Fielding manages to convince Alban to join him on the London tour of his campaign to get support to fight the takeover deal. On the list of people to visit are Fielding’s parents as well as Alban’s own.
A smattering of recollections about one night stands with beautiful women and an awkward trip to Paris with Fielding’s brother are interspersed with a chance to meet old family.
But the main story gets another injection of pace when Alban sits with his father drinking and starts to ask questions about his mother. Through the flashback device you sit in the mind of the mother as she puts on the poacher’s coat, fills the pockets with stones and walks out into the sea.
The father clears himself of suspicion but that just points the finger at someone else in the family keeping the mystery going. Other flashbacks also detail the moment the teenage relationship with Sophie took on a sexual element and the moment when they were discovered by her father and their grandmother.