Gifted, magnetic, a virtuoso with a short temper, Lee defies his background to win a scholarship to the prestigious Cabresi academy of music. James – richer, less gifted and less charismatic – leeches onto the teenage prodigy to feed off his fame and genius, and to bask in Lee’s reflected glory. Slowly, stealthily, James fuels Lee’s increasing need for women and illicit substances, the better to pull the strings, keep him close.
Watching all of this is Peter, whose conversations with Lee call into question Lee’s tangled relationship with James. Peter appears uniquely placed to present a clear picture of this obsessive, increasingly destructive friendship. Gradually, he reveals the truth behind their power struggle, and the events which led to Lee’s tragic, drug-fuelled death . . .
Gripping and lean, considered and powerful, Vanessa Jones’s darkly brilliant second novel confirms the arrival of a bright British talent.