ABOUT THE BOOK
A family ripped asunder.
A terrible secret lurks in a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery.
Patrick thought his grandfather, John, died before he was born.
In later life, he finds out that it wasn’t true. For the first five years of Patrick’s life, they stayed in the same small village.
So why were they kept apart?
Patrick wishes to search the past to find the reason – but only if he can be united with his young daughter first. And that means bringing her home to Scotland.
It means journeying to France to take her away from the care of her mother, Patrick’s ex-wife.
In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John is a young man working on the family farm. Not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat, he meets Catherine. But his attempts at courtship end suddenly when an accident rips his life apart.
Told in alternate chapters, set, mainly, in South-West Scotland, this is the dramatic story of Patrick, interwoven with John’s traumatic life.
My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to take part in the tour and to the author for providing the guest post.
Flirting with the reader: the pleasures of a good tease
The detective has gathered the suspects into a room of this rather splendid country-house. There has been a murder. The piano tuner – Major Alan Hollingsworth(retired) – is dead. As he tinkered away at the innards of a grand piano, its massive lid fell on his head, crushing him.
This was no accident, the detective tells the assembled group, as he holds up the tampered clip – used to hold the piano lid in place. The guilty person is here, in this room, he states.
The detective goes on, striding the room, one hand cupping his chin, as he explains what is known, while also voicing some of his thoughts.
The deceased was well-liked. His piano tuning was more of a hobby than an actual job. In fact, Major Hollingsworth only worked on the finest of grand pianos, in the finest of homes. More than likely, it was a way of meeting wealthy, influential people, a method to gain their trust, before telling them of his family’s parquet-flooring company and the great discount that could be offered, should they decide to change from their existing arrangement.
The crash of the falling lid had been heard throughout the house, the detective goes on to say. Its sonorous death chord, in A flat major, brought everyone running. There were no eye-witnesses to the crime, but all had been ear-witnesses, everyone close enough to the scene of the death to be considered a suspect.
Now, as he stands in the centre of the room, the detective looks to the ten faces before him. Suddenly, he points a finger at Arthur Filey, carpet salesman, and cries, ‘He did it! This man did it! Officers!’
The doors burst open. The police rush in. The man is arrested. The End.
We might feel a little disappointed, even a little cheated, if this ever happened in, say, an Agatha Christie novel, as more is expected at the denouement. We are used to it being stretched out – if only to mention that, an already in debt, Arthur Filey, felt his livelihood threatened by the Major and his parquet flooring dealings. The Major had to go.
So, it is my theory that teasing out is a good thing, and, in moderation, can and should be applied to other parts of a story as well – not only to create tension, but to give time for the reader to dissect, ponder and conclude. As with an advent calendar, all doors should not be opened at once, the reader should not be given everything immediately. The drama will heighten if exposed through one delicate layer after another, and not in one dollop. A literary strip-tease, if you like. Used sparingly, and at the right time, it can be a great aid.
Tease all crossed and I’s all dotted, time to get this beast published.
Okay, that might not have been worth the wait. But some things can be. As the old saying goes: to spin a yarn, first tease out the wool.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of:
The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit, The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts, The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom, Two Tides To Turn, A Different Place to Die, Only the Living Can Die.