BOOK REVIEW / Novels in brief: Bodily Harm - Rachel Billington: Macmillan, pounds 14.99

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The Independent Culture
The strange duet of a psychopath and his victim. Fresh from the Porchester Baths, young Lydia stops at a kitchen shop to browse and is stabbed nearly to death by Patrick, the sales assistant. In alternating narratives Lydia hauntingly reveals the plight of a victim whose family and analyst relentlessly urge her to buck up, while Patrick reports in depth on Britain's penal system, though the source of his misogyny remains muddled. After some healthy vengefulness, Lydia throws herself into Patrick's rehabilitation and they fall gushingly in love. Psycho goes Mills and Boon.