Fargo Hawkins dropped out of school. Now he is a gardener. He’s twenty years old, and works for Harry Swaine, an abusive butcher with a chain of shops on the south coast of England. After witnessing a fight between Harry and Anne (his wife) Fargo steals a car and together he, Anne and a dog called Radar go on the run. They have £9,653, a bag of apples, a penknife and three bottles of wine. An incandescent Harry, a firm of private detectives, and their emotions chase them across the country. In no time they are a newspaper headline – Kidnap Fury of the Smoking Lovers. After a series of close calls, Anne and Fargo pitch up at a caravan site in North Wales, where they find work and lie low. But a man as possessive as Harry is not to be denied. Their journey becomes one of revelation for all three of them as their relationships move from pure emotion to something more contemplative. Journey’s end for Fargo and Anne is the Llyn peninsula and the cottage of late poet R.S. Thomas. For Harry, it is somewhere darker.
Kidnap Fury of the Smoking Lovers is classic Benson: imaginative, inventive, page-turning, full of lyrical images and unexpected turns in the plot., confirming his place as one of the most individual voices in modern British fiction.