The story of a marriage, and of two lives in science.
When Conrad fails to return from a conference, Eleanor wonders if it is because of the affair she is having? Or perhaps it is because his research into transgenic monkey hearts is stalling; perhaps he is sick of having the less successful career of the two of them? She is a leading expert in stem cell research. Their grown-up children suspect Eleanor of murdering their father; El secretly fears that what has driven Con away is his discovery of their daughter Cara’s parentage.
While his family in Manchester, England, scrabble for clues and reasons, Conrad—alone, confused, and on the run from a crazed animal rights activist—loses himself in the cold foggy streets of Bologna. He revisits the stages of his long marriage to El, from the happiness of the year of Cara’s birth to the grief and anger he now feels. Both partners are forced to re-examine their relationship, and, in the process, to move closer to an understanding of what it is that matters most to each of them.
Conrad and Eleanor is a radical, remarkably nuanced look at marriage.
"A masterwork of horror."— Time
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. The journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
Then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way to Charlie. That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's evil is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special—something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds, Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all—or die trying.