Liz and Jonathan Chambers were in trouble. Mortgage trouble. They'd stretched themselves to busting with their new exciting project - well, Liz thought it exciting - buying and managing the Silchester Tutorial College, and now couldn't sell their old house. Here they were, stuck with two mortgages, mounting debts and a miserable adolescent daughter who hadn't wanted to move anyway.Then Marcus Witherstone came into their lives - and at first it seemed he would solve all their problems. Marcus, senior partner in Silchester's leading estate agency, was large, assured, and wore an expensive overcoat. He knew the perfect tenants from London who would rent their old house - glamorous PR girl Ginny and almost-famous Piers. Everything was going to be OK.But soon Marcus found himself involved with Liz in a way he'd never intended. Keeping his adulterous trysts secret from Anthea was uncomfortably easy - most of the time her head was firmly buried in Improve your Child's IQ. Meanwhile, as Liz was lost in blissful dreams of Marcus, Jonathan was left to run the tutorial college.
Neither of them had time to notice that teenage Alice was developing a desperate passion for the tenants, Piers and Ginny. Everyone seemed to be entangled with everyone else, in the most awkward possible way. And as events closed in on him, Marcus began to realise that some deceptions are just a bit too close to home.
Madeleine Wickham was born in London. She read PPE at Oxford and published her first novel, The Tennis Party, while working as a financial journalist. Since then she has written A Desirable Residence, Swimming Pool Sunday, The Gatecrasher, The Wedding Girl, Cocktails for Three and Sleeping Arrangements, all published by Black Swan. She is also the author of several novels published by Black Swan under the name of Sophie Kinsella. She lives in Surrey with her husband and two small sons.