A dark, philosophical thriller set in contemporary Los Angeles
There are some things in life you have to take control over…
Ever Millen is in LA, losing his mind. He’s left his wife, young son and safe job behind in England and has landed in the City of Angels looking for the truth about the death of his father, an abstract expressionist painter, whose work has fallen out of favour. But Ever soon discovers he isn’t up to the task. Oppressed by the brutal heat and toxic fumes of the city, his mental health is beginning to collapse and not even the prescription pills he gulps can save him from the rising tide of darkness and pain.
But then, by chance, he meets the beautiful, enigmatic Lomita Nairn, a woman almost fifty years his senior. The attraction is mutual and their relationship deepens. As she gradually reveals the grisly truth about her life as an aspiring actress and the marriage that almost destroyed her, Ever’s inner fog begins to clear and he sees what he must do to save them both.
Lomita For Ever is a remarkable debut: part noir thriller, part oddball romance, part philosophical investigation into the nature of the human soul. With echoes of Raymond Chandler and the existential novels of Camus and Sartre, it is rich with the wisdom and sympathy earned from a life spent listening to and telling stories
"A tremendous novel, written with great style and assurance. A compelling, edgy, noir narrative recounted in a tone of voice that is at once audacious, coolly knowing, highly observant and wryly funny. And -- as a bonus -- a remarkable, dark portrait of Los Angeles -- city of damaged angels."
He sat having tea in the brown room.
He so wanted to tell this physical dignity poised in front of him what he was going to do, but knew he wouldn’t, so instead these words came out.
I am so sorry, has your husband died?
Sweet boy. I was married once, twice actually, but long gone.
And then he caught the sight of her finger that was not bearing the restriction of a ring. A manacle of possession. Her hands brown and shining as the cream of years nourished the wrinkles in a battle it was forever losing.
She raised her slightness to her feet with a greater agility than he had perceived before, she said she needed to rest and it was so nice to meet him.
They walked, slowly, to the front door across the brown polished floor, she had taken his arm for support again, the daylight from the garden was now dimming, they entered the lobby equally brown; the windows, blinded by white linen curtains, stood either side of the door that anticipated its opening as it had previously witnessed their arrival.
The sounds of a tray being removed behind them betrayed the presence of Manita, quick to clear the slightest obstruction to the order of her life and return the cups, saucers, milk and unused sugar to a kitchen that he could only imagine.
Was it too, brown?
Or 1950s Los Angeles beige with a tint of the dreaded green as if dullness was needed to compensate for the endless sun that now seemed less endless in the threat of a climate changing.
My name is Lomita Nairn.
And her hand hung in the space between them.
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