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About the author

Deep in the heart of Lincolnshire, in a dusty attic room at the very top of a crumbling mansion, Martin Swinford crouches over his keyboard and waits. He waits for the words. The words that he knows are there. The words that will flood his mind if he waits long enough. The words that will slip elusively from his grasp as he stretches to catch them.

Later, he thinks, he shall go down, and stroll the long gallery under the watchful gaze of his ancestors. Perhaps he will sit in the library, absorbing the collective knowledge of the mildew blackened books. Perhaps he will have a drink, anticipated by the melodious sound of the clinking glass as Crevice shuffles along the servant's passage. Perhaps even a cigar, one of the rare local specials, hand rolled on the expansive thighs of the village bar-maid.

He extends a finger and taps out a single word: "Perhaps."