Security, Stephen Amidon’s latest work, is a tightly plotted, utterly gripping novel. It is set in Stoneleigh, a sleepy college town in New England that has ‘a crime rate equal to a sedate Swiss canton’ and which, we imagine, is peopled by God-fearing, law-abiding model citizens. But obviously the residents of the wealthy area on the outskirts of town don’t think so, as their luxurious homes are equipped with state-of-the-art security devices. Keeping their properties safe with CCTV coverage and sensor monitors provides the novel’s protagonist, troubled middle-aged insomniac Ed Inman, the owner of Stoneleigh Sentinel Security, with a very good living. Nothing much ever happens in Stoneleigh though, which gives him ample time to reflect on life’s disappointments and his unsatisfactory marriage to Meg, a steely local politician with mayoral ambitions.
The first half of the novel introduces us to a cast of characters whose lives are intricately intertwined. It opens with Ed responding to a false alarm in the early hours of the morning from the home of sinister businessman Doyle Cutler, who is big in the ‘debt