There is a different feeling with this book to Hangover Square because the threat is not as clearly defined from the start. There is no immediate Netta here and you sense that far from being ill at ease with one individual it is the world that scares Miss Roach.
But the figures of the German vet’s secretary Vicki emerges as someone that initially had been befriended by Miss Roach but someone who is now more than able to exert her position.
She does this by taking the initiative and getting herself installed at the boarding house, making a connection with Miss Roach’s American love interest and in some respects siding against her friend in the battle against the old grump Mr Thwaites.
As she tried to rationalise her growing sense of unease to herself Miss Roach ends up convincing herself that her fear and dislike of Vicki is groundless. But as the reader you sense she is right to feel uneasy.