Toby Hawk is a solitary boy in a family of Amazons. His mother, only fifteen years older than him, is a painter on the brink of commercial success. His great-aunt is a wealthy textile designer; her partner, Liberty, a barrister. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Toby's world remains a small, closed round of school, domesticity and surfing the Net at night. But everything changes when his mother takes up with a fascinating but enigmatic scientist, Roehm. Patricia Duncker's gripping vel is a disturbing tale of Oedipal passion. It is also an eerie psychological ghost story in the European tradition, whose sources - Freud, Faust and Frankenstein - haunt the pages.
Patricia Duncker is the author of four previous novels: Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize in 1996), The Deadly Space Between, James Miranda Barry and Miss Webster and Cherif (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2007). She has written two books of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death, and a collection of essays on writing and contemporary literature, Writing on the Wall. She is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Manchester. Her most recent novel, The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge, has been shortlisted for the Best Crime Novel of the Year (CWA Gold Dagger).