THE ARTIST'S WIDOW opens in Mayfair gallery at the private view of the last paintings of John Crane, where we meet Lyris Crane, the artist's widow and a painter in her own right. Also present are several other key players in the drama, all of whom are drawn to Lyris for a variety of reasons and motives. There is Nathan Pursey, a boorish young conceptual artist on the make, Clovis Ingram, a bookseller who is involved with Candy, the rejected mistress of a Tory MP who has just lost his seat, and Zoe, a beautiful television film-maker. An incident on his way home proves Clovis capable of an act of cowardice that will haunt him always. Nathan sets off a train of events with a maudlin late-night phone call to Jackee, a sad white rastafarian whom he dumped a while ago. This is a story of the good, the bad and the untalented where the intricate and often funny narrative explores the nature of the artistic impulse as well as guilt and the possibility of redemption.