by Joe Bennett
The haunting story of two people linked by disaster and a desire for the truth, set amid the physical and emotional devastation of a post-earthquake Christchurch.
A love story. Of sorts.
At dusk he lights the candelabrum, creating an island of light in the centre of the room, animating the faces of the two dressed mannequins, glinting off the cutlery, the long array of glasses, the cellophane wrappers on the biscuits, the chocolate's silver foil. And the margins of the room are lost in the murk, might as well not exist. Richard smiles at the effect, at the little oasis of festivity and commemoration in a wide dark world.
Christchurch, days after the February 2011 earthquake. Richard hides, with a lost dog, in an abandoned, leaning hotel. Annie returns from England, seeking a lost father in her battered home town. Vince relives the most significant emotional experience of his life. What binds these lives together, and what tore them apart?
Joe Bennett's first novel is the work of a superb writer at the top of his game.