When Tom moves with his wife Ann from their tiny Camden flat into a large house in Hackney, he feels as if it's the start of the rest of their life together. Deeply in love, and with a baby on the way, everything, Tom thinks, is finally coming together. He and Ann anticpate the arrival of the baby, as Ann, particularly galvanized, spends hours cleaning and reorganizing the house, and sitting up all night talking with a renewed passion about life, love, and art. But there is a darker side to this new fervour, somehow linked with her conviction that someone is lingering threateningly around their new home. Someone who - Tom soon realizes - may not exist at all.
The lives of a London couple about to have their first child unravel in Perkins's haunting third novel. In the wake of surviving a train derailment, pregnant Ann Wells tells her husband, struggling screenwriter Tom Stone, that a man has been following her. With only Ann's vague description, the police can do little and Tom attempts to reassure his wife about her safety. As her due date approaches, Ann turns her attention to scouring the house and molding clay "guardian" figures, while Tom searches for work. Finally, Tom agrees to approach a popular television writer and fellow train accident survivor, Simon Wright, for work. After the birth of their son, Arlo, Ann's behavior grows more disturbing, and Tom realizes too late the truth behind her fears. Perkins's gamble to reveal Ann's fate in the early pages pays off; the suspense mounts with each added detail, until everything falls into place in an unsettling climax. Throughout, both Tom and the reader struggle to find a moment when everything could have been prevented. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Bloomsbury Publishing USA
December 01, 2010
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