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The Sinner’s Congregation

By Guy Bellamy

Martin Lomax has never wanted to play by the rules – a spell in the Air Force taught him that much.

But when his parents threaten to sell their country hotel, the Bali (named after a trip to see South Pacific), he is forced to take on some of life’s responsibilities.

But while Martin does his best to play up the idyll of lazy days and wicked nights, his regulars are somewhat mundane: the gin-swilling Mrs Chetwynd-Stapleton, a widow of sixty; Adam, equally hopeless in life and love; and rich but paranoid Rodney with his latest trophy wife, Julie.

Then, one not-so-enchanted evening, two very different people walk into the Bali – and change the atmosphere for ever. The first to arrive is bubbly, buxom, auburn-haired Laurel Sherman; the second is Edwin Catchpole, a more than unwelcome blast from Martin’s past – and to say that he is a vicious brute would be flattery. And whilst Laurel naturally qualifies for the maitre d’s five-star treatment, Martin finds the chance to even the score with the man in room seven is also very tempting …

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