The synopsis

I’ve done it; I’ve written the synopsis to Magick in order to enter for the Yeovil Literary Prize… what do you think?


‘Magick’ – a genealogical mystery


Thomas Radwinter is embarking on a journey to discover his family tree, tracing back his maternal line from Sybil Magick, following his ancestors’ lives as he already has done with his father’s family, the Radwinters.

This is how Thomas describes himself:

I am just an ordinary person; there is nothing special about me. I was born in 1980, so I’m nearly thirty-four; I’m about five foot nine, quite chubby, and I have brown hair and hazel-grey eyes and a reddish sort of beard. I’m a bit dubious about the beard really, but I think I would look like a fat fourteen year-old without it.

‘Magick’ is a genealogical mystery, and it follows Thomas’s journey as he uses internet resources to research not just where his family came from but something about their lives. The stories he discovers are not extraordinary in that there are no royal connections, or exotic ancestors, but it is a fascinating journey which anyone could make for their own family. However, there are secrets, there is mystery, and Thomas has to unpick the details to find why the Magicks changed their name, and who was responsible for the death of a particularly nasty grandparent, Harry Waxham-Collins… could his own mother have murdered her father?

After the success of finding his Radwinter ancestors, a neighbour asks Thomas to trace his family, which Thomas does with an unexpected and very happy outcome. As a result of this the neighbour’s sister-in-law asks Thomas to help her find her daughter who went missing at the age of sixteen. Thomas discovers that the daughter went to the same school as he did, and using his research skills, and his connections with old school friends he tries to trace the missing woman. However she is now married to a dangerous man, living on the edge of the law and Thomas suddenly finds his own life is in danger.

As well as charting Thomas’s research, ‘Magick’ also follows his new life; at Christmas he left his wife after ten years of unhappy marriage, and is now living with a young woman and her young son. ‘Magick’ follows the development of their new relationship, and how they both have to deal with issues from their past lives in order to build a secure future together for themselves and the child. Thomas had a miserable childhood, his mother was an alcoholic and he, as the very much youngest of four brothers suffered the most. Their father left home when he was four and the only stability in his young life was his brothers. He has to deal with issues of insecurity, lack of confidence, and shyness, but he has an inner core of strength and determination, and in ‘Magick’ his true character fully emerges.

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