The London Train is an intelligent and gently manipulative story of human weakness and lies. Tessa Hadley shows us two different but equally believable sides to the same man in this split novel.
It begins with aspiring poet Paul riding to the rescue of the daughter of his first wife, Pia, and then falling in love with the sister of the man who has made her pregnant. Some past indiscretions are insinuated when his second wife suspects an affair, and hint at a pattern to his behaviour. But it's the second part of the novel, narrated by Cora, who once had a passionate relationship with Paul and is still in love with him, which blows the whole thing wide open and exposes him as an empty charmer. Wicked but delightful.