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When artist Stephen Bloodsmith creates a series of images inspired by Rubens’ trip to London in 1629, the fundamentals both of his world and of that of Rubens are challenged. The prints he makes become windows into another time, another world. But will nation cheat nation as men deceive women, women men?

‘I don't think I've read so vivid a description of painting, the painter's eye, technique, concentration… the mutual guilts, regrets, love are beautifully dissected, slowly, painfully… it is extraordinarily perceptive, humanly and artistically.’  CELIA DALE

‘There's art, politics and lots of intrigue. Beautifully written, almost poetic and a marvellous piece of historical fiction’ , LEL BUDGE, The Bookwormery

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Winner of the David Higham Prize for Fiction


Once this pioneering engineering works sold building plant across the world. Now the taken-over factory waits to learn whether it will survive or be scrapped, while Foreman Clyde wages a losing war against the youthful face of change.

‘A powerful style, a strong visual sense and an impressive understanding of men who have to fight to survive.’  Daily Telegraph

‘Sheer verbal energy, delighting in the tones and textures of factory life’  Books and Bookmen

Out on Kindle 25 June 2020
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To whom does the young wife owe her love: to her husband, the great author who is repelled by her body – or to the young painter her husband has brought with them to the Highlands, for the purpose of painting his portrait?


'Captivating . . . a discerning and rather sumptuous study of one of history's most infamous love triangles.'  LUCY SCHOLES, Independent


'The novel is so alive, so full of movement and momentum.'  ANITA DESAI

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How alien and terrifying it can be to have a baby, when love fails for your dashing, dangerous young husband.


'The picture he paints of parenthood is eerie, convincing and, in a perverse way, beautiful.'  MAUREEN FREELY, Independent on Sunday


'He gives us things in a few lines -- a human body, a crying child, a heavy lorry, so that we are made to see them simultaneously as the characters see them, and from some huge distance, as perfected instances of some terrible mystery of human existence.'  A.S. BYATT, Independent

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Selected by Chris Patten in the Sunday Telegraph as ‘the novel which shows the best grasp of political life’.

1967: ‘The Colonels’ rule Greece. To whom should Chryssa turn for help when her husband Vangelis is taken to be ‘interrogated’? To the high-up, complacent relative who adores the ‘National Government’? To the English journalist in love with her?

'What a treat...stylish, politically interesting and immensely readable'  NINA BAWDEN, Daily Telegraph

'Tolstoyan . . . a wide-ranging, detailed and sympathetic portrayal of a whole society.'  ANTHONY THWAITE, Observer

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