The armistice is months past but the memories won't go away. 'A harlequin, leaning against a tree stump and with a goblet of ale clasped in one outstretched hand. Beaumont felt chilled suddenly, in spite of the fire...Most likely it was the thing's mouth, red-lipped and fiendishly grinning, or maybe its face, which was white, expressionless, the face of a clown in full greasepaint.' Dennis Beaumont drove an ambulance in World War One. He returns home to London, hoping to pick up his studies at Oxford and rediscover the love he once felt for his fiancee Lucy. But nothing is as it once was. Mentally scarred by his experiences in the trenches, Beaumont finds himself wandering further into darkness. What really happened to the injured soldier he tried to save? Who is the figure that lurks in the shadows? How much do they know of Beaumont, and the secrets he keeps?
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Nina Allan lives in North Devon and is a previous winner of the British Science Fiction Award in 2014 with her novella Spin. In the same year, her second novella The Gateway was shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award/Prize. Her debut novel The Race was shortlisted for the Kitschies Red Tentacle, the British Science Fiction Award and the John W Campbell Memorial Award in 2015.
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