Driving at the edge of London on an icy night, Frances Thorpe, a book editor, stops for a car in the ditch. Inside the car is the dying wife (Alys) of a famous novelist Laurence Kyte. Frances calls for help and stays with Alys until the police arrives. Since Frances is the last person who sees Alys alive, Alys' family is eager to meet her in order to hear Alys' final words.
It is disturbing to learn how connivingly Frances schemes her way into the Kyte family, especially the heart of the widower. This is a gripping short novel that alludes to the complexities of the human psyche.