Hal Treherne is a soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Impatient to see action, his other commitment in life is to his beloved wife, Clara, and when Hal is transferred to Cyprus she and their twin daughters join him. But the island is in the heat of the emergency; the British are defending the colony against Cypriots - schoolboys and armed guerillas alike - battling for union with Greece.
Clara shares Hal's sense of duty and honour; she knows she must settle down, make the best of things, smile. But action changes Hal, and the atrocities he is drawn into take him not only further from Clara but himself, too; a betrayal that is only the first step down a dark path.
Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
Jones is fabulous at this, offering titbits of danger and discord while keeping a cool, matter of fact tone for the big horrors... This is, at heart, a moving love story
Jones's first novel, The Outcast, winner if the Costa First Novel Award, was a very hard act to follow. Her second, however, is even better... Jones's research is impeccable, and her emotional intelligence outstanding
In this exciting novel that resonates with contemporary parallels, Jones is unusual among women writers in focusing as much on the thrills and terrors of frontline action as its psychological fall out...it's a movie waiting to happen
Ambitious...uncannily good at the evocation of charged moments
Here Jones's talent really shows... In an excellent encounter with a military psychiatrist, the dialogue breaks like dry twigs
The Snakes is the devastating story of a family whose worst sins come back to bite them. In this extract, Bea and her husband Dan arrive at her brother Alex's hotel in France, having escaped London for a few months. To their horror they find Alex living alone, the hotel ramshackle and deserted apart from a nest of snakes living in the attic…