When Stuart Font decides to throw a house-warming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building. After some deliberation, he even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife.
There are a few other genuine friends on the list, but he definitely does not want to include his girlfriend, Claudia, as that might involve asking her husband.
The party will be one everyone remembers. But not for the right reasons. All the occupants of Lichfield House are about to experience a dramatic change in their lives...
Living opposite, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman, christened Tigerlily by Stuart. As though from some strange urban fairytale, she emerges to exert a terrible spell. And Mr and Mrs Font, the worried parents, will have even more cause for concern about their handsome but hopelessly naive son.
Darkly humorous, piercingly observant of human behaviour, Ruth Rendell has created here another compelling fable of our lives and crimes.