A brilliant, bewitching novel inspired by one of the twentieth century’s most infamous sex scandals
Michael Cobb is a skilled osteopath, a gifted painter, and a lover extraordinaire. In 1960s England, the good doctor makes a startling diagnosis: the nation is sick, fast approaching its demise, and the only hope for a cure is a sexual awakening so potent it reaches into the highest corridors of power. To put his plan in motion, Cobb indoctrinates a bevy of hip young Londoners in an intoxicating blend of ancient myths, occult beliefs, and erotic arts. His most promising student is Cecile Banner, a beautiful and beguiling temptress for whom Cobb has in mind a very special target: Richard Derwent, the minister of war.
The fallout from Doctor Cobb’s game reaches all the way across the Atlantic to upstate New York, where Norman Scholes, an investigator for a powerful American think tank, reads between the lines of the official British government report on the scandal. Was Cobb a Soviet spy? A master of black magic, as he sometimes claimed? Or, as the prosecutors accused, a pimp operating in a delirious time and place?
Based on the outrageous events of the Profumo affair, R. V. Cassill’s bestselling novel is an unforgettable story of a lust powerful enough to topple a nation.