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Sunday 31 December 2023

‘Cold Town’ by Sarah Diamond

Published by Orion,
16 August 2001.
ISBN: 978-0-75283785-7 (HB)

Terry and Maria Fielding have been married for eight years. He in advertising with a career going down hill, she in Credit Control, a rising star.

Faced with his growing inadequacies in both his childless marriage and his job, coupled with the threat of possible redundancy, Terry becomes increasingly reluctant to go home, and to escape, he takes refuge in a Soho Club. Here he meets the exciting and enigmatic Rosina, a hostess with whom he becomes totally fascinated and who he comes to believe will be his salvation. But Rosina is obsessed with secrets in her own past and can, or does she want to, provide the support and understanding Terry needs as he clings desperately to his sanity?

As Maria comes to understand that her work promotion carries a price, and as she struggles to understand Terry’s silences, she devotes more and more of her tine to Lisa, her sister’s child, with whom she becomes obsessed to combat her growing feelings of isolation.

Conscious of guilt over their childless marriage and unable to communicate  with Maria, Terry becomes more inward as he wrestles with a terrible secret in his past, that of the murder of his sister when he was a child, a secret he thought he had buried, but that now fills his every waking hour. 

Written from both points of view, with vivid glimpses into the past, this is a powerful story of two people trapped in normality with abnormality creeping closer and closer each day. Recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Sarah Diamond was born in 1976 and grew up in Weymouth before studying English Literature at Reading University. She now works as an advertising copywriter.

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