A wealthy Russian businessman and a troubled property dealer are the last people to see Martin Whitehouse before he disappears. Prejudice and resentment within class values are also revealed in Gentlemen’s Agreement when an ex-serviceman retrained as a private detective is asked to help find the missing man. Mark Kent is still making the transition from army to civilian life and during the investigation learns how other people can have difficulties conforming to mainstream society.The story shows how appearances can be deceptive and that a home and a job might only be a semblance of respectability for people’s schemes and struggles.
#The Inheritance tells of a man’s relationship with his wife and mother as he tries to make a success of his life but he ultimately fights for his survival in any way he can. The story reveals how his character changes and which of the traits belonging to his wife and mother he adopts.
#Indebted is about a wealthy family shaken by the arrival of a desperate young woman whose actions threaten to expose their lives. The story focuses on how the proud father copes with maintaining a respectable appearance while trying to protect his difficult son, family name, and his fortune. The story also shows how the innocent are not always as they might appear and that money cannot always buy personal security.
#The Window. I first read about mob violence when I was a teenager learning about the lynch mobs in the American South but The Window is not simply about right-wing hatred and thuggery. The story was written purely incidentally in Germany and is about a protest march by neo-Nazis based on an impartial eyewitness account. It draws parallels with history, with extreme nationalists in rich and poor countries around the world, and with the aggression of left-wing/anti-capitalist mobs in Britain. I briefly reflect on women in right-wing groups and how they perceive their role compared with how the men view them. There is also the effect of the protest march on the local town: there is no counter demonstration and it’s unclear what the locals think of the protest.
Lost Property (also written in Germany) is about a man trapped in a public sector job, bored and put upon, scared to lose his security, and who finds comfort in eating. A chance meeting with a woman of independent means and who likes to have a good time challenges his view of life, money, and work. The story contrasts the fears and obsession with money of people in secure jobs and the seemingly carefree life of the woman engaged in private enterprise. I also briefly touch on men’s hypocrisy in their dealings with such women.
Two of the above stories are quite short but I wrote only what I thought was necessary and not for the sake of trying to impress.