A Certain Compass - Lettice CooperLondon: Victor Gollancz, 1960, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper a little tanned. Leans slightly. Pages lightly age-tanned. W. H. Smith lending library plate to the front pastedown.
From the cover: “…You won’t use your imagination about this! None of the people we know have been murdered, so you rule out the possibility that Adrian could have been. You think of murder as something confined to detective stories, where it is rather fun, or to squalid newspaper articles about people we never meet. Don’t you see how fantastic that is? I’m not satisfied with the account of the inquest. Why should Adrian kill himself now, when. . ?
A Certain Compass is a novel of experience on two levels: the experience of Carley Prentiss, the young widow of a supposed suicide, who sets out, against the advice of those who know her best, to find proof of her absolute conviction that her husband was really murdered; the experience of a sincere person trying to uncover the truth of a human situation.
Her search leads Carley from England, her child, and Giles, the man who has always loved her, to Italy, where her brilliant, unstable husband Adrian has died mysteriously on location with Jason Films.
Here she meets two fascinating strangers, Anna Barsetti and Quentin Joyce, as well as two old acquaintances, Janet Rankin and Tony Galloway. All four are involved in the mystery, and are at different times the object of her suspicions. A series of dramatic happenings, leading swiftly to a tense climax, finally discloses that Carley has been right in thinking that the inquest on her husband did not reveal the whole solution, but wrong in respect of the solution itself. And there is another solution — within her own being; the revelation of something unexpected about herself and her relations with her husband. This clears her mind of fantasies and prepares her for a new life, one more real and of greater maturity.”