A Guardian / Sunday Times Book of the YearA spirited, restless fourteen-year-old, Fay, goes missing from a Lincoln council estate. Is she a runaway, or a victim – another face on a poster gradually fading with time? The story of her last few days before she vanishes is interwoven with the varied lives of six locals – whether aware or unaware of her presence or absence, all touched in life-changing ways. David is an eco-campaigner on a family holiday on the bleak Lincolnshire coast; Howard, a retired steel worker with some dodgy friends; Cosmina, a Romanian immigrant struggling as a care-home nurse; Sheena, middle-aged and single, running a kiddies’ clothes shop, is sexually entangled with the peculiar Gavin, while dreaming of Paul, up the lane; Mike, the misanthropic owner of the haunted second-hand bookshop, is secretly in love with Cosmina; and Chris, a TV producer become Trappist monk, can’t quite leave the ordinary world behind. All are involuntary witnesses to the lost girl; paths cross, threads touch, connections are made or lost. Is Fay alive or dead? Or somewhere in between?Adam Thorpe has once again created a cast of brilliant eccentrics bound together by the accident of geography, in a novel of effortlessly elegant prose, forensic observation and resonant power.
A Guardian / Sunday Times Book of the Year'Thorpe is a master of quiet ironies, of exquisite detail… This is a mysterious, lucent novel, compelling in its tautness, devastating in its wisdom. I hope it wins prizes.'Philip Womack, Spectator
Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, appeared in 1992, and he has published two books of stories, six poetry collections, and nine further novels, most recently Flight (2012). www.adamthorpe.net