Here's a change—a psychological thriller in which a man is the crazy one.
Michael Hayes made it through a childhood of poverty, abuse, and misery to what was, for him, the pinnacle of happiness—his eight-year love affair with Verity Metcalf, a girl he met at Bristol University. The centerpiece of their intensely passionate connection was a game they invented called the Crave. The pair would separate at a bar and wait for a man to hit on her; it never took long. From across the room, Michael would watch for the signal. When she touched her silver eagle necklace, he "would push through the mass of people, pulling at the useless man drooling over her, and ask him what he thought he was doing talking to my girlfriend. And because I am useful-looking in that tall, broad way, and because V likes me to lift weights and start all my days with a run, they would invariably back off with their hands in front of their faces." Having dispatched the hapless patsy, they would sometimes head to the bathroom to have sex. All is going well until Michael takes a temporary job in the U.S. in order to make a lot of money quickly, working toward his master plan of retiring by 45. By the time he returns to England, things have gone awry. One of the first pieces of mail he receives is an invitation to V's wedding. He's only upset for a moment, excited to realize this is just one step in Crave, the most daring one ever. "Part of me doesn't want to write it all down like this, but my barrister says I must," he explains.
Which is worse—an emotionally disturbed murderer or a woman with a fierce libido? Hall's U.S. debut is designed to show just how much trouble society has answering that question.