Amanda Craig's new novel turns on two women who meet by chance and discover that they are both victims of abusive husbands. Together, they plot their revenge.
When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider's web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other's husbands. After all, they are strangers on a train - who could possibly connect them?
But when Hannah goes to Jinni's husband's home the next night, she finds Stan, a huge, hairy, ugly drunk who has his own problems - not least the care of a half-ruined house and garden. He claims Jinni is a very different person to the one who has persuaded Hannah to commit a terrible crime. Who is telling the truth - and who is the real victim?
Praise for Amanda Craig
'Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny' India Knight
'As satisfying a novel as I have read in years' Sarah Perry
'Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now working in Britain' Alison Lurie
Amanda Craig is a British novelist, short-story writer and critic. Born in South Africa in 1959, she grew up in Italy, where her parents worked for the UN, and was educated at Bedales School and Clare College Cambridge.
After a brief time in advertising and PR, she became a journalist for newspapers such as the Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Telegraph and Independent, winning both the Young Journalist of the Year and the Catherine Pakenham Award. She was the children's critic for the Independent on Sunday and The Times. She still reviews children's books for the New Statesman, and literary fiction for the Observer, but is mostly a full-time novelist. Her novel Hearts and Minds was longlisted for the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction, and her most recent novel, The Lie of the Land, was chosen as a book of the year by the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, New Statesman, Evening Standard, Sunday Times and Irish Times.