I think Iris Murdoch wrote approximately 27 novels or so, but this has to be one of her best in my humble opinion. As usual all the typical mix of complex and complicated side characters, ambiguous and contradictory antagonists and protagonists, whilst all the while the plot and sub-plots merging, disintergrating, convoluting and always drawing the reader further in untill a gorgeous finale. Thunderous and passionate, fairly much dark and twisted yet subtle throughout, this is an incredibly addictive and consuming read engulfing you into the life of Montague Small the obsessive and failed detective writer, but more so that of Blaise Gavender the psychotherapist whose life and loves are so unendingly tormented that you don't know whether to cry out in despair or get angry. It came in hardback and cost very little. An excellent and very enjoyable read, i recommend every Iris Murdoch fan to buy this novel!