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Kolymsky Heights

first published 1994 - Booklist Home

This is the third of the Lionel Davidson big adventure stories that began with The Rose of Tibet, and despite being a tortuous period in my father's life it turned out to be a wopper of a book.

Kolymsky arose out of tumultous circumstances that began on the night my mother died. For four years I'd refused to talk to my father (probably very immature on my part) but on that night we had to speak because of the funeral. My father dramatically placed the housekeys on the table proclaiming "it's over...." , meaning our dispute was over. Well it was not over as far as I was concerned, but he'd gone hysterical with the death of my mother and was determined to jump off Beachy Head (the highest cliff on England's South Coast)!

He knew Beachy Head well as he'd previously owned the Belle Tout Lighthouse on the cliff's edge. This is where our dispute had began and where he'd had a stroke. He was very graphic about how he was going to jump. It was too awful for words. (Incidentally, he'd sold the lighthouse to the BBC who shot the film adaption of Fay Weldon's She Devil there).

Anyway I tried to talk him out of jumping and he virtually kidnapped me to stay over for the next three weeks. Very soon he began to tell me about his latest book idea and kept me up till four in the morning talking about it. During those three weeks my brother (who later died) had disappeared somewhere.

This latest book idea was a thriller set in ancient Rome. I think after a couple of lengthy nights he figured the book wouldn't work and besides a not too disimilar book had come out. Then - I wanted him to write a book set in Honk Kong, he didn't want to do that.

Then he read me a chapter of something he'd written the previous year. A thriller set in Siberia. For some unfathomable reason his best dramas take place in sub zero conditions. So that is how it began.

A few weeks later he hitched up with my stepmother and I was out of the picture again.

Kolymsky seems to be an ongoing success with many saying it is the best thriller ever.

Strangely as a result of Kolymsky I have felt at peace with the old man, I feel my mother is at peace with him too. Hopefully my brother is at peace and now at peace with me.

So Shalom Tova Olam!

Kolymsky Heights