In another of Clarke's pallid sickroom-stories (Soon She Must Die), the 90-ish, world-famous novelist G.E. Golf is dying--all too slowly--while being nursed by neurotic stepdaughter Mary in their gloomy London House. Hoping to inherit the Golf papers: his once-estranged grandson James, a literary lightweight who's half-heartedly wooing Mary in order to keep an inside track--with competition from critic Richard Grieve. And Mary herself meanwhile is coming apart at the seams. . . as she struggles to placate her acerbic stepfather, ferret out his plans for the papers, and cope with the crumbling of long-held illusions about her past. Unconvincing characters, tortuous doings--all leading up to a foreseeable, ungripping climax.