Secrets, A Psychological Thriller Set in Lancashire, UK


Alan is a web designer, living in London and married to Lana.  But when Lana disappears, abandoning their eight-year-old son, Alan’s nightmare is just beginning.  Forced to move to his sister’s country cottage, he struggles to rebuild his life.  But on the eve of the move, he receives an email from someone in his past. The events that follow trigger a series of flashbacks, dragging Alan deeper into the past and danger.


I disregard Mel’s advice and head over to Burrington where Gordon Day’s gym is located.  Burrington is full of coffee houses and arts and crafts shops. Morning shoppers amble towards the market square. I still haven’t got used to the slow pace of life and doubt I ever will; in London, everyone rushes everywhere. I spot a natural health centre tucked away in a mews with dried herbs hanging in the window. The surrounding hill countryside is steeped in folklore and a history of locals engaging in strange rituals. It sounds too weird to me. I take in the crisp morning air and gear myself up to seeing Gordon. Perhaps I should make a speedy exit while I still can.

I’m standing in front of a bookshop opposite the gym now, watching a young receptionist with henna dyed hair answer the phone. She has the handset placed between her face and her shoulder while she talks – a bad postural habit to get into. She ends her conversation and replaces the handset, a smile playing on her lips. A slim man about my height, wearing a light blue t-shirt and jeans, swaggers over to the desk to talk to her. He looks to be in his late twenties, early thirties.

Gordon Day, although nothing like the Gordon I remember. Back then, he was ruddy faced and broad shouldered with a mop of reddish-brown hair and moody eyes, the most volatile of our group of friends, always quick to wade in with his fists when he thought our other friends were teasing. The man at the desk in the gym is tall like myself, with rich chestnut hair swept back. Yet, I’m sure it’s him.

The man stops talking to the henna hair receptionist and turns to face me, frowning. His eyes widen in recognition. I turn to go, but too late. He comes out. ‘Holmsey,’ he calls. My old nickname, so it has to be Gordon.  He crosses the cobbled street. ‘How’s it going? I saw Mel a few weeks back and she said you were living in London.’


2 thoughts on “From My Second Novel…

  1. In your previous entry, you commented how the facts associated with memory loss threw you a curve ball in terms of needing to change the focus of the story. To what degree has that changed the impact of the psychological thriller? Have you been able to maintain a mood without sacrificing too much to “medical semantics”?

  2. Hi tikiman, I think the new focus has helped bring out the mood and feel by reducing material that wasn’t quite working. It has meant having to get to grips with a plausable plot and allowing the story to follow a tighter structure. Difficult at all levels but worth it.

    Hope your writing is going well,


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