The book has insightful things to say on the creative process and the damage that can be done in the name of art. The sidelining of Locke’s artist wife Eleanor is particularly interesting. McLaughlin cleverly explores these themes of inspiration, ownership and betrayal across a number of narrative strains. In the convincingly claustrophobic small-town atmosphere are echoes of the novels of fellow county-man Graham Norton. Side characters are well rendered for the most part, summarised in pithy one-liners.