Hexam Place in Pimlico is an elegant place to live. To own a property in this area requires not only a sizable income, but hired help. The people who work there don't necessarily consider themselves to be servants. But a group of them decide to form the Saint Zita Society. (Zita was the patron saint of domestic servants, who gave her food and clothes to the poor.) Inevitably, each one has an axe to grind, but the meetings at the local pub resolve little.
Dr Jefferson's gardener is a strange man called Dex. He has been invited to join this motley group, but is ill at ease with other human beings. Messages from his mobile phone reassure him that there is some kind of god who will protect him and who will also give him instructions about ridding the world of evil spiritsa Accidental death and pathological madness cohabit in Hexam Place.
In her new novel, Ruth Rendell examines the many layers of human society - with its foibles, eccentricities, ambitions, kindnesses and despairs. And the darkness is never far away.