A spare, effective picture of the aftermath of an execution, this presents the Rackham family as they try to ignore Ronnie's death for the murder of a young girl. The father forces them to move and hideout, under another name, at the home of an old friend; the mother turns to spiritualism and hatred of their voluntary landlord; glamorous Frankie effaces herself in a dentist's office, dreams of recapturing the man she thinks she loves; Philip learns to dread his similarity to his dead brother and morbidly keeps finding new points of comparison. This drives him to pay attention to flashy, suspiciously worldly Dorrie, a replies of the girl Bonnie had killed, and, cut off from his family by the mounting acrimony and tension, he marries her. Her real love for him gives him a little freedom, but the secret of his brother's death deepens its hold so that when he finally tells her the truth, he believes he has killed her. But Dorrie's death and the police investigation act as a catalyst so that the Rackhams can return to their own home again....Adept reporting of lower middle-class English life and a real pathos in the character of Dorrie give this a reality and a forcefulness that heightens the impact of the tragedy.