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Recently divorced New Zealander Sam Nola returns to London, where he spent two years in his early twenties. It is early 2003, and on both sides of Atlantic the case for military intervention in Iraq is being made – or fabricated.

But life for Sam has never been better: a grown-up, half-French daughter from a long ago affair has recently got in touch, and he has walked into a lucrative role in the booming banking sector.

It is only when he learns of the deaths of two friends within a week that intrigue begins to intrude on his contentment, that life begins to feel a little more precarious.

Reviews

'a confident, briskly paced and practical account of one man's self-rescue, but it is a personal odyssey that is also a study of modern society on the run' Irish Times.
Irish Times
'A few chapters in, I found myself in the grip of an artist with the ability to capture mood and beauty in a sentence' Financial Times.
Financial Times
'an elegant and assured novel' The Scotsman.
Scotsman
'fine, thoughtful and insightful' Daily Mail.
Daily Mail
'he has the ability to set the scene in a few pithy lines and condense more telling details into a handful of pages than many writers manage in their entire chapters' Sunday Times.
Sunday Times
'Stead's writing offers many pleasures ... this is an entertaining portrayal of the years of excess and deceit' BookOxygen.
BookOxygen