Charles Frieth, pre-eminent composer, conductor and prodigious womaniser, is preparing for a performance of one of his early works, and the world premiere of Demonic Aubade. Obstinate and myopic, he is oblivious to the growing turmoil around him; his wife's poor health and sadness; the exhausted efforts of his secretary, and the destructive passion of his housekeeper, Maria.
As the first performance draws near, the maestro is suddenly awoken to the chaos, and as Charles struggles to regain control of his life, a terrible tragedy begins to unfold.
Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; and Nutshell, which was a Number One bestseller. Atonement and Enduring Love have both been turned into award-winning films, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach are in production and set for release this year, and filming is currently underway for a BBC TV adaptation of The Child in Time.