'In a class by himself-the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety' William Golding
In a small continental country civil war is raging. Once a lecturer in medieval French, now a confidential agent, D is a scarred stranger in a seemingly casual England, sent on a mission to buy coal at any price. Initially, this seems to be a matter of straightforward negotiation, but soon, implicated in murder, accused of possessing false documents and theft, held responsible for the death of a young woman, D becomes a hunted man, tormented by allegiances, doubts and the love of others.
“The most ingenious, inventive and exciting of our novelists, rich in exactly etched and moving portraits of real human beings-the tragic and comic ironies of love, loyalty and belief”
V.S.Pritchett, The Times