In a small circle of friends in London, some disturbing occurrences are taking placeLucas Graffe, a reclusive academic, kills a man in self-defense and disappears immediately after the trial, leaving his brother, the charismatic actor Clement Graffe, tortured by his absence. Their friend Bellamy James rids himself of all ties and possessions, even giving away his beloved dog. Yearning for simplicity and purification, he prepares himself for a monastic life. And outside Clifton, the house where the widowed Louise Anderson lives with her three eccentric daughters, a very peculiar man is watching. Lucas finally returns, and during his reunion with his brother, they happen to receive a surprising visitor. It soon becomes clear to the Graffes and their friends that there is a complex mission to fulfill, of revenge, but also of transformation. Rich, enthralling, full of humor and suspense, Iris Murdoch’s magnificent novel illuminates the complexities of guilt and innocence, malice and compassion. It is a triumphant work from one of our greatest writers.