The four novellas that make up this book share a common theme: deception and self-deception, practised by or on the protagonists. Each story is told in prose of great assurance, narrated by a brilliantly distinctive voice. The characters include an Anglo-Italian Professor of Semiotics, undone by his own cleverness; an Irishwoman who becomes a novice in a Tibetan nunnery in Nepal; a house party of old university friends that is galvanised by pugnacious newcomer into a demented, Buchanesque mission to restore their hostess's lost honour, and an international lawyer who takes to terrorism in pursuit of a theory. Several Deceptions is clever, funny, a little cruel. It introduces a writer of quite remarkable gifts.