Murder. A violent death in horrifying circumstances detonates the atmosphere of languor and sexual tension in the Thompson household. Francis King's disturbing novel opens in India in the 1930s, in the lush summer house of the Thompson family. Father, stepmother, daughter, governess, ayah - all are under suspicion. And the most sinister of motives merely deflects the truth as it slithers out of reach until a final reunion in Australia decades later.