A vulnerable young woman becomes fascinated by her neighbour, a man she suspects of an appalling crime, in A.L. Barker’s extraordinary fourth novel.

Marise Tomelty, the young wife of a travelling salesman, dislikes sex and is terrified of open spaces. Ralph Shilling, a dealer in pesticides, lives in the flat above the Tomeltys. One day, Marise’s husband casually mentions that he recognizes Ralph as John Brown, the suspect who was acquitted of the gruesome double-murder of two sisters because of a lack of evidence. Despite this, Marise encourages Ralph’s attentions, intoxicated by a heady mix of passion and fear.

The Booker Prize 1970
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A.L. Barker

A.L. Barker

About the Author

A L (Audrey Lilian) Barker – poet, short-story writer and novelist – was an author who gained more critical accolades than sales. She was shortlisted for John Brown’s Body.
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