Taken prisoner during World War II, artist Richard Temple reviews his life in order to survive the interrogation and beating from his captors. The son of a church rector, Richard managed to escape his blighted childhood with his widowed mother - a woman sinking into drunkenness and promiscuity. His artistic gift is the one thing of value that he has to his name, but his life as a painter in 1930s London is cruelly depraved. He is temporarily rescued by the love of a beautiful, wealthy woman...but the failure of this relationship, and the outbreak of war, propelled him into the world of espionage and his current predicament at the hands of the Germans.
©1962 Patrick O'Brian; (P)2007 Soundings