The Last Treasure Hunt, by Jane Alexander,Â is being described asÂ ‘a modern media morality tale with bite’.
At the age of thirty, Campbell Johnstone feels he is a failure. While his brother and childhood friends are getting on with their lives, his own career as a musician in London was a dismal failure, he had a breakdown Â and returned to Scotland, where he now works behind the bar of a shabby pub.
One of the group, Eve Sadler, has become a famous actor and Campbell discovers that she is filming locally. On impulse, he decides to try to meet her. He isn’t even sure why himself. As children, she had a crush on him, which he cruelly rejected, so why should she acknowledge him now?
Their meeting changes everything, transforming Campbell’s life.Â But it isn’t all good. Pushed into decisions and actions he would never have imagined, Campbell is barely one step ahead of circumstances â€“ and the manipulative press.
The Last Treasure Hunt explores our modern obsession with fame and celebrity, the pitfalls and the opportunities. Written partly through flashbacks to childhood, the hero discovers he has something to expiateÂ â€“ guilt comes in many guises and at any time. Close friends don’t judge, but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. There are always consequences, whether we see them and choose to ignore them or whether we could never have anticipated other people’s reactions. Campbell’s likeability as he tries to do the right thing, often failing, is cleverly portrayed.
This is Jane Alexander’s first published novel, recognised by the ambitious Saraband. I look forward to more…