Four families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent listed houses, built for the old aristocracy. They are the new aristocracy and the elite of their village: financiers, business tycoons, lawyers, doctors, magistrates. They leave their rural idyll only to commute first-class to London for meetings, deals and theatre outings or Heathrow flights to winter sun or half-term skiing. They and their children are protected by investments, pensions and expensive security systems.
But the money is running out in Britain, and as tensions and relationships develop within the group of friends, finally, deep in the English winter, an unthinkable act of violence destroys these dream lives and demonstrates that the biggest threat may come from unexpected places. This horrific act happens on the first pages but Lawson provides dramatic twists and false turns and it is only by the end of the book that we discover who the victims are and who committed the crime.
Mark Lawson’s first novel in eight years is his most ambitious yet. Combining ingenious plotting with forensic social comedy, this is a dark and brilliant novel of life in twenty-first-century England.