A mysterious figure sparks a rebellion among London's middle classes in the extraordinary new novel from the author of Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes. A bomb at Heathrow appears to psychologist David Markham to be just one more random act of meaningless violence, until he discovers that his ex-wife Laura is among the victims. Following up police suspicions, Markham goes undercover to investigate the growing number of fringe protest groups in London, and falls in with a shadowy movement based in the comfortable Thameside estate of Chelsea Marina. Led by a charismatic doctor, it aims to stir up the docile middle classes, to free them from the self-imposed burdens of civic responsibility and service, pensions and health insurance, private schools and nannies -- and to tear down the consumer society in search of a more meaningful existence. As Markham tries to find the truth behind Laura's death, he is swept up in a campaign that spirals rapidly out of control. Every certainty in his life comes into question as the cornerstones of middle England become the targets of violent attack, and a growing panic grips the capital.
J.G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. His 1984 bestseller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg. His controversial novel Crash was also made into an equally controversial film by David Cronenberg. His most recent novels are the Sunday Times bestsellers, Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.