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It's 2015, and a recent work of Cambridge-based sculptor Will Tench, shortlisted for the controversial Turner art prize, has so outraged the pastor of a Mississippi church that a million dollar contract has been offered for his life, a threat that Will laughs off until the evening he and Nina, his partner, return home to an appalling message that cannot be ignored. They flee into the night, with no destination in mind, and the following day reach a place Will knew as a boy when it was a ruin: Bleakridge, a hilltop house with a dark history that no one speaks of these days. That no one cares to remember.

On impulse, he rents the house for an indefinite period, but Nina hates the place, finds every corner a threat, and eventually storms out - an escape that leads Will to begin a furious series of artworks in solitary brooding Bleakridge where, now that he's alone there, past and present begin to merge. Other lives too.

Warning. This book contains murders, profanities, fellatio, the production of visual art, and the odd joke.