Mark Chamberlain is a man who has everything – a job he loves; the jail tattoos to prove it; a cop on his trail; and a houseful of stolen electrical goods. All he’s missing is Caroline May, and she’s been gone for twenty-five years.
Nobody knows what happened to Caroline, though they still tell the stories. One afternoon her parents came home and she just wasn’t there. They searched all of North Head, all of Auckland, looking for a blonde fourteen-year-old. They covered the city with posters; the cops drowned in paperwork. She was seen on the ferry, on a plane, with a stranger, on her own. She wasn’t seen again. Each time Mark breaks into a house – and that’s just about every night – he’s looking for Caroline.
One night Mark’s in an apartment and he finds her – well, not her, but a shrine: scrapbooks, photos, her as a baby, her in a swimsuit. Them at school, together. And that sends him spiralling out of control, in a search to solve the puzzle that’s haunted him his entire adult life.
Chad Taylor is one of New Zealand’s finest young writers. His brilliant new novel is at once a gripping thriller and a moving meditation on loss and obsession.