For years the infamous Phelans, known with equal horror to the Social Security office and the local school, have lived in slovenly squalor in their council house in the run-down Belfield Grove Estate in the northern English city of Sleate.|
The Phelans' infamy has even penetrated the middle-class bastion of respectability, Wynton Lane, where six imposing Victorian stone houses stand in fearful isolation next to Belfield Grove.
Wynton Lane and Belfield Grove have only their unfortunate proximity in common until the fateful day when the Phelans come to call. It seems that Jack has won big on the pools, and he's thinking of buying one of the six houses.
Nothing so exciting has ever happened on Wynton Lane, and the homeowners hope it never will again. Until now barely nodding acquaintances, the Wynton Lane residents call an urgent meeting to map an emergency strategy. What can they do to stop Jack Phelan?
What indeed? The Wynton Lane people have always thought of themselves as law-abiding, but they soon discover that malice can take on a momentum of its own, a momentum that can even lead to murder.