Drums - synopsis

by Ed Wilson

Image for cover of Ed Wilson's book Drums "How can I sort out what I feel about the death of my Dad when I can't talk to my mother, my friends won't stand with me, my job stinks, and the guy who beats up my boyfriend is threatening me as well...?"

Laura doesn't even know she has a problem. Then her friend Jude is beaten up by his stepfather, she dreams of her own father beating her, and her mother announces she has a new boyfriend. Just when Laura has some hard questions to ask about her father - dead in an accident two years before - her mother's thinking of replacing him.

And the drumming group which has always been her pride and her prop is attracting unwanted attention. They're invited to appear on a local TV programme, which leads to argument and conflict between friends. They'll get over that, but the malicious scrutiny of Jude's brutal stepfather Jack Phillips will be much harder to shake off.

Laura tries to deal with her own problem - belatedly coming to terms with her father's death, letting his memory back into her life - but nobody will leave her alone to work it through. The TV recording ends in humiliation, then Phillips invades the sanctuary of the drummers' practice yard.

For this first confrontation, all the drummers are together. Phillips has come to kill Jude, but he's blind drunk. They overpower him and leave him for dead, but he survives and disappears, leaving the drummers nursing a fearful, guilty secret, and Jude and his mother holed up like refugees in Laura's house. The race is on to make a case for Phillips' arrest, and Laura is surprised how much evidence there is.

The next time they meet, when the police have things in hand, when Laura and her mother are back on the same side, when she's even getting to know the boyfriend, it's just Laura and Phillips. And this time he's sober and desperate.

The book's complete - about 73,000 words - though I'm never too proud to take suggestions.