Walter had shared a home and a sort of life with her for over sixteen years. When he came to think of it, that’d been a bit like a game of chess too. He’d gone from the enthusiastic opening – through a midgame of jogging along – to the endgameof barbed neutrality, a sort of emotional desert where no win was possible, a kindof stalemate. That had been the pattern for the last five years.
Summer 1930 and Walter Bruce is told he has a terminal disease. With nursing care and an easier job he could have five more years. With neither he may not see out the year. But he’s got a wife to keep – one too selfish and idle to be his nurse. When he finds out she’s been deceiving him about her past for years he comes to a stark decision: if she won’t take care of him he’ll have to take care of her – for good. He plans her removal like one of the chess problems he loves. It will be the perfect murder; he’ll get away with it and enjoy his last few years in comfort. But his carefully laid plans unravel, entangling him in a slowly closing trap where truth and lies become confused…
Set in between-the-wars Liverpool, Stalemate is a gripping tale of moral choices and terrible punishment.
Alan Hamilton finds that real events, where there is a mystery or something unexplained, leave so much to the imagination they give the writer of fiction license to make it up. At heart he’s a conspiracy theorist though his head tells him accident is usually more likely – albeit far less interesting. As an antidote to the urge to write creatively, Alan is a publisher’s editor for non-fiction, academic books and journal articles. He lives by the sea in the South West of the UK. His hobbies are cooking and cryptic crosswords in the national newspapers, winning first prize twice in ten years.
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