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BOOKS

Mouth to Mouth

Antoine Wilson

RRP: £14.99

3 March 2022

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781838955199

RRP: £7.99

3 March 2022

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781838955212

A struggling author is stuck at the airport, his flight endlessly delayed. As he stares at the departure board and browses the shops, he bumps into a former classmate of his, Jeff, who is waiting for the same flight. The charismatic Jeff invites the narrator to drinks in the First Class lounge, and there, swearing him to secrecy, begins telling him the fascinating and disturbing story of his life, starting with a pivotal incident from his youth.

Alone on the beach, he noticed a man drowning in the rough surf, his fate resting in Jeff’s hands. Overwhelmed but ultimately determined to help, Jeff rescued and resuscitated the unconscious man. Unexpectedly traumatized by the event, Jeff develops a fixation on the man he saved, sure that they are now inextricably linked. Upon discovering that the man, Francis, is a renowned art dealer, Jeff finds a job at his gallery in hopes of connecting with Francis and processing the event. Even though Francis seems to have no recollection of the incident, he takes Jeff under his wing, and Jeff becomes increasingly involved in Francis’s life, dating his daughter and attending important art world parties. As the two grow closer, Jeff notices some of Francis’s more unsavoury characteristics – his tendency to cheat artists and carry on affairs – but, convinced that their encounter on the beach is fated, brushes his concerns aside and continues to pursue a deeper connection with Francis, even as the nature of their relationship grows darker…

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