A photographer returns to a near-future Britain after the death of his wife in a terrorist incident in Afghanistan. And finds that the IRGB has, itself, been suffering terrorist attacks. But no-one knows quite what is happening or how. Just that there are similarities between what killed the photographer's wife and what happened in West London. Soon he is drawn into a hall of mirrors at the heart of government. In the First World War a magician is asked to travel to the frontline to help a naval aerial reconnaissance unit hide its planes from the German guns. On the way to France he meets a certain H.G. Wells. In the Second World War on the airfields of Bomber Commands there is also an obsession with camouflage, with misdirection. With deceit. And in a garden, an old man raises a conch shell to his ear and initiates the first Adjacency.
Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel The Prestige is unique in winning both a major literary prize (The James Tait Black Award and a major genre prize The World Fantasy Award); The Separation won both the Arthur C. Clarke and the British Science Fiction Awards. He was selected for the original Best of Young British Novelists in 1983.