A fabulous, darkly funny and ultimately devastating novel set between a London film set and a villa in the south of France - a mix of Vertigo and Jonathan Coe.
Celebrated director Jack Drake can't get through his latest film (his most personal yet) without his wife Martha's support. The only problem is, she's dead...
When Jack sees Betty Dean - actress, mother, trainwreck - playing the part of a crazed nun on stage in an indie production of The Devils, he is struck dumb by her resemblance to Martha. Desperate to find a way to complete his masterpiece, he hires her to go and stay in his house in France and resuscitate Martha in the role of 'loving spouse'.
But as Betty spends her days roaming the large, sunlit rooms of Jack's mansion - filled to the brim with odd treasures and the occasional crucifix - and her evenings playing the part of Martha over scripted video calls with Jack, she finds her method acting taking her to increasingly dark places. And as Martha comes back to life, she carries with her the truth about her suicide - and the terrible act she committed beforehand.
PRAISE FOR DAVID THEWLIS'S PREVIOUS NOVEL:
'Wonderful entertainment... Hilarious and horror-filled' Francesca Segal, Observer
'A fine study in character disintegration... Very funny' David Baddiel, The Times
'Queasily entertaining' FT
'Driving, spiky prose and blackly comic scenarios' New Statesman
'A sharp ear for dialogue and a scabrously satiric prose style' Daily Mail
'This laugh-out-loud, darkly intelligent debut suggests that Thewlis might meet with considerable success should he decide to quit acting and take up the pen full-time... Readers who have mourned the end of Sue Townsend's wonderful, long-running Adrian Mole series will find solace of a sort here' Publishers Weekly
'This is far more than an actor's vanity project: Thewlis has talent' Kirkus
'An extraordinarily good novel' Billy Connolly