Monday, May 15, 2006

Robert Goddard is one of England’s best (and best-selling) writers of psychological thrillers, but his career has strangely languished in America. Now the quality paperback house Delta is giving some new life to many of his best books: including this first U.S, publication of a typically sly and mesmerizing story about an actor who discovers the hard way that “Reality doesn’t often intrude into the life of an actor. Pretence is all, off stage as well as on. For me, though, that had changed. Utterly.”
Toby Flood is a relatively successful stage actor whose most recent shot at stardom came when he was briefly considered to take over the role of James Bond after Roger Moore stepped down. Now he’s playing the lead in a recently-discovered play by the late Joe Orton (author of “Loot” and “Entertaining Mr. Sloane”) which is trying out in Brighton. Toby’s life changes when he gets a call from his soon-to-be-ex-wife Jenny, who lives in Brighton. She is being stalked by a strange man who hangs around in the cafe opposite her hat shop, and she thinks Toby might be involved because the stalker had been seen with a video copy of one of his films. Toby, still very much in love with Jenny, agrees to help – and finds himself in a dangerous, baffling plot involving lies and hidden truths which might turn lethal at any moment.