Finding Davey by
pbk out August 06
For the fans of Jonathan Gash's twenty-three Lovejoy books, this new
novel will seem a strange departure. His last story, The Year of the
Woman, was also a maverick, though an excellent one, and I have the
feeling that Dr Gash is now such a successful author that he writes what ever
takes his fancy, disregarding the commercial potential. Finding Davey is
an unusual, indeed strange tale, but one that grabs the reader by its
ingenuity and the need to know how it works out.
A small English boy is abducted from his parents whilst on holiday in
Florida and all efforts by the police fail to find him. It seems that stealing
children and literally selling them on to rich childless couples is big
business in the US, usually through shady medical clinics, who drug and
brainwash previous memories out of them.
Davey's parents very soon collapse, the mother ending in a mental
institution and the father broken. But the grandfather, Bray Charleston,
devotes his life to finding Davey, in a most intricate and painstaking way.
Bray is a master cabinet-maker in a prestigious London workshop and
before Davey's abduction, the pair had spent a great deal of time in
Bray's garden shed, carving models and inventing a strange fantasy world
called KV, where the characters wore strange hats and were painted in
Bray, with the help of an autistic and dyslectic girl, a middle-aged copy-
editor and a retired Florida policeman, searches for Davey by writing a
series of childrens' books called KV using these strange images. Much to
his surprise, the series takes off and though his target is solely America,
they appear on television there and become a cult, mainly because of their
barely-legal internet 'hyping'. Then a nation-wide competition on KV is
held via TV, with a million-dollar piece of antique furniture as the prize.
The questions are statistically couched in a way which will progressively
narrow down the search for the one person in world who can know the
Though the first half of the book makes slow progress, the pace hots up
and if one can follow the intricacies of the computer milieu, it is an
ex Home Office Pathologist and author of the highly acclaimed Crowner John series)