'Hugely readable and profoundly important ... Perry's masterly piece of postmodern gothic is one of the great achievements of our century' - The Observer
Oh my friend, won't you take my hand - I've been so lonely! One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin meets her friend Karel on the street. Agitated and enthralled, he tells her he has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with personal testimonies that take them from 17th-century England to wartime Czechoslovakia, the tropical streets of Manila, and 1920s Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing an unforgettable message. Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.