Mike goes to university with high hopes and ideals, but his picture of life there
swiftly disintegrates. Isolated, he is adopted by a mysterious young man who haunts
the campus. Their friendship leads Mike to abandon his course to live with other
youngsters in Germany where he is ecstatically happy. But his happiness is short
lived and his young mind is derailed into darker territory where he becomes a tool
of extreme anti-
During his childhood Mike was lost twice: once to an abductress and once to a bullying teenage gang. In each case his parents rescued their son and strengthened their links with him. Then came the wrench of a parting that was less traumatic, but more final: Mike leaves home to become a student.
Though the phone calls come once a week assuring her that all was well at university, Mike's intuitive mother knows that it is not. At last she persuades her husband that they should pay Mike a visit, but he has vanished.
And so the search begins, a search that takes Mike's father to Germany where he discovers something about himself, but fails to find his son. It is a search that leads him back to his wife and to tragedy.
Is it possible for a young man to undergo a fundamental character change in just a few months? Mike spent his formative years in an outwardly stable, entirely sheltered, but mostly friendless environment. In the background was an angelic sister who died in the womb, a father with a serious sexual dysfunction, and a mother with a guilty secret. And yet this boy grows up in a cocoon of parental love, protected by parents who place him at the centre of their lives.
Then Mike suffers the crushing disappointment of rejection as he leaves home and
enters an English university. Most students experience intense homesickness in their
first weeks. Mike experiences the homesickness plus violence, illness, rejection
and loneliness without relief. Unwilling to confide in his parents, the only people
that could help, he clutches at just one straw of support -
Mike finds the anti-
This is his epiphany, for a few days Mike is in paradise. He is with friends in a creative, idealistic community – the exact environment that he had craved when he first entered university. But then, perhaps inevitably, he is cast into hell. A hell which hardens him for his mission.
Weaving a fascinating web around the lives of Mike and his parents, this novel is
not for the faint-