Although its only a little bit of a way into my Patrick Hamilton book you can tell already that he is a master5 at creating characters that appear to be vulnerable and bullied.
In the case of hangover Square it was the lonely love struck figure of George Bone and in Slaves of Solitude Miss Roach steps off the train into the forlorn world of boarding houses to escape war torn London.
She is tyrannised by an old man who picks on her at dinner in the communal dining room and seems unable to assert herself in any situation. Even as the first tentative steps are taken in forming a friendship with an American solider dining in the same boarding house she folds in the face of the pressure to drink and when she finally attempts to leave it is with great embarrassment.
He manages to weave together an impression of a suburban town that is swathed in blackout and behind the empty streets and the quiet church there is the sense of something sinister.