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Sleep Easy, Brother

In 1964 the drug scene in the UK was just starting to spread. Uppers and downers could be bought for pence. Ben Croxley was thirteen years old when his brother died from heart failure brought on by a drug overdose in a night club. Young Ben vows to find out who was responsible. His mother cannot come to terms with his brother’s death, her husband also having died recently. When she dies, Ben is in the care of his aunt and uncle.

At the age of fifteen Ben begins training as a chef in a 5-star hotel in Belgravia, London. He is asked to assist the head chef in catering for a private function and comes into contact with Max Steyning who is involved in the burgeoning teenage club scene. Conversations with Steyning leads Ben to believe he may have been a contributing factor in the death of his brother.

Sleep Easy, Brother by Michael Cartwright on The Table Read

Ben becomes involved with a young receptionist at the hotel and their friendship develops into something more serious. He obtains a small amount of badly cut heroin which he manages to swap for Steyning’s own.

Suicide Or Murder

Steyning is found dead following a private dinner party for which Ben and his boss provided the catering. Suicide is thought to be the initial cause but this is ruled out on further investigation. The circumstances surrounding Steyning’s death throw up some questions that lead the police to believe that the situation is more complex than first meets the eye. Ben is convinced that he has caused Steyning’s death, but his fears are allayed when he is informed by the police that the cause of death could not have been the drugs planted by him.

Ben is offered a chance to exchange places with a commis chef in the hotel’s French equivalent in Rheims. He finds himself in a foreign land trying to communicate with strangers. He perseveres and settles into his new life with the help of fellow chef Georges. His life is going well and he enjoys himself with his new friends and the visit to Rheims of Sophie and his aunt. One day he is taken to Paris by Georges to meet his brother, Theo, and sees a figure from his past, a man from the house where Steyning was killed. He thinks he has not been seen, but after a party with Theo and his friends, Ben is attacked and only saved by the quick action of Georges’ brother.

The identification of Ben’s attacker proves difficult until his description is sent to the British Police who connect him with the Steyning case. Even with the link between the dead man and Steyning, the police are still unable to track down those responsible for the drug distribution. However, there is a form of justice that is dealt out by those that remain in control of the drug supply network.

About Michael Cartwright

Michael Cartwright was born in Welling, Kent, and his childhood was spent in convalescent schools in Teignmouth, Devon, and Broadstairs, Kent.  Returning to Welling at the age of nine, he finished his secondary education, joining the Junior Leaders Battalion RAOC at the age of fifteen.  He served in the British Army for twelve years, after which he held various positions in the world of finance and security. 

He married in 1971 and has three children: two daughters who live in Buckinghamshire, and a son who lives in Bangkok.

Michael and his wife moved to Boston in Lincolnshire at the age of fifty, where Michael worked for several organisations in the food-processing industry. After redundancy, he returned to education, studying History and Sociology at Boston College. As an undergraduate he read Heritage Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, and then took a Master’s degree in History at the University of Northampton. 

Michael’s first book, The Yeoman’s Challenge, is available at Amazon.co.uk

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