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Don't talk to strangers. Don't even look at them. The life of Roy Phipps can be summed up in a paragraph: He's fifty, leads an uneventful, well-organised existence in the house inherited from his parents, earns a modest income writing formulaic detective novels, and remembers, sometimes, his encounters with women. Roy's only aberration is the other novel he has been secretively also writing for years, the sprawling and florid story of the mad poet Vilmos, a study of murder, angst and alchemic magic. Then one evening Roy meets Vilmos, face to face. Of course, handsome Vilmos's double, Joseph Traskul, is only a coincidental look-alike. But in those fatal minutes a terrible bond is formed. For Traskul is, at the very least, insane - charismatic, predatory, lawless - a sort of human demon - whose almost supernatural powers, once provoked, will prove unstoppable. As the fiery shadows close in on him, Roy soon understands that he is now fighting for his own sanity. And probably for his life.
Tanith Lee (1947-2015)Tanith Lee was born in London in 1947. She is the author of more than 70 novels and almost 300 short stories, and has also written radio plays for the BBC and two scripts for the cult television series Blake's 7. Her first short story, 'Eustace', was published in 1968, and her first children's novel The Dragon Hoard was published in 1971. In 1975 her adult fantasy epic The Birthgrave was published to international acclaim, and Lee maintained a prolific output in popular genre writing throughout her life. She twice won the World Fantasy Award, and was a Guest of Honour at numerous science fiction and fantasy conventions including the 1984 World Fantasy Convention in Ottawa, Canada. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master of Horror, and in 2013 she was given the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Tanith Lee was married to author and artist John Kaiine. She died in May, 2015.