The Beacon, By Susan Hill

Misery memoirs may no longer be flavour of the month, but according to Susan Hill's new novel, their consequences can be far reaching.

In search of a quick buck, middle-aged journalist Frank Prime pens a best-seller detailing his childhood on a remote North Country farm. In it he accuses his late father of abuse - locking him in cupboards, depriving him of food - and his family of collusion.

Frank's three siblings are bemused by their brother's revelations and unprepared for the public hatred the book incites. Frank's memories don't chime with their own - but his account does seem to resonate with some emotional truth.