People of seniority in the 1970’s will almost certainly have borne some post-World War Two baggage. They will have worn the threadbare garb of the 50’s, seen the sun rise on aspiring rebellious youth culture of the 60’s, and then wondered, possibly worried, about the stark, left-right political head-clash of Messrs Heath and Wilson. This was a time when Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was allegedly a closeted KGB spy; when the warrior/hero, David Sterling, was reputedly plotting a right-wing coup to oust a Labour government too in thrall to muscular Trade Unionism.
From each of these elements, two young men, one a working class non-hero beset by an angst he cannot fully comprehend, the other riven by a mix of religious and identity confusion, are joined in fate by a single thread of circumstance – and thereby hangs the tale.
For Frank Cantrell, the era’s troubles explode into relief when an adverse newspaper reporter of a fire at their home throws his wife into jeopardy, impelling him into a Hamlet-style demand upon his fragile masculinity – to avenge, or not to avenge.
Meanwhile, woebegone Donovan Shelby, physically challenged child of equally troublous times, struggles like a moth towards a light to find approval, respect and love…