Love. Hate. Betrayal. Romance. Horror. Hope. Separation. Reunion. Perry Martin’s debut novel Pretty Flamingo promises all of this and much more. It’s a sublime tale that oscillates primarily between two time periods and two places: the late 1960s set in Brisbane, Australia and the early 2000s largely set in California, the US. It’s a poignant story of loss and separation where, in the end, love reigns supreme. The central idea, nonetheless, revolves around one question: Is it possible that people have ever lived before?
Sweet Southern Charm begins with an interaction between Janet Cramer, a ‘trashy’ woman living in a posh locality, and Chester Barfield, a guy masquerading as an employee of a company that offers a free assessment of personal security. The latter manages to make an entry to the former’s house, and it is what ensues that makes the story. Janet is found murdered, and investigator Georgia Beaumont and her subordinate Collin Cavanaugh are consequently roped in to figure out who perpetrated the crime. While the story on the one hand fast unravels the mystery, it also details the love-hate relationship Georgia and Collin share on the other.