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Call Me Horse - Philip Tew
Call Me Horse - Philip Tew
Call Me Horse is a thriller featuring sex, madness and the desire for revenge set in and around the London campus of Islington University. A dark narrative defined by obsession and madness, it combines four intersecting stories, set in 1992 and 2020. In 2020 master’s student, Chloe undertakes research for her Creative Writing thesis, part of which is a novella, which entails visits to a convicted killer, Alan. Her jaunts disturb her older lover and tutor, Matt. Chloe begins to uncover secrets concerning the murder of Kirsty 1992, and curiously she discovers the victim was connected to his former colleagues at the university, Wesley and Sandy. This tenuous, yet troubling link disturbs Matt. He fears Chloe might recover buried secrets. Who was the perpetrator of Kirsty’s murder back in 1992? Could it have been Kirsty’s new lover, Alan, or her recently abandoned boyfriend Wesley with his new girlfriend, Sandy. Or even someone else? Chloe researches and writes up her theories, attempting to reimagine 1992, an alien world with few computers or cell phones, and virtually no CCTV or internet. Despite Matt’s opposition, Chloe reassembles an initially fragmentary story, concerning damaged people leading troubling lives, an accumulation of madness and malice.
Call Me Horse charts Matt and Chloe’s ill-advised relationship in interludes set in 2020, while the substantive chapters set in 1992 narrate the three retrospective, interlinked stories about a trio of misfits, their present and their pasts: Wesley, Sandy, and Kirsty.
Abandoned and confused, Wesley suffers a breakdown. Delusional, he visualizes killing Kirsty, his rage vertiginous. Seduced by his attractive colleague, Sandy, their relationship sets in motion a chain of events.
Finally, newly pregnant, Kirsty’s life descends into chaos, raging at Alan, her new teenaged lover. Tragedy occurs and Alan is convicted of the murder of mother and child. But is he guilty? Was it someone else? 2020 finds an increasingly uneasy Matt sneaking a preview of Chloe’s notes that leaves him stunned.
Call Me Horse culminates in a truly shocking ending. This is a genuinely twenty-first century thriller, combining a campus novel with murder and suspense, while reflecting on the darker aspects of human nature across the years. Beware: this disturbing book might be best avoided by overly sensitive readers, who might well find its manic, selfish and pathological characters utterly unsettling. Are you brave enough to read Call Me Horse? The book will be available from Brigand Press in May 2019.