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'Engrossing...I loved each and every brushstroke' Ian Rankin

'Nightshade is a glorious novel... full of twisted sexuality, art and power' Observer

Could the creative urge be the most destructive - even the deadliest - impulse of all? Could it end in death?

Eve Laing, once the muse of an infamous painter, is now - forty years later - an artist herself. But she has sacrificed her career for her family. She resents the global success of her old college roommate. She is slowly unravelling.

When Eve embarks on her most ambitious work yet, she takes a wrecking ball to her comfortable life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover who seems to share her single-minded creative vision.

This timely novel explores sexual politics, asking if the true artist must relinquish the ordinary human need for love and connection to pave the way for desire and ambition, leading to a fatal awakening...


  • Nightshade is a glorious novel... full of twisted sexuality, art and power, about what it means to commit yourself entirely to the artistic life. The book's ending is unforgettable.
    Alex Preston, Observer

About the author

Annalena McAfee

Annalena McAfee is the author of two novels, The Spoiler and Hame. She founded the Guardian Review, which she edited for six years, and was Arts and Literary Editor of the Financial Times.
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