When Mathias, a travelling watch salesman, returns after many years to the island of his birth, a young girl is found dead on the rocks. As Mathias makes an increasingly tense recapitulation of his movements on the day of the event, tiny details slowly and inexorably accumulate. Through the warped screen of his distorted mind, the remembered images pile up until the reader is caught in his web of desperation. And yet in the end reality has lost all meaning, as the distinction between the narrator's recollections and the underlying facts are more and more blurred. This brilliantly executed novel, which showcases all the techniques that have secured Robbe-Grillet's place in the canon of Western literature, leaves behind a disturbing sense of unrest.