Escape | Pushing the Wave


Escape by LA Davenport
John is a trauma doctor recovering at a glamorous Mediterranean resort after losing his wife in a terrible accident. Lost and alone, he wanders the streets, trying to escape his pain and drifting into alcoholism.

He ends up in a strip joint, where he meets Jasna, a brilliant and witty hostess. Against their better judgement, they become infatuated and begin to fall in love.

When she is brutally killed, John is the only suspect. But then he is mysteriously let go by the police, and Charles, the hotel manager, reveals that he lost his granddaughter, Erin, in similar circumstances.
Seeking to clear John’s name and obtain justice for Jasna and Erin, they are pitched into a ruthless world of drugs, prostitution, slavery and murder, where life is cheap and nothing is as it seems.

Will they gather the evidence in time to stop the killers, or be their next victims? Can they trust the police, or are they part of the corruption reaching into every part of life?

Perfect for fans of classic thrillers, Escape draws you in to a darkly glamorous world where John has to overcome his grief to avenge Jasna, Erin and the victims of modern slavery.


A teaser for Escape, by L. A. Davenport.


If you're after a bit of a thriller combined with romantic suspense, then Escape is definitely one to add to your (probably ever growing) TBR list . . . I didn't want to put it down! . . . Escape really captures exactly how a person feels when losing a loved one. The strong emotions the main character felt were reflected in a way that made me stop and think. Emily Quinn, A Quintillion Words
[Escape] gradually drew me in. I wanted to know more, to see where the little strings led and ultimately see who was trying to escape. Escape had me engaged and held my attention . . . I find myself often relating to the themes. Perry Wolfecastle,
The narrative tone effectively establishes tension as the protagonist's circumstances shift dramatically throughout the novel . . . Readers will eagerly follow John's character arc from a self-destructive, grieving widower to an individual fighting to clear his name and take down a criminal organization. The BookLife Prize


A Mediterranean resort - A busy street packed with holidaymakers
The seed of the idea for Escape was sown when I went on holiday to Italy in the summer of 2013. It had been a difficult year for me, both personally and professionally, and I needed to get away from everything for a while.

My travelling companion and I initially spent a week in Umbria, apparently doing very little but expending an awful lot of energy doing so. Consequently, by the time we took the train south to Naples and then to Sorrento for the second week of our trip, I felt like I’d had no holiday at all.

A complicating factor was that my friend had been a journalist and still dabbled in writing articles from time to time.

When an old friend of hers, then a commissioning editor for a national newspaper, said she would be interested in a piece on Sorrento for the travel pages, my friend leapt at the idea, especially if it meant spending a couple of nights away from our modest pensione.

She promptly rang a couple of luxury hotels in the area to see if they would be interested in having their establishment reviewed in exchange for putting us up.

I was rather surprised that, at such short notice, one of them said yes. So once we had checked into our original hotel, we dragged ourselves over to a rather swanky 5-star+ resort on the edge of the town, where I immediately felt out of place in my ‘scruffy chic’ holiday clothes.

While my friend wanted to swim and enjoy the hotel, I was overcome by exhaustion and decided I would prefer to go to our rather luxurious room.

So I found myself standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, unsure what to do…

A Mediterranean resort - A secret grotto for bathing
Like John, the protagonist in Escape, I fell asleep as soon as I my head touched the pillow. Like him, I was then awoken not once but twice by mysterious banging and urgent whispering that, at first, seem to be in the room with me but I realised, once I had recovered my senses, was just outside the door.

From there, my experiences, aside from a few dramatic embellishments, followed John’s at the beginning of the book, except of course that I was with my friend.

The concierge introduced himself while we were standing in the lobby wondering if there was anywhere to eat. He then took us through the hotel’s fragrant gardens to the restaurant and sat with us, first to have champagne and then to accompanying us while we ate dinner.

The two women on the sofa, the Russian at the next table admonishing our host, the stone passageway behind a concealed door, the American couples talking together over breakfast the next morning and the seagull landing on the canopy…all those things happened.

It was only when I saw the seagull struggling to stand on the slippery surface, fold its wings, then look me straight in the eye and then down at the Russian man from the night before, that I realised I had to use all this for something.

But what story? What would happen, and to whom? That was the tricky part.

I first thought about writing it as a feature film. As I mention in my notes for my collection No Way Home, I wrote scripts for several years with a friend. Although none of them were picked up to be made, they formed the basis of several of the stories that are included in the book.

A Mediterranean resort - The Old Harbour with Fishing Boats
For Escape, I finished a full draft of the script and showed it to a couple of friends. It became obvious from their feedback and from my rereading it that it was undercooked and lack depth. More characters were required, and John needed to be revealed more as person. And it lacked a proper ending.

Over the next several years, I honed the story and developed the characters over and over again, until I finally I arrived at a plot, and a book, that I felt merited what I had experienced all that time ago.

Last year, I returned to Sorrento, with a different travelling companion, and sought out the hotel where I had stayed. Standing in the lobby, several years and, as a person, a million miles away from who I was when I went there before, I was amazed at how different the place seemed to how I remembered it. I had moulded and stretched it beyond all recognition for the story and I smiled at how, well, real it all seemed.

I guess when I went there, it was a time when I needed to get away, to escape from myself, and I did so in my imagination.

Escape is published by P-Wave Press.

John’s Dreams

One of the early ideas I had for Escape was that John Hunter would gives clues to his past, his current mental state and even his future through his dreams and nightmares. However, while the first dream in the book, which recounts the event that led him to visiting the Mediterranean resort in the first place, had come to me easily, I was struggling with the rest.

In fact, had reached an impasse and didn’t really know how to proceed.

But my heartbreak following the death of David Bowie led to reading reams and reams of articles about his life and the genesis of his final album Blackstar. This in turn led me to Tumblr, via The Villa of Ormen. There is a reference to this fictional place in the title song and there was a blog of the same name that appeared to be, if not by Bowie, then at least by someone connected to him and the album.

Intrigued, I was sucked into an entirely new world (The Villa of Ormen has since been taken down, following changes in the way Tumblr deals with content). I followed blog after blog of fantastical, dark, semi-gothic and beautiful imagery, laced through with humour and a candid appreciation of the complexities of human existence. Not everything was new to me, either literally or in concept, but the way of putting them together was, and I saw something very interesting and inspiring.

I quickly set up my own Tumblr and started scouring the site for images to collect together from the many, many wonderful Tumblrs that, much like Bowie himself, weren’t afraid to explore their identify and personal expression, wherever that would take them.

I didn’t make the connection with the dream sequences in Escape immediately. But after a few weeks, it occurred to me that, if I lined up the images I had liked and saw them as a flow, they could form the basis of what John Hunter sees in his dreams.

Soon I had gathered together enough images to form Dreams One, Two, Three and Four, and you can find them here (NOTE: The sequences start in reverse order, so to follow the dreams from the books you have to scroll down to the bottom first).

As I mentioned, Tumblr has sadly been much reduced by its change in content policy and I don’t think it would be possible to do the same thing now,. However, there was a moment in time when freedom of expression and inspiration could come without limits, and I want to thank each and every one of the people behind those Tumblrs. You helped lift my book to another place.

And now, to celebrate the relaunch of Escape with a brand-new cover, I have put together the images from all four dreams as short films, below.
© L.A. Davenport 2017-2024.

0 ratings
Escape | Pushing the Wave