'So intelligent and perceptive and so well-written . . . this first novel is a fine achievement, something to savour. When I had finished it, I went back and read it again, and it seemed even better second time round.' Allan Massie, Scotsman
Mark Wilkinson has three names. He left his own behind in the rainy north of England. U.S. immigration know him as Joe Novak. And at the Valhalla, the mysterious complex in Vegas where he sells lofty ambition and dark desires, he goes by Mr Jones.
Since the age of eighteen, Mark has been running away, and hard. Away from everything that is flat and dull and ordinary: his market town. Away from disappointment: his vanished mother, his broken father. And away from heartbreak. Bethany Wilder, beautiful goth, carnival queen, partner in dreams, tragic ghost, never made it with him to America.
He’s thirty now and again it’s time to flee – in the opposite direction, towards home. With shades of JG Ballard, Murakami, and Joseph O’Neill, this is an inventive and emotional novel about the power of dreams to destroy, of memory to distort, and of courage, ultimately, to heal.