Jimmy Rintoul is invited by a recent acquaintance to visit Verdew Castle, with the prospect of being able to add a few new butterflies to his collection — but much more is afoot than Jimmy knows. I enjoyed this: in the beginning, there’s an effectively sinister undercurrent to the depiction of Verdew Castle; and by the time one twigs where the story is heading, the narrative momentum and sense of anticipation just build and build. Hartley goes on to my list of authors to read further.

Rating: ****