I killed Mrs. Chalmers. It was an accident. I have decided to commit suicide. I cannot live any longer, the disgrace will kill my wife."" That's the letter fifteen-year-old Ray pieces together from newspaper words to fool the police, on his trail after a hit-and-run accident on a stolen motor bike. Neither Mum, already preoccupied with Grandma's illness, nor Dad confront their problems readily, and Ray believes he can escape this felony undetected and unscathed. So he proceeds ""normally"" in his small English town--going to school, a soccer game, a party--after washing out bloodstains and getting his jeans patched. His willingness to confess and face the music comes after a round of small agonies, Grandma's timely comments, and Dad's discovery of the letter. A grim subject handled thoughtfully, with outside interests and home tensions intruding on a troubled conscience.