Mariel Baxter, a famous American soprano, has suddenly cancelled all her recitals and flown to Vienna. In the 1980s she came to the city to study the art of lieder singing with the reclusive Ursule Kroll, one of the brightest stars of the Nazi era and a favourite of the Fuhrer himself. The two haven't communicated since Mariel's unexpected departure over twenty-five years ago. So why has Mariel come back? As they play a vicious cat-and mouse game, terrible revelations and recriminations about the past slowly begin to unfold and Mariel and Ursule soon discover that some secrets are better left buried.
Ronald Frame was born in Glasgow in 1953, and was educated there and at Oxford. He is the author of nine novels, four collections of short stories, as well as many radio and television plays. He has won several prizes for his work, including the Betty Trask Prize for Fiction, the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award and the Samuel Beckett Prize. His novel The Lantern Bearers was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His website is www.carnbeg.com.