“James, who may be one of Britain’s most underrated crime fiction writers, produces a shocker packed with menace and very black humor.” —Booklist, starred review
Britain, 1956. A young actress seemingly tries to commit suicide over a tangled love affair, but is taken to the hospital and her life saved. The story is just the sort of thing that journalist Ian Charteris likes to cover: a poignant mix of near tragedy, possible thwarted romance, and glamour, needing sensitive but—of course—dramatic treatment. It should be a routine assignment, a welcomed assignment. It would be, if it weren’t for the identity of the young woman. She may—just may—be Ian’s sister.
The unwelcomed reminder of the past drags Ian back into memories of places and events he’d rather forget. As far as Ian is concerned, the past is a foreign country. And not just foreign. Fundamentally and cantankerously hostile. Vengeful, war-torn, dangerous.
It is impossible to escape the past; the noose is already around Ian’s neck, and every step he takes tightens it . . . And this is not the only noose.
“James spins an effective psychological tale of a man whose past shapes his future.” —Publishers Weekly