The world of an atheist rector, his daughter and his niece, who have recently moved to London from the countryside, and their household and close acquaintances. A book of darkness, both literal and metaphorical, with little relief or let up, with characters held together in strange power plays and family ties. The hints of hope are always just that; hints against a backdrop of real gloom and doom and an ending which doesn’t feel as it’s going to pan out very well. The pull and descent into amoral madness has a touch of Heart of Darkness about it, with the African continent replaced by a crumbling church and a broken cast of characters. For all that, an enjoyable if downbeat read.