From the Author: Several pre-publication reviewers asked me if an actual event prompted me to write On the Edge of the Loch. The answer is yes, a completely chance encounter with a mysterious woman.
First, a synopsis: This literary novel tells an inspirational story about individual spirit, survival, redemption, and the need to live free. A psychological suspense saga about four impassioned people dealing dangerously with issues and values that trouble us all, primarily love.
The story opens with this answer to the above question:
One late-summer evening a long time ago, in a little picturesque train station, I noticed a graceful young woman sitting alone; she looked to be waiting for someone.
Over the next week I re-visited the station on five occasions to photograph it in different light. The woman was there every time, still waiting.
On the day I was leaving, our eyes engaged, a moment of silent conversation; she smiled, seemed about to say something. Then her head dropped, she turned away. I never saw her again. Never knew why she was there or who she longed for.
But she inspired this novel. I couldn’t make her the main character, she’s too much of a mystery. So I wrote a bigger story around a driven man, and married the two.
The Driven Man: No one came to meet Tony MacNeill. After nine years inside that’s how he planned it. All he wanted was a life. Not the one that had been taken from him. Not the youthful one either. But the life he might have lived, to be who he was meant to become. At fourteen he had lost that, and his boyhood.
Loner, ex-con, to stay alive he’d held his own through a surfeit of trouble. Now 27, he had left the pain of injustice behind and was managing an uncertaint mind, barely.
Then Lenny Quin appeared, out of the blue. To him an apparition that belonged to fantasy. Too much hopelessness and destruction had marred the years since he'd watched 'home' fade into jet vapour. Now, ironically, in this tiny seafaring village in western Ireland, the unlikeliest resurrection is looming.
In all his darkness, a woman like Lenny Quin was undreamable; the love-inspired happiness she promised, the adventure, forged in him an oath no power would defeat. Not that he sought trouble. But even here, in search of nothing but spirit, the warning signs were clear from their first meeting, even as their fires fused intimately.
Unnerving events force them apart. Secrets and silence fog what’s true. Spine-chilling crises draw out old traumas: his soul-deep scarring, compulsive courage; Lenny’s walkout on celebrity in Manhattan, heroic zeal in wartime Iraq. Then two other mysterious characters intrude, and change everything.
For each of them, is the past a forever prison? Tomorrow too steep a hill? Against all that divides them, for all they together might be, Tony will once again become unstoppable.
From Ireland to America to the underbelly of Baghdad, this psychological thriller spins with surprises as it unveils four impassioned people, the extremes they’ll go to, and the frailty and resilience of the human heart.
Note to Reader: Please don’t reveal the ending. There is something in the final chapter that is best discovered through reading. Which means read slowly, or you'll risk missing it.
* The book contains a comprehensive author interview and 10-page Guide for Book Clubs, Teachers and Writing Students.