The happenings in an urban section of London, Cottingham Park, have for their background the threats and rumors of the widening of the road through, of an expressway and the demail'ion involved -- all of which become a reality, and link and interlink the of a large collection of people. Martha Banning, who has lived there all her life no part of change, the Wilsons, their nursing daughter, May, and their boarders of whom Arthur goes from terrorizing women on the phone to murder; colored Edgar Biggs, his dream of getting an education degenerated into gang activities and dope; his , Grace Peel, and his spastic brother, Kenny; Grace, fighting for her underprivileged students even after she is married; Mrs. Saithes and her prostitute roomer Ellsen Kelly who becomes Arthur's victim; the Dukes, the Gordons, the black and the whites -- all affected by the physical changes in the neighborhood. There's a criss when race war breaks out, when razed buildings reveal grim secrets, when divides an apartment house; there's relocation when slum clearance goes into effect, and, in some cases, there is an acceptance of a better way of living, a different sense of value. An awful lot happens -- in a sort of spiral continuum -- and a lot of interest is generated. For a long, sustained ""read"".