I can’t believe it was two years and two days since I published The Double Act! It’s subtitle is ‘Don’t think ‘The Double Act’ is a romance, this may be a love story… but the other side of love is dark love…. ‘
The story starts with Genet McCauley and her husband Lance on the weekend that they have their first block booking in their small hotel. I hope my readers will be lulled into thinking this is going to be a romantic story, about a difficult marriage between two people who undoubtedly love each other but really aren’t compatible, a group of friends who have known each other from their school days, and an unexpected romance – or is it a romance? However the heart of the story isn’t that – that’s just the landscape, if you like; the action and the main thread of the events which culminate in unexpected and violent death, is about something dark and subversive going on in the small town where they all live. It starts with little but annoying acts of vandalism and escalates into murder and abduction.
Here is an excerpt; Lance has begun to drift away from Genet and he is out, somewhere – she doesn’t know where, and no doubt with someone – and she doesn’t know who. The group of architects who are the only guests in the hotel are out for the evening, and Genet is alone::
Restlessly Genet went back to the sitting room and lay on the settee to watch television. It was mind-numbing and she closed her eyes. She woke to silence; the TV and reading lamp were off, there was another power cut. The police had said there hadn’t been a power failure last time but she knew she was right, the flashing digital display had proved it.
There was a noise upstairs, maybe one of the architects had returned and was blundering about in the dark. The noise came again, as if someone was lifting something and dropping it and Genet went into the hall.
“Hello? Lance? Hello?”
In case there was a confused architect trying to find his way Genet hurried upstairs even though there was no sound of anything now. She called out again and knocked on the doors of the bedrooms.
She stood at the landing window, staring down into the dark garden. The lights were on in the bungalow. The night was strangely peaceful now, the wind had dropped, there was no sound of the sea or the trees rustling. Silence. Thinking of a cup of tea and a peanut butter and banana sandwich, she turned back to the staircase.
And then out of nowhere there was something behind her and she was shoved violently. She grabbed at the banister but missed as she tumbled headfirst, trying to save herself, arms and legs flailing wildly as she fell. She landed with a crash at the bottom and lay on her back, stunned, one leg still upon the stairs.
Something blacker than the dark was descending swiftly towards her and she tried to cry out but was too winded and then whatever it was leapt and almost flew over her and was gone.
She tried to move her arms. My baby, my baby. She could make no noise, no sound, she couldn’t move. Oh my baby, oh, oh… She moved one arm and wrapped it across her belly. Everything was muzzy, she was dizzy and faint, all she could think of was her tiny child.
She was blinded by light as the power came on and the television was blaring again through the open door. Her other arm came back to life and she was able to move and as she did so her body was flooded with agony, pain from too many sources to identify what or where hurt most. She drifted in and out of awareness… was there a voice, was someone speaking?
If you want to know where Lance is, who pushed Genet down the stairs and what this has to do with the couple who are renting the bungalow at the bottom of the garden, here is a link to ‘The Double Act’: