I write about the good and bad angels we have sitting on each shoulder, whispering sweet nothings or indeed invaluable advice in each ear; about the creatures lurking at the periphery, always looking to influence life decisions, about the people we meet and transform who in turn affect us in ways we could never believe. I write about things beyond the imagination. I write about who we are and who we’d like to be. I write about life. I write about death.
The prequel novella to SIX DEAD MEN
Haddington, near Edinburgh – it’s 1975. Here change is a process slowed by tradition and the luxury of a certain distance from the swift progress of the rest of the world. Robert Deed’s 13th birthday approaches. On the cusp of adulthood, this teenager looks beyond a thing and sees inside it. It’s a trait shared with his all-seeing mother. No-one knows Robert’s strangeness better than his mother Rowena Deed. In her dreams she sees his future but knows she will not be there to see her son mature. Pushing aside her sorrow at this knowledge, she instead focuses on giving him the tools he’ll need to be a man of worth.
But this birthday brings more than a coming of age celebration for Robert. He’s about to see the glint of Death’s scythe in the corner of his eye, even touch the honed edge. Travelling the road towards his future, Robert must solve the murder of his first crush, battle his grief, and exonerate a dear friend. Is he willing and able? Can he truly trust in the so called inner wisdom of his instinct? More importantly, will his world let him?
When you write a novel, peripheral characters often ask you to tell their side of the story. At times their voices are so loud and persistent in your head that they are hard to ignore. Six Degrees grew out of this and my desire to play with the short story form as well as try my hand at Flash Fiction.
In these vignettes several peripheral characters from Six Dead Men and its soon to be published prequel, Palindrome, tell the reader what they think of the Deed family (mum – Rowena, Dad – Arthur, son – Robert). Sometimes the Deeds get to say their piece too. There are also hints of things to come in Palindrome. So as one of my favourite poets would say: read “wid de whole of yu eye”.
Six dead men. Only one lead. Madison Bricot, the latest victim’s girlfriend. Main suspect or injured party? Detective Inspector Robert Deed thinks suspect. But now he’s met her, his infallible instinct is at war with his heart. What should Inspector Deed trust to – his unerring gut or his whimsical heart?
First you’ll encounter snapshots of six dead men – their lives steeped in squalor. Six lives extinguished in mysterious circumstances. In life they infected what they touched and in death they continue to wreak havoc. As far as Detective Inspector Robert Deed is concerned, even contemptible men deserve to have their deaths explained. Don’t they? And he has a suspect in his sights – Madison Bricot.
But what about Madison? She just wants to live the normal life of a twenty-six year old. But now her boyfriend is dead and she’s not quite sure how she feels about it. Soon she’s about to learn some things about herself which terrify her into running.
Meanwhile Detective Inspector Deed will have to battle against his attraction for Madison and prove what he already knows – her guilt.