‘The Man in the Crane’ (currently under consideration by an agent)
In his fifties a dark secret from Ed Cooper’s youth resurfaces. The trigger for this memory is a recurring vision seen from atop his crane which leaves his carefully structured, routine life spiraling out of control. He struggles to get back on track. Confused by his first encounter with love and forced to endure a terrifying fire that engulfs his crane he turns to an experimental drug to overcome his PTSD. Everything is changed by the family secret it uncovers. He returns to his childhood England to find resolution through his long-lost sister. In the ensuing reunion not only his secret but those of the whole family come bursting to the surface in a clash of competing memories and suppressed truths.
‘Thomson’s Time’ (soon to be serialized on this website)
The mysterious death of famous artist Tom Thomson on Canoe Lake in 1917 has attracted many theories – suicide, accidental drowning, even murder. We will never know the real story behind the death of this mythical figure in Canadian art but, through the eyes of young art restorer Alex Tate, we trace the events leading up to his death.
From their Aunt Winnie’s estate two eccentric, elderly sisters come into possession of what may be a long-lost Tom Thomson painting. It is among a cache of a dozen sketches which also may be by Thomson. Alex is hired to restore the damaged corner of the painting. But it is unlike any other previously recorded work by Thomson. Is it really by him? If so, why is it so different? And how did the corner come to be damaged? Are any of the other sketches by him? If so, how did they come into the possession of the sisters’ Aunt Winnie? The solution to these mysteries, and to Thomson’s death, unfold from three perspectives: the first person account by Thomson himself; the strange and mystical experiences of Alex, who is granted permission to work for three Sundays in Thomson’s old studio shack; and the persistent explorations of the elderly sisters, helped by the urbane art dealer John Deans.
Set in both modern times and in the period between 1912 and 1917 the novel covers a lot of ground: the mixture of science and personal vendetta in the art authentication world, the mystical shamanic power of advanced meditational techniques, the effects of the Great War on the home-front, and the tormented world of Tom Thomson as he tries to reconcile romance with his drive to bring the rugged beauty of northern Canada to the public and to his friends – the future members of the famous Group of Seven painters.