It is 1939, and in the grimy pub district of Earls Court, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation with cool and contemptuous Netta Longdon. George drifts in a torpor of alcohol, except in his "dead moods," when something goes click in his head and he realizes, without a doubt, that he must kill Netta. Best known for the plays Rope and Gaslight—both of which became film classics—Patrick Hamilton's brilliant 1941 novel evokes the seedy, fogbound world of London on the verge of World War II.
"Hamilton . . . is a sort of urban Thomas Hardy: … always a pleasure to read, and as social historian he is unparalleled."—Nick Hornby