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An isolated cottage deep in the heart of the Cotswolds. A writer’s den, as dusty, gloomy and full of exotic objets d’art as the cell of a medieval monk. Two men sit opposite each other, one of them talking, the other typing. But why, in such already sombre surroundings, does one of the two men wear thick dark glasses? What is the other typing so industriously and so apparently imperturbably? Why is the light left on in an unoccupied bathroom? What is the precise significance of the jigsaw puzzle laid out on the study table? Why, too, are some of its pieces missing? Whose statue actually stands on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square? Who or what, above all, is causing an unearthly shadow to fall across these two inextricably interwoven destinies?
With an atmosphere of eerie morbidity reminiscent of Poe, Hoffmann and even Stephen King, and an eleventh-hour double whammy of a twist of which Agatha Christie herself would have been envious, Gilbert Adair’s novel, one which – for a reason it would be unpardonable to divulge in advance – the reader hears rather than reads, is one of his most brilliant.
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