Author of “lesbo historical romps”, profiled in the Independent around her decision to write a scary book. Well, scary to people other than just elderly Republicans.
The fiction picks up, historically, where Waters’ Man Booker nominated The Night Watch, left off, but without its strong female narratives or historical revisionism.
Billed as a ghost story of sorts by Waters, it combines the Gothic gloom of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, with the generic reference points of Agatha Christie’s country-house mysteries, with each character being “picked off” one by one, and every survivor falling under suspicion.
The book represents her most atypical work in many ways. Had it followed in the vein of her first three works, the central narrator would most likely have been the housemaid, Betty, an imaginative below-the-stairs minx, the likes of whom Waters has often given central casting. Instead, she plumped for a far duller mind in her narrative choice. She knew two years ago, when she began plotting the story, that the narrator would be male, she says.