Paul is Dead: A Novel

Book Cover


1960s & '70s,2000s

C.C. Benison

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Under the sway of a charismatic stranger, two friends at an isolated cottage find their idyll unraveling, leaving them trapped in a life-shattering explosion of violence. Forty years later when a body is unearthed from the scene of their revels, they must confront the crime's devastating effects.



Short Summary

Dorian brings Paul to Lydia's remote cottage. Both become sexually involved with Paul, but believing they have the cottage to themselves, Dorian and Paul ratchet up their sexual experimentation. But Lydia intrudes at a crucial moment, and Paul dies cruelly. They bury the body.

Forty years later, a destructive storm and fire unearth the remains of a body. A distinctive silver ring among the bones identifies the remains for the property's new owner, Alan––once a friend of Dorian and Lydia's. He lets them know he knows their secret.


San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Toronto, Winnipeg, Gimli (yes, Gimli!)

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise


Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Twist

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Dorian Grant

Age: He is late teens/early 20s in some scenes; in his 40s and 50s in other scenes

Gender: Male

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Empathetic,Educated,Naive,Sexy,Funny,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Lydia Eadon

Age: She is late teens/early 20s in some scenes; in her 40s and 50s in other scenes

Gender: Female

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Faithful,Educated,Insecure,Naive,Obedient,Sexy,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Paul

Age: late teens

Gender: Male

Role: tempter

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Criminal,Engaging,Heartthrob,Masculine,Narcisstic,Sexy,Skillful,Secretive,Seductive,Sophisticated,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Alan Rayner

Age: He is late teens/early 20s in some scenes; in his 40s and 50s in other scenes

Gender: Male

Role: skeptic

Key Traits: Aspiring,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Greedy,Masculine,Blunt,Power Hungry,Skillful,Secretive,Unapologetic

Development Pitch

The devil has the power to assume a pleasing disguise, and so take advantage of weakness and sadness to bring about damnation. (Hamlet, paraphrased) What fun it is to watch a group of young men and women come together to pursue a dream of freedom, and watch that pursuit take a wrong turn, with consequences that haunt them ever after! There’s a little schadenfreude in all of us. A TV series I think.

About The Author

C.C. Benison is the nom de plume of author Douglas Whiteway. His first book, Death at Buckingham Palace won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, and was succeeded by others in the “Her Majesty Investigates” series, published by Bantam Books. He followed that series with the Father Christmas mysteries, featuring, as amateur sleuth, the vicar of the English village of Thornford Regis, Tom Christmas. Titles include Twelve Drummers Drumming, Eleven Pipers Piping and Ten Lords A-Leaping (Random House), the television rights to which have been purchased by AMC Networks in 2019. His most recent novel is Paul is Dead (Signature Editions), a psychological thriller. In November 2020 a novella, The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford: A Father Christmas Mystery (At Bay Press) was published. Benison lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning,LGBT Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Signature Editions

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available