The Lighted Rooms by Richard Mason - review by Simon Baker

Simon Baker

Don’t Bet on Osmium

The Lighted Rooms


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 429pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

At the beginning of this novel Eloise McAllister and her mother, Joan, look around a luxurious residential home in Wandsworth. Afterwards, Eloise receives a call from Claude, an ex-boyfriend with whom she is still friendly, and, to her slight annoyance, her mother grabs the telephone and starts chatting contentedly to Claude, who tells her that his lifelong scientific research into the properties of osmium is concluding successfully.

This sets the plot of The Lighted Rooms in motion. Eloise is a 48-year-old fund manager who trades in the commodities market and lives in Mayfair. Owing to her daredevil nature, her need for a large bonus to pay for Joan’s residential care, and her affection for Claude, she sinks

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