When a stranger crosses its path, a family's life is never the same again, and their compassion turns to fear . . .
Lois hunter is well-off, happily married; she has a nice home, two well-adjusted sons, and lives in a beautiful part of the country. Husband Ken, a City banker, lives in London during the week and comes home at weekends. Both are pillars of the community, into good causes and local activities. A privileged, satisfying, richly rewarding life one might think.
Why, then, with so much going for her, does Lois develop an attachment to a beggar she sees outside a supermarket? There is nothing sexual in it; she insists on that. The sight of Oliver and his two puppies sitting on the pavement on a cold October afternoon touches her heart. She resolves to do all she can to help him despite the protestations of Ken and her sister Wendy.
Shortly after they meet, Oliver disappears, to re-emerge six months later, injured. Once again he becomes the object of Lois's solicitude and this time she goes so far as to invite him to stay on their land. All this not unnaturally produces strain between Lois and Ken, and Wendy, too, is critical of her sister's philanthropy - until she meets Oliver and, in turn, and as irrationally, becomes as obsessed by this mysterious stranger as Lois.
This is an engrossing novel with undertones of a psychological thriller.