Ray Greenland is an exemplary family man and Thames River pilot who can navigate people safely in the here and now, while his wife Lily, in her capacity as a director of a dating agency, arranges their happy futures. But what none of those around him know, including Lily and their children, is that Ray's life is not his own; he is mortgaged to a past that might, at any time, come to claim him back. When Ray was twelve he did something so wrong he must live under a false identity for the rest of his life. He tries to atone by loving his family, while protecting them against the pernicious truth; telling stories from other people's happier lives and claiming them as his own. The only safe place for him is on the lower reaches of the Thames. But it's on land where Ray's past resurfaces and a lifetime of caution may not be enough to save him. TEN SECONDS FROM THE SUN has the pace and hallmark of a classic tragedy, reaching back into the mythology of childhood and revealing it as an avenging nemesis.
Russell Celyn Jones is the author of five other highly acclaimed novels. He is a regular book reviewer for THE TIMES and has written features for numerous national papers. He was the recipient of a Society of Authors Award in 1996.