Frankie Styne, the successful author of a series of gruesome killer novels, has lived at 125 Onley Street for many years. Meticulous and obsessive, he lives a life of isolation, managing to keep both future and past at bay.
Next door, live Liz Meredith and her new baby, Jim. Liz has been told by her social worker Mrs Purvis that Jim has a rare disorder, and will never be like other children. But Mrs Purvis can’t see, as Liz can, that Jim already knows things no ordinary person could. Besides, Liz doesn’t want any help from the social services or from Tom and Alice, the couple at number 129. She wants to be left in peace so that she can imagine her way out of how things are.
When Frank’s solitary anonymity is threatened, he hatches a real-life plot which, as he begins to enact it, unexpectedly changes not only his own life, but also those of Liz and Jim. Sifting through our collective nightmares, Kathy Page has written a novel that is powerful, humorous, tragic and thoroughly surprising.
Published by Methuen UK, in 1990.
“Page’s imaginative powers are electric. She has the ability to analyse the often nightmarish qualities of the human psyche and as a result, Frankie Styne is a taut examination of the complex emotional ties that bind, the methods we employ to distance ourselves, and our ambiguous powers of imagination. She is at once poignant and provocative, stomach-churningly distasteful and yet compulsively readable.” Time Out
“Frankie Styne & the Silver Man resists being put down for the night.. I read on, captivated and creeped-out. But this being Kathy Page, I always trusted I was heading away from a nightmare, towards a happier place. This is Felicia’s Journey, with a big dollop of hope.” Caroline Adderson, Giller-listed author of Pleased to Meet You & winner of the Marion Engel Award.
“Fresh and engaging. Her writing is crisp and her insights into human behavior are acute.” Lynne Van Luven, Monday Magazine
“Great story. Great writing too. You render down the monstrous, gently fold the abnormal into an embrace and make it human… fantastic!” Helen Heffernan
“Each character in the book is horrific, but each in a different way. I was even afraid of the baby! Was absolutely certain that a truly gruesome ending was in story but couldn’t put it down anyway. Ending was perfect. It’s a keeper. Will read again.” Barb Egerter