This is a pretty short novel that follows the story of Henry Cage, an aging British businessman that has been pushed out of the company that bears his name, that has an ex-wife that is dying, whose children are alienated from him and who has seemingly acquired a stalker, an ex-con that seems out to destroy his life. But what sets the tone for the novel is the chapter in which we first meet henry - he is attending the funeral of his grandson, who died in a horrific accident. The narrative then jumps back five years, to the time when Henry is kicked out of the company and we must then bear witness to his complete and utter destruction - a destruction that actually culminates in the chapter that initially introduces us to Henry.
Surprisingly, to me at least, this is Abbott's first novel. It was surprising because Abbott writes with a maturity and a knowledge and a voice that is so wise beyond his seeming lack of experience. He writes with the voice of a man that has written many novels previously and who will continue to write for many years to come. I also really enjoyed how we were given insight into Henry's life, personality, his flaws and his destruction -- we are given the best pieces of insight and wisdom through other people that interact with Henry. It did take me a while to adjust to the constant jumps in time and between characters. However, once I did, the novel moved smoothly and seamlessly and I was very happy to be able to get to read this novel.