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The Sands
Alan Monte

Voters Rating 126 / 1000

126

Synopsis

Mark Butler is a man with no past. His mother refuses to reveal his father's identity or anything about her past. Mark's future doesn't look bright either. His marriage in ruins and his whisky-distribution business is on the verge of collapse. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, his mother is killed in a bizarre car accident on a deserted road in the Scottish Highlands. Something tells him this is no accident.

 

On the brink of breakdown while clearing his mother’s cottage, Mark finds a vintage briefcase containing a series of love letters from the mid 1970s. In the lining of the case, hidden, is a police report relating to a mysterious disappearance of the same time.

 

Curious, Mark begins to investigate. As the past unfolds he begins to understand why his mother has been so guarded and just how far a goverment will go to to protect its dark secrets. Sometimes less said is best said...

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Extract

Mark Butler pondered. Why there was a police officer standing in his office? He turned to the window; it was still snowing. The nearest police station was over twenty miles away. This wasn’t a journey anyone would have made unless absolutely necessary. That thought dropped to the pit of his stomach, turning in tumult, twisting, a kaleidoscope of butterflies.


The police officer was short and overweight. His round face was red and sweaty. The snow on his clothing was melting fast. Mark guessed he was in his late sixties. Mark stepped forward, bolt upright, pausing for a second - a futile attempt to gain control over the situation - before thrusting out his hand.



The officer returned the gesture with a surprisingly firm handshake.


‘I assume you’re Mark Butler?


‘Yes.’


Mark got a very direct stare. Dark-brown eyes, wide open.


‘I think you should sit down.’


Mark didn’t react immediately. The butterflies were knotting, fluttering crazily now. Instinctively he - and they - knew something was very, very wrong.


The officer nodded towards the boardroom table.


'Please, sit down.’ A command this time, gentle enough, but a command.


Mark pulled across a chair, sat down as instructed, and looked up. A pocket of snow on the shoulder of the policeman’s uniform fell to the floor.


They both watched it for a few seconds, as it melted into the deep red of the carpet.


Silence reigned.


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