It's finally publication day for today's guest and it's my pleasure to introduce to you author Chris Whitaker as part of the blog tour for his debut novel Tall Oaks.
Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. With a refreshingly cavalier attitude toward his family’s financial security, he decided to quit his job in order to find the time to write Tall Oaks.
Everyone has a secret in Tall Oaks...
When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.
Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.
Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.
Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.
Photographer Jerry, who's determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.
And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own...
Introducing the cast of Tall Oaks:
Jim – The policeman leading the investigation into missing three-year-old Harry Monroe. His obsession with finding Harry, and protecting Jess at all costs, means he often blurs the line between right and wrong, with dire consequences for those that get in his way.
Jess – Harry’s mother. Jess is a woman very much living on the edge. She dreams of reuniting with her estranged husband Michael, though often does this from the bed of a stranger. As the days pass by she grows more and more frantic, until there’s nothing she won’t do to keep Harry’s story alive.
Manny – Teenager, about to graduate from high school and keen to enter the business of racketeering (as ridiculous as it sounds). Manny walks the affluent streets of Tall Oaks resplendent in a three-piece suit and too-tight fedora. His hopes of ‘shaking down’ local businesses, alongside best friend Abe, are often dashed by the laughter that greets them.
Furat – Has just moved to Tall Oaks with her parents following her sister’s unplanned pregnancy. Born in Iraq, she worries about fitting in, disappointing her religious father, and starting at a Tall Oaks High School. She’s (kind of) relieved when next-door neighbour Manny decides to take her under his wing.
Elena – Manny’s long suffering mother. Since her husband walked out on the family two years prior, Elena has devoted her time to raising Manny and his younger sister Thalia. But when she catches the eye of newcomer Jared, she feels a connection that’s hard to deny. She gets much needed advice from best friend, and boss, French John.
Jared – Something of a ladies’ man, Jared is new to the town and spends much of his time working on his ‘act.’ He works at the Ford dealership and when Elena calls in he’s immediately smitten. But with a dark secret in his past, it’s not long before he catches the eye of Jim.
Roger – Wealthy retired banker who’s moved from London to live in wife Henrietta’s home town of Tall Oaks. Though he passes his time topping up his tan and spending his money, Roger has a secret that he’s desperate to keep from his wife.
Henrietta - Married to Roger, and the aunt of Jess, she finds herself increasingly isolated as a reckless act from her past threatens to shatter her seemingly idyllic life.
Jerry – Man mountain Jerry lives and cares for his controlling, terminally ill mother. As her behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, he finds himself with conflicting emotions as the end draws near. Also a keen photographer, Jerry dreams of winning a national photography competition, if only he could find the courage to enter the photograph his mother has made him promise to destroy.
TALL OAKS is available in eBook now and as a paperback on 8th September.