Serving in the British Army in Northern Ireland, Joseph shot and killed a man. A subsequent inquiry has cleared him of any inappropriate behaviour, yet, now returned to civilian life, he remains haunted by the experience. Working as a painter and decorator in London he meets Alice, and through her, her grandfather David, himself a veteran of the armed forces. In the 50s, David served in the RAF in Kenya, where unbeknown to his grand-daughter, he bombed Mau-Mau jungle hide-outs. In all probability and equally in the course of duty he too has blood on his hands. As soldier and pilot, both Joseph and he are innocent; as men, both perhaps are guilty. In this powerful exploration of guilt, war and the power of mankind's greatest yet all too frequently broken taboo, 'Thou shalt not kill', Rachel Seiffert delivers on the remarkable promise of The Dark Room and Field Study.
The daughter of an Australian father and a German mother, Rachel Seiffert was born in Oxford and lives in London. She is the author the Booker-shortlisted novel The Dark Room and an acclaimed collection of short stories, Field Study. She was named one of Granta's 'Best of Young British' and one of 25 women writers to watch in the 'Orange Futures' promotion.