Tom Seymour is a child psychologist who has worked in the north of England for many years. One day, while walking by a river near his home, he rescues a young man from drowning, and realises that it's Danny Miller, a child murderer at whose trial he once gave evidence. Evidence he has since come to regard as flawed.
Danny has served his sentence and is out of prison. Now he's asking for Tom's help. But as Tom is drawn back, reluctantly, into Danny's troubled world, he begins to question Danny's motives - and his own.
Pat Barker's latest novel is a taut, elegant exploration of the flaws and failures of human beings, and the associated evil of a child murderer.