When Craig Robertson's religious fanatic father disappears, Craig is forced to return to the home he'd left behind after an underage affair in order to look for answers. His new lover, private investigator Paul Maloney, agrees to help so they can continue to enjoy their fledgling relationship. During his initial search, Craig finds items that belonged to Michael, his lover in that long-ago ill-fated affair, and soon discovers that Michael has disappeared as well. The search becomes an investigation into Craig's past, and, because of distressing gaps in his memory, he's terrified of the truths he might find. Finally Craig tells Paul his deepest fear: that Michael is dead and he himself is responsible. While Paul refuses to believe his lover is a murderer, Craig's obsession with uncovering clues grows, and their fragile relationship begins to disintegrate. Now on his own, haunted and stalked, Craig has to face down the horror of his memories if he wants to have any hope of a future at all.
Anne gives an overview of the book:
The evening Paul finally rang him, it had been the last thing Craig expected. He’d spent a rough day out on a modelling shoot, trying to look sultry and continental in a boat on the Thames in the middle of December. The rain had been pissing it down and the make-up girl had to redo him every five minutes.
He didn’t complain though – God, it was hard enough getting a job at all, without screwing it so he didn’t get hired again. Word soon got around in this town. Not like where he was brought up, where secrets could be hidden for a lifetime sometimes.
Anyway, the shoot dragged on because of the rain, and it was gone eight by the time he got back. The phone was ringing when he walked into the shared hallway, tripping over the post and brushing the dampness from his hair, so he picked up the receiver before the answer-phone clicked in. Craig never knew when it might be business.
‘Hello?’ the voice on the other end said. ‘May I speak to Craig Robertson please?’
He knew who it was at once. His heart beat faster and his skin felt as if it was being stroked with feathers. His caller had had that effect on him the first time he’d seen him. The first time he’d kissed him. It had felt back then as if for a few moments everything and everyone else had slipped away.
‘Y-yes. Speaking,’ Craig managed, and then, ‘Is that Paul?’
‘Paul Maloney. Yes.’
‘Hi,’ he said, turning to the wall, though there was no-one else around to hear. He couldn’t stop smiling either.
And then there wasn’t much else to be said. A couple of minutes later and Craig had arranged to meet him for a drink in an hour’s time. Paul named a bar in Soho, not far from where they’d … met. He calculated that, even with a quick shower and change of clothes, he should be able to make it. A shave would have to wait though. He hoped Paul liked the stubbled look. It was what the Thames guys had wanted today.
Twenty minutes or so after he’d ended the call, he was out of the house again. He wasted another few seconds picking up the letters from the mat and dropping them on the hall table. He didn’t have time to look through and sort them. Besides, the post was rarely for him.
Later of course, he realised he should have checked, found the one from home. But actually, he was glad he didn’t.
Anne Brooke has been writing for eighteen years and is the author of seven novels, numerous short stories and poems. She was shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award in 2006, longlisted for the Betty Bolingbroke-Kent Novel Award in 2005, and shortlisted for the Royal...