When a drop-out and rejected writer of Irish descent happens by chance upon an 'old flame' in the basement of a London restaurant one day, a week or so before Christmas, he precipitates a series of events that neither of them could have foreseen, leaving two women dead and one seriously ill, the latter of whom was with his 'old flame' on the day in question. But what was the motive for this outcome? And how was it deceptive? That is something you will have to find out for yourself if you choose to read this outstanding novel by the author of 'Cross-Purposes' and 'False Pretences'. The cover, we hope, is appropriately deceptive.