“Oslo, Rotterdam, Madrid,” the detective says, “you’ve had me on quite the road trip, I must say.”
I meet Detective Dawson’s gaze and can tell he’s exhausted. His lids are heavy, their flesh the colour of bruised fruit. He’s overweight by more than a few stone and could be easily outrun. But running would be suspicious. Running would get me caught…
Imagine an escape across Europe and a secret to hide. The story by Christopher O’Meara is a cat-and-mouse chase in which the protagonists follow, hide, and lose track of each other, only to find themselves, finally, in an anonymous café.
The journey traced by Christopher has the connotations of a detective story, revealing clues through hermetic dialogues. The plot unravels little by little, gradually dissolving the mystery. It comes to mind that the journey is not only undertaken by the characters in their chase across Europe but also by readers, who slowly connect the pieces of the tale. By joining the dots, they reach the solution, the final destination of their literary journey.
Hush Hush is a story to be read in one breath but paying attention to revealing details. The plot is simple: a detective pursues a suspect on an exhausting road trip from Norway to Spain. The journey connects distant corners of the continent, but the story focuses on the final part of this ride. The two protagonists meet for a showdown in an unidentified café: the fugitive is trapped. However, the conversation, setting, and characters are deliberately vague. Who is the narrator thief? Why is detective Lawson looking so desperately for him? Who has he abducted?
In Christopher’s story, the abducted go beyond a typical narrative framework and seem especially alive, embodied in a unique reality. The girl is wrapped in a quilt, and her haunting gaze is mesmerizing, shining like her pearlescent earring. The second kidnapped character almost makes a noise: his scream is more penetrating than most.
Christopher specializes in stories set in the past, approaching with Hush Hush contemporary storytelling and crime. He often recreates a working environment that stimulates him to bring his characters to life: music, candles, and the subdued atmosphere help him outline mysterious scenarios. Tight and ambiguous dialogues that create suspense characterize his style, which is very close to the best-selling thriller novels by journalist Paula Hawkins. Like Hawkins, Christopher adds a psychological component in delineating his protagonists, which subtly seduces the reader.
Christopher O’Meara is a freelance writer from New England with a nonfiction education and a degree in journalism from Suffolk University. His stories combine the faces of iconic works of art and the trajectories of the two protagonists in a physical and mental road trip. Artworks in Christopher O’Meara’s writing become activators of inspiration, a visual stimulus that leads to imagining ever-changing stories. And we readers follow him on this journey, discovering how art and literature may intertwine on a written page.
Christopher O’Meara is the Gold Writer of the ArtAscent Journey call for writers. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Journey issue.