New & Forthcoming
A Time for Role Call
Published by Troubador in autumn 2017. The story is set at the time of the Second World War, mainly in Italy, with a ‘pre-history’ in West Yorkshire and London.
One cold February afternoon, in 1946, Sally Jardine-Fell is shocked to find herself on remand in Holloway Prison, accused of a crime she did not commit.
The story begins in the early months of the Second World War, when, following the death of her husband, she is ‘in the market’ once again, which leads to seemingly chance encounters and circumstances that take her first north, to Yorkshire, then back to London and an eventual interview, ostensibly for a post in a bank. Yet Sally ends up in a position of a rather different sort.
Just when she thinks she is finally settled in her niche, broadcasting for Radio London to the Underground in Fascist Italy, her life again takes a very different turn. A few months later, there she is in Rome, recruited by the Secret Service at the darkest time of the War, working as an ‘escort’ with a specific, vitally important mission to fulfil.
… The man was dead and my fingerprints were the only ones on the revolver that killed him…
I made it easy for the police, didn’t I, easier than thinking or imagining alternatives.
Still shaking when they did finally get there. It had been so… surreal. Silvio reaching across the desk, picking up the revolver he’d just been showing me… But no, before that, opening a drawer and taking out his white silk gloves. Still the banter. Still the smiles. But methodically fitting the silencer. And then pushing the gun towards me again…
Then standing, coming round the desk to my side…
‘Just turn your head away, Sally… Look at the picture on the wall. It’ll be instantaneous.’
And hearing the shot.
The Approaching Tide
A second novel is nearing completion. It is set in Moreton Bay, Queensland, between August and November, 1850, and tells the interweaving stories of emigrants quarantined on Stradbroke Island, following the outbreak of typhus on their journey out from Plymouth to the new colony at Brisbane. The story focuses on Will Crosby and the Reverend Thomas Sheehan, both fleeing from past unhappiness. It is a story of love, loss, discovery, and the promise of new life.