This is not a novel about a dinner party guest who locks himself in his hosts' spare room - this is an elliptical, free flowing, fast-paced, page-turning spin through the minds of the people who intersect as a result of that evening. The book is full of vivid, vital sketches of London lives, past and present, which build up and ebb away while the underlying flow drives ever onward, carrying the reader along, caught up in the cross-currents.
The child put her hands on the wall, levered herself expertly into the air, let herself expertly fall. I can, the child said. Though they trust me. I am not stupid. And your name is the same as mine. So what I tell them is that I'm going to the tunnel with Brooke and then to the Observatory to see the Shepherd Galvano-Magnetic Clock.