OBSERVER BEST FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE Oh friend, take my hand - I've been so lonely! One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin encounters her friend Karel, half-mad with fear. He has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with testimonies that speak to Helen from 17th-century England, wartime Czechoslovakia, the sweat-soaked streets of Manila and 1920's Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing a terrible message. Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.