Nicholas Royle (one of our writers)
September 2000

About the publication

Russell Wood, big shot movie director and married with kids, has a secret habit of watching his pornographic rushes late into the night on his own. Richard Holland, his non-professional chauffeur, makes avant-garde shorts and features when he can scrape together enough money and pull in enough favours, and the only security in their colleague, Frank Warner's life is his day job at a Soho-based film magazine. On the edge of his sanity, Christopher Young is obsessed with discovering the spectral energies of abandoned cinemas...

During the demolition work on the site of a former cinema just north of Soho, the body of a man is discovered wrapped in the celluloid used to kill him. The grisly discovery throws together the four former friends who are haunted by the film project they once worked on and draws them into a deepening mystery of murder and deceit on the tracks of the London Underground. Adultery, sexual obsession, festering guilt and growing mistrust are mapped out in a labyrinth narrative that is at once a thriller and an emotional odyssey.


It is a characteristic of Royle's stories that they attempt to give once-inhabited places a mysterious, paranoid significance, and it is the specific juxtaposition of factual geography with fictional events that creates such a haunting effect.

Times Literary Supplement