Mercy Seat is a compelling story of desire, loss and regret set against the rugged coast of west Wales. Luke, a boy on the brink of manhood, drifts to a remote seaside town but can only replace his lonely childhood with responsibilities – marriage and fatherhood – for which he is perilously unprepared. The arrival of Christine, his wife's estranged sister, draws Luke into the unspoken, destructive mystery at the heart of the two women's relationship. As his understanding of himself and others begins to unravel, he must make a choice that will haunt his life forever.
In evading an ingratiating unofficial guide, a hapless backpacker seals his fate. A woman undertakes a pilgrimage to where her boyfriend died with another girl. A young man abroad resists returning home for crucial medical treatment. A summer worker is drawn into a menage a trois with a colleague and his boss. From the scorched hillsides of Morocco and heat of a Californian summer to the ferocity of the Spanish afternoon and discomfort of a Scottish heatwave, Wayne Price's characters sweat under the glare of both the sun and their author's forensic gaze. Long-listed for the renowned Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.