Takes you to a world that is told by someone who once really lived in it. The novel by Ruth Rendell, involves a crime of passion carried out during WWII by Woody, "a handsome man," who knew from the little work that he did in life, that he hated doing it and he carefully married for money as a career. After the boss's daughter from his third and last job at a cosmetics factory, fell in love with him, or at least was fond enough of him to marry, with her father's money, they moved to a suburb not far from London.
His first marriage to the pretty red-haired Anita did not work out so well, as he murdered her lover and then her. Not quite satisfied with the deaths he cut off their hands and placed them into a butter-biscuit tin. Anita had had her friends over quite often. Her friends were usually men in uniform. Woody walked in on her lover and her sitting at a table with her lover's hand over hers. This image imprinted itself in his mind and became an obsession.
No one in the world would have ever known about the lovers' sad hands, except a basement was being dug out of a newly built home and the tin was discovered by Polish workers, to make the news. And once this occurred, there came back memories from now elderly people who remembered decades and decades ago, taking their fish paste sandwiches during the war, to the tunnels of half finished houses where they liked to play after school. They remembered a man who angrily told them to leave the tunnels and never come back. And it is the girl next door, who remembers the most of all.