The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
A welcome reissue of one of Patrick Hamilton's best, with an introduction by Doris Lessing. The Slaves of Solitude is set in a wartime boarding house in a small town on the Thames. The Rosamund Tea Rooms is an oppressive place, as grey and lonely as its residents. For Miss Roach, slave of her task-master, solitude, a window of opportunity is suddenly presented by the appearance of a charismatic American Lieutenant. His arrival brings change to the precarious society of the house and ultimately, to Miss Roach herself.