Here are a baker’s dozen of gripping short stories by a master of surprise and suspense. Tales of family frustrations and fury: of a young wife who wants to be rid of her husband, of an elderly daughter who cannot endure her mother. Tales of murder, blackmail, rape, fatal accident, mercy killing, suicide. Tales of the supernatural too.
The setting may be an elegant dinner party, a children’s sports day, a Scandinavian cruise, a nostalgic seaside holiday: even a flying saucer in a suburban garden. The stories can take astonishing turns: an old lady lures sex offenders to their deaths; a crippled child walks on water; housebreakers take a hand in a suicide attempt; people are ingeniously framed. And the biter is liable to be bitten, the would-be murderer may end up dead, the widow who kills and robs her travelling companion faces a charge she certainly didn’t expect. There are even crimes committed in dreams (which may turn out not to be dreams).