The penultimate book starts in Venice with Jenkins among new acquaintances. The writers conference he is attending, organised by long running character Mark Members, provides a chance to update the reader with a refresher on some of the more recent loose ends.
Trapnel the writer has died spending one last night in the pub buying drinks all round before heading off to hospital and his death bed. Widmerpool has become a life peer and his wife Pamela carries on creating scandal.
I have to confess that the Pamela character doesn’t quite do anything for me. The idea of a frigid beautiful woman who gets off on teasing men is not something that is something I would have dwelt on for quite as long as a couple of books.
But at the heart of this book, already discernable, is the same Jenkins, who is slightly older and still happy to play the role of observer.