In 1963 Thomas is working as a waiter on the Southampton-New York run of the RMS Queen Mary. He impulsively accepts a ride with an older American couple back to their home in New Orleans. Dazzled by their glamorous lifestyle, he soon becomes alarmed by their quarrelling. The husband’s arrest in a Vieux Carré bordello is the last straw and as the wife leaves her husband, Thomas hitches a lift with her to New York. A storm forces them to shelter and Thomas finds himself seduced, then discarded… leaving him sadder and wiser as he returns to England.
Fifty years later, a once-famous actor takes his eleven-year-old granddaughter on a long-promised trip to the American South. Little goes according to plan. The granddaughter seizes control first of the technology then the agenda, culminating in a near disaster when a storm grounds all flights, stranding the pair at New Orleans airport.
The two narratives reflect on each other – coming together finally when the old actor meets up with the woman he’s not seen for fifty years.
Robin Duval was born in Liverpool. He was educated at King Edward’s School Birmingham, at University College London and at the University of Michigan on a Fulbright Scholarship. The greater part of his career has been spent in the film business as a writer, producer and executive. From 1999 to 2004 he was head of the British Board of Film. He lives in West London with his wife and combines writing books and articles with music and travel. He received a CBE in 2005. His previous thrillers, Bear in the Woods, Below the Thunder and No Single Spies were all published with Matador.