The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room is a dark story, part thriller, part human drama that begins in 1967 with the abandonment of baby Edmund in a train station waiting room, followed by the discovery of a dead body on nearby railway tracks years later in 1995.
The identity of the dead man, Roddy Benson, is well known to the police. In life, he was an evil, self-seeking character, a director of high-gloss, hardcore porn films, working for grotesque porn baron ‘Sly Mac’ Macavoy. His killer could be any one of a number of characters who are subsequently introduced including DI Robert Carmichael, a detective attached to the investigation, who believes Benson was responsible for the death of his daughter.
Dips into the past are interspersed with action that primarily revolves around the dingy, bed-sit land of Clapham Junction railway station and sleazy 90s Soho in London’s West End. The story gradually fuses the events of the past - highlighted by the now grown-up Edmund’s quest to find his mother – with the events of the present, centred around the slow unravelling of the evil Benson’s secret past and death.
Other characters caught up in the events are Angela, a beautiful, cocaine-addicted model, the star of Benson’s last porn flick, and a young Irish restaurant critic, Andy Chase who comes to her rescue and subsequently, and dangerously, falls in love with her, Sandra, a Northern girl who has run away from home in search of the man who raped her and develops a bond with Edmund. And it is the damaged character of ‘Weird’ Cliff, a mentally disturbed ‘trainspotter’ scarred by an accidental drug overdose as a small child who, more than anyone, seems to be a key influence and catalyst in every plot strand.
Though Edmund began his life in a Waiting Room, all the characters in the novel are in a metaphorical ‘waiting room’ of their own, awaiting their respective redemptions.