on December 7, 1999
From the start of this story it is clear that the protagonist - Lise (pronounced Lees, or Lies?) - is living in a fantasy.
The foreshadowing, sometimes subtle sometimes obvious, allows Spark to play around with the genres of the thriller, the detective story and the holiday romance. But it is in the self-consciously deliberate way that Muriel Spark at the same time obscures and reveals Lise to us that the genius of the author is demonstrated.
It's not a happy holiday read, it is an addictive and provocative story, told with considerable narrative skill.