A Locket of Hermes — Adam Craig
Ruined by the 1929 stock market crash, Tristram finds himself penniless and stranded in Budapest, friendless and far from home. He’s given a last chance to save himself — simply deliver an old locket to be repaired. But in a near miss road accident, the locket vanishes and he finds himself on the streets. Befriended by the suave but dissolute Voit, Tristram becomes convinced the locket has been stolen by the ruthless Attar Nox and he and Voit try to steal it back. The robbery goes wrong and Tristram finds himself on the run. Along the way, he meets Alba, Nox’s former prisoner. As they find temporary refuge in a small basement flat, Tristram is haunted by spectres past and present and, when their safety is finally shattered by the appearance of an unexpected ghost from his past, he is forced deeper into a quest that is stranger and more challenging than Tristram realises.
Blending echoes of Celtic myth and Grail legend with an undercurrent of Alchemical thought, A Locket of Hermes is a spiritual quest towards a deeper reality, a deeper sense of self.
Praise for A Locket of Hermes
In A Locket of Hermes Adam Craig draws the reader into a wonderfully decrepit world of post-WW1 Depression-era Budapest, where his hero Tristram seems trapped in a demi-monde existence, unable to return to Blighty through a lack of funds, and finding himself set on a quest involving a mysterious and magical locket. Craig’s fine writing — dense, rich and evocative — captures beautifully Tristram’s dreamlike existence in streets faced with crumbling buildings and haunted by pimps and prostitutes, beggars and match-sellers. The story itself is compelling, weaving its way through flashbacks of the war and the trenches and a doomed love affair, to a nightmarish present in which Tristram is questing for truth, hunted by hoodlums and not knowing whom to trust. Yet through the miasma and uncertainty there come chinks of light and guidance. Thematically the book holds the reader in a grip of binary opposites — light and dark, male and female, spirit and soul, and even Buda and Pest — and creates a tension of polarities around Tristram which he — and the reader — must face. Craig holds this tension to saturation point, making wonderful use of mythic figures, such as an ubiquitous raven, and characters (including the sinister but vulnerable Attar Nox), along with a backdrop of the alchemical search for the philosopher’s stone. Indeed, like alchemy, the book is about transformation — via the strange pathways of life and its hazards — and the prospect of wholeness or healing, a resolution embodied by the Hermes locket. Altogether a magical story.
— “Dr Yeow”, Amazon five star review
Adam Craig is a writer, editor, mentor, photographer and graphic designer. His debut novel was Vitus Dreams, an experimental novel that explores loss and language. His longstanding interest in mysticism and the occult is reflected in his second novel, In Dreams the Minotaur Appears Last, and in his short story collection, High City Walk, which features the story ‘Marietta Merz‘, a counterpoint to this novel and available as a special edition chapbook.