'WOMEN', WROTE GERMAINEG Greer in The Female Eunuch, 'have very little idea of how much men hate them - men do not themselves know the depth of their hatred.' Margaret Mazzantini, the Italian author of this captivating, utterly horrific novel, appears to be an exception. I cannot remember having read a story delivered in the first person since Lolita whose narrator is at once so monstrous and so opaque to himself.
Timoteo is the highly respected senior surgeon at a large hospital. He is on duty when, into the emergency department, there comes a patient he recognises. His fifteen-year-old daughter, Angela, has been knocked off her scooter, and has sustained life-threatening injuries. He waits as a colleague operates to try to