When a teenage couple are found murdered in their car, a boy called Adam Sligo is the only suspect. A manhunt begins. The letter A is found blazoned on the wall at the murder scene and is soon followed, round town, by the other letters of the alphabet, each immaculately painted in red. What do the letters mean? Is Sligo playing games with the police? Or putting a spell on the town? Perry Scholes is mexed up in all this from the start- a man haunted by cars and death - and photographic images of both. He trawls the motorways and edgelands listening to police radio. getting to the car-crash or the crime scene before them. He makes a living selling these shots to the papers. He is the one who spots the painted letters, and begins to document their appearances. As the town is paralysed by fear and paranoia, a vigilante cult emerges, arming itself for the battle against evil. Perry finds himself trapped in a nightmare. A killer is at large, and the alphabetical messages he leaves seem to be personal messages for him.
Michael Symmons Roberts was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1963. He has published six collections of poetry and received a number of accolades including the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Award and the Whitbread Poetry Prize. As a librettist, his work has been performed in concert halls and opera houses around the world. An award-winning broadcaster and dramatist, he has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.