Peach Red and the Empty Road


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145 in stock


By Ron McLachlan

ISBN: 978-1-84747-866-5
Published: 2009
Pages: 158
Key Themes: sexual abuse, homosexuality, relationships, post traumatic stress



This is the story of Peter McFarlane’s journey back from the brink of madness, following years of sexual abuse. His childhood was blighted with this secret and cynical disease, and his life became filled with hidden remnants of fear, affecting all relationships and colouring all experiences. Unconscious memories of abuse were awakened, due to the trauma of a car crash, and he met Dr Christian Langford who became his psychiatrist. Hearing from Peter about some of the recalled incidents, psychogenic amnesia was diagnosed, where the pain of remembering is so great that, for survival, a person finds it necessary to forget. Young Peter had grown up with only a few friends on the remote and sparsely populated Scottish island he loves, discovering his homosexuality when he was still very young. In the course of his therapy, Langford discovered that Peter was also suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, induced by post traumatic stress. The full extent of his mental health problem was revealed, and Peter’s doctor was challenged to find a working cure that would give him back sufficient elements of his fractured life with which he could begin to piece together the stolen years of his life.

About the Author

Ron McLachlan was born in 1951, and now lives and writes in Wemyss Bay, a small coastal town in the west of Scotland. Ron has published a trilogy of novels, and has won, or been shortlisted, in a number of international, national, and local short story competitions. He has written another novel entitled The Saviour, and, in 2005, began a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, in New Jersey. As a child, he suffered years of abuse that led ultimately to years of therapy. “All my life,” he says, “I have just been trying to survive.”

Book Extract

On 30th May 2008, the Guardian, as well as other newspapers, reported that a third man had been arrested in connection with alleged child sexual abuse that had occurred during the 1970s and 1980s at Haut de la Garenne, a former children’s home on the island of Jersey. Remains of over thirty children have so far been found in the building’s cellars. This was later denied, and now controversy surrounds the case.

In 1986, Marc Detroux, was convicted of imprisoning and raping 5 girls in Belgium. The courts noted that he had a history of violent and deviant behaviour, and his own mother wrote that she feared what her eldest son had planned for his future. The psychiatric report said that ‘the age of the victims did not seem to arouse in him any given effect or to play a particular role, beyond allowing him to kidnap them, to manipulate them, to confine them.’

In 1991, five boys and four girls, aged between eight and fifteen, were taken from their homes on South Ronaldsay, on the island of Orkney. The children, who could not be identified at the time, returned to their homes two months later when legal action was thrown out by a sheriff. It was further alleged that there was satanic ritual abuse taking place. Sandy was the mother of two boys taken by police and social workers in a dawn raid on their farmhouse in February 1991. Her sons Alex and Ben were taken to foster parents in Inverness for almost two months. After one of the fathers had been imprisoned for sexual abuse, social workers became fearful that there was a child sex ring, and ritual abuse taking place on South Ronaldsay.

October 9th, 2005: the Sunday Herald reported that ‘the three children involved in sexual abuse allegations on the Isle of Lewis are exploring the possibility of lodging a private prosecution against their alleged abusers – a move that has the full support of Labour MSP for the Western Isles, Alasdair Morrison. The adults, including Mr and Mrs Disney, are fighting the accusations, and are also consulting their respective solicitors with a view to investigating what further action can be taken to clear their names, while their accusers are stung by the fact that nobody has yet been found guilty of the prolonged sexual abuse which the report concluded had clearly been committed.’

On October 1st, 2000, the Observer reported that ‘Britain is a key link in the biggest ever international investigation into the production and supply of paedophile snuff movies – in which children are murdered on film. The key suspect in the inquiry, a Russian who was arrested last week in Moscow for distribution of thousands of sadistic child porn videos and pictures, was traced following the seizure of his products from British paedophiles.

‘Dmitri Vladimirovich Kuznetsov, a 30-year-old former car mechanic in Moscow, was identified after British Customs and police traced the origin of violent child porn videos found in the UK back to Russia. Last week Italian police seized 3,000 of Kuznetsov’s videos on their way to clients in Italy, sparking an international hunt for paedophiles who have bought his products. The Italian investigators say the material includes footage of children dying during abuse. Prosecutors in Naples are considering charging those who have bought the videos with complicity in murder. They say some may have specifically requested films of killings. British authorities yesterday confirmed that scores of Kuznetsov’s videos, produced in his small flat in Moscow’s rundown Vykhino district, have been found in the UK. They are concerned that snuff movies in which children are killed may have also been imported. Around a dozen British men have already been arrested and charged with offences alleged to be connected to the Russian tapes. A second Russian child porn ring, which allegedly had a British distributor, was broken up earlier this year. Customs officers commented: ‘We have seen some very, very nasty stuff involving sadistic abuse of very young children, but actual deaths on film take it a whole step further. That is very worrying.’ ‘British paedophiles,’ reported the Observer, ‘were paying between £50 and £100 for Kuznetsov’s tapes. Further fees were paid for access to a website that features pictures of extremely violent abuse. Though two men arrested with Kuznetsov have also been imprisoned by Moscow authorities, only one of the three remains behind bars. Dmitri Ivanov was sentenced to 11 years for actually participating in the abuse that was being filmed. The others were released under an amnesty aimed at clearing Russia’s overcrowded prisons. When officers from the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department raided Kuznetsov’s flat they found two boys in a makeshift studio. They seized a huge quantity of films and other pornographic material as well as lists of clients in Italy, Germany, America and Britain. Last week Italian detectives moved in, following months of inquiries, and arrested eight people. The police searched more than 600 homes and say they now have evidence against about 500 people. Among the suspects were businessmen, public employees and a university student. Several of them were married, with children of their own.

Hundreds of people are also under investigation in Germany. The Russian videos, which had been ordered over the internet, were intercepted when they came into Italy by post, repackaged and then delivered by undercover police officers. They cost between £300 and £4,000, depending on what type of film was ordered. Covert film of young children naked or undressing was known as a snipe video. The most appalling category was code-named ‘Necros Pedo’ in which children were raped and tortured until they died. Police in Russia and the UK believe that Kuznetsov and his associates have been in business for more than two years in which time they are believed to have recruited around 100 boys – aged between nine and fifteen – to be filmed.’

Tuesday 16th December, 2008: Channel Four airs a documentary in which three men in their forties, from middle class backgrounds, retell the horror of child sexual abuse that had occurred some thirty years previously while the boys were boarders at Caldicott, a prep school for boys near to London. The film, entitled ‘Chosen’, is testament to the power of a compelling story, dealing with a subject often whispered but rarely spoken about – the sexual abuse of boys by teachers in Britain’s private schools. The men reported that one of the worst, and the most frightening, parts of their ordeals was their willing complicity in many of the repeated incidents.


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