cover image Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars

Nicholas Coleridge / Author David & Charles Publishers $18.95

""The impact of hard drugs on Britain in the late '70s was one of the great media secrets . . . simply never reported,'' according to the author's extensive note, conceivably even more engrossing, if disturbing, than his novel. Proliferating drug addiction in England's upper-middle class obviously suggested to Coleridge this story of a respectable non-abuser, Ben Brockbank. At almost 30, Ben is satisfactorily employed by a London bank; he has a girl friend but still loves Clare Malory, seven years after their parting. Hearing from her parents that Clare is undergoing heroin detoxification, Ben visits her and thereby becomes a suspect when she dies of an overdose that has been smuggled into the clinic. To clear his name and avenge Clare's death, Ben enlists a friend to help him find the men who had been feeding her habit in exchange for sex. Confrontations with these sleazy types bring Ben closer by stages to the dealer who confesses in an ugly scene. Clearly the author knows the kind of people his characters are based on and those (like Clare's loving parents) who suffer from the moral breakdown afflicting every level of society. November