Family historian Graham Hasselhoff thought there were no skeletons in his cupboard. That is, until the day he met the son he never knew he had.
Getting to know Andreas, who is now the boss of a road haulage firm, soon leads him to a trail of arson, beatings, mysterious warnings – and murder.
Can his son really be behind this deadly business? Graham has to quickly work out if Andreas is an impetuous eccentric – or a dangerously ruthless criminal.
When Graham discovers he has a son from a drunken liaison at University, he and his long-suffering wife Janet are drawn into a web of lies, crime and deceit that they had only ever read about in books or seen on TV.
Graham is a librarian, with a special interest in family history, until he is made redundant and forced to take the only job he can find – in a DIY store. He hates the job with a vengeance (that’s probably too strong a word for mild-mannered Graham) so when Andreas pays him a visit and announces that he is the son he never knew he had and offers to bring him and Janet into the family business, it’s an offer too good to refuse. It even comes with a free cottage. Unfortunately it also means leaving their beloved Derby behind and moving to Sheffield. Ever cautious, they keep the house in Derby until they are settled, in case it turns out to be a huge mistake. Well so would I, let’s face it. As they say ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’
Now our hero Graham is no adventurer, but he is a natural born historian and researcher, so I did question at this point why he and Andreas didn’t take a DNA test. After all, Andreas could have been anyone, though he has nothing to gain as he is rich and Graham and Janet are what you could only describe as fairly comfortably off.
On their first night in the cottage the police ram the door down, looking for someone they have never heard of and I’m afraid that from then on things just go from bad to worse. Poor Graham and Janet! If only they knew. You have to love them though (apart from Janet calling him Duck and Duckie). They are so nice. The kind of neighbours who would water your plants and feed the cat while you were on holiday. They are just not prepared for any of this.
I loved this book and read it in two sittings. I also found a lot of dark humour in places it was unexpected. It’s fabulously well written and totally original. Our hapless hero, his strong, steady wife, his not very likeable son, the Rottweiler (that’s the office manager by the way), and a host of other ghastly characters. And it’s all set in a haulage company – some of us old enough will remember The Brothers on TV in the seventies, probably the only series ever set in ‘logistics’ as I think they call it now. It was definitely of its time but I loved that show!
But this is very different. So put your feet up and enjoy a ride like no other.
Many thanks to @annecater for inviting me to be part of #RandomThingsTours
About the Author
“I am a career journalist, joining the South Yorkshire Times as a trainee reporter in 1984 and moving on three years later to the sports desk of the Derby Telegraph, where I have been ever since.
Most of that time in Derby has been as the newspaper’s cricket writer and my coverage of Derbyshire CCC earned national recognition in 2013, when I won the England and Wales Cricket Board Regional Newspaper of the Year award. I have been a contributor for the last nine years to the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack and have had many articles published in national magazines, annuals and newspapers.
Writing as a profession meant writing for pleasure was largely left on the back burner but changed priorities at work made it a priority to pick up the threads of one of the many half-formed novels in my computer files and, this time, see it through to publication. Sunbeam is the result.”
Mark was born in Sheffield, the city he used as the backdrop for Sunbeam, and he has lived in Derby since 1988 with his partner, Sue. They have two sons. Family Business is his second novel.