Saturday morning. The postman shoves a package through the door. It is this gorgeous-looking book from Sepent's Tail: War Damage by Elizabeth Wilson. It is, I note, a literary thriller. I open it and start reading.
'"How did you get a key?"
Charles slid his smile sideways...'
Slid his smile sideways . Slid. If ever there was a 'mot juste' that must be it. Already I am interested.
The page ends:
'Trevelyan came at once with a strangled little whimper.'
A few seconds later I have finished the first chapter. I look at the clock - of course it's not just a few seconds in real time. Once again I have missed my spinnin' class. I shove the book away but it seems to be exuding a bookish pheromone: pick me up, it says, just another chapter. But I shall resist. I am already two books behind on my editing.
The blurb at the back says: 'somewhere between Patricia Highsmith and Sarah Waters' . Spot on, so far, I'd say.