a radically different role to play.
Family Rules is an intense personal account of an invented life, where all the rules of family life are inverted, and of the damage done when the boundary between reality and television is truly no boundary at all
|Karaoke Criminals (2006)
In Music, Musica, a karaoke bar on the Spanish riviera, Roxi is about to discover that her dreams may come true when Brian Ferguson offers to hook her up with his connections back in London. Roxi has no idea of the price attached to this offer; Brian doesn’t do anything without good reason.
And for Miles Ashley, who thought he’d escaped Brian’s clutches years earlier, a single phone call is enough to stop the song, rewinding the tape to zero.
Throw in an A&R rep under threat of castration and an exquisitely dangerous hood on the verge of a nervous breakdown and it’s time to make music; gunfire drumbeats, filter sweep of cordite.
As the double-crosses, gang wars, reclaimed favours and challenged loyalties intertwine, it’s clear that only blood spilled in revenge can clean the slate ready for Roxi’s success.
In this part of the world, this is how business gets done.
Even the music business.
‘Karaoke Criminals’ is a fast-paced contemporary novel, the bastard offspring of ‘The Commitments’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’. Music has never been this dangerous.
|Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? (2003)
In a moving tale of one man’s search for meaning in an increasingly lonely and depressing life, a washed up seaside painter embarks on a journey that will change him forever.
Bored, lacking inspiration and verging on alcoholism, Ray encounters a man burning alive as he walks the beach near his home. The painter is persuaded to visit the burnt man’s home, Certainty, where a commune gathers under the spell of its enigmatic leader, Ged. Although it seems the idyllic embodiment of counter-culture freedom, Ray discovers that Certainty is far from ideal. Something insidious, something evil, lurks just beneath the surface.
As his unusual, traumatic rebirth unfolds, Ray discovers the horror of an inferno he has denied for years. To save the love that can provide true meaning in his life, he has no choice but to answer that one, repeating question: do sparrows eat butterflies?
|Garbled Glittering Glamours (2011)
Garbled Glittering Glamours is a collection of poetry published here on the blog and elsewhere in 2010.