'Mr Abse is a real writer' Sir John Betjeman
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Inspired by the disturbing 1905 Swedish classic, Dr. Glas by Hjalmar Soderberg, a novel that explores the possibility of pure moral murder, and with more than a nod to Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dannie Abse draws on his own medical experience in this haunting tale of Dr. Simmonds—a man whose face has been disfigured in a childhood accident and whose heart is scarred by unacknowledged monsters. Dr. Simmonds, a general practitioner tending mostly to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who have settled in the precincts of London's Swiss Cottage, finds himself irresistibly drawn into an increasingly disturbing fantasy life by Yvonne Bloomberg, the young wife of one of his more (to him) execrable patients. When she presents Simmonds with a copy of the novel Dr. Glas, in which a doctor colludes with a patient to murder her husband, the boundaries between reality and fantasy begin to blur and Simmonds begins to act upon impulses from a darker, undoctorly, scarred side of his nature. He sets out on a course that withholds its full horror until the very end of this brilliant Booker nominee.