All his life, for almost as far back as he could remember, Victor had had a phobia. In prison, inevitably, he reflected on the grotesque way it had begun, about the panics and violent anger. He asked himself, too, why the child of happily married, middle-class parents should have needed to make motiveless and unreasoning attacks on women.
Holed up in that house with the girl, he had not meant to pull the trigger. It was panic. Panic, which came over him like a second skin, prickling him all over, crawling on him.... An attempted murder not only brings Victor Jenner face to face with himself, but also involves him in a strange and doomed triangular relationship.