Author(s): Tom Sharpe
Henry Wilt, tied to a daft job and a domineering wife, has just been passed over for promotion yet again. Ahead of him at the Polytechnic stretch years of trying to thump literature into the heads of plasterers, joiners, butchers and the like. And things are no better at home where his massive wife, Eva, is given to boundless and unpredictable fits of enthusiasm - for transcendental meditation, yoga or the trampoline. But if Wilt can do nothing about his job, he can do something about his wife, in imagination at least, and his fantasies grow daily more murderous and more concrete. After a peculiarly nasty experience at a party thrown by particularly nasty Americans, Wilt finds himself in several embarrassing positions: Eva stalks out in stratospheric dudgeon, and Wilt, under the inspiration of gin, puts one of his more vindictive fantasies into effect. But suspicions are instantly aroused and Wilt rapidly achieves an unenviable notoriety in the role of The Man Helping Police With Their Enquiries. Or is he exactly helping? Wilt's problem - although he's on the other side of the fence - is the same as Inspector Flint's: where is Eva Wilt? But Wilt begins to flourish in the heat of the investigation, and as the police stoke the flames of circumstantial evidence, Wilt deploys all his powers to show that the Law can't tell a Missing Person from a hole in the ground.
Tom Sharpe was born in 1928 and educated at Lancing College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He did his National Service in the Marines before going to South Africa in 1951, where he did social work before teaching in Natal. He had a photographic studio in Pietermaritzburg from 1957 until 1961, when he was deported... From 1963 to 1972 he was a lecturer in History at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. In 1986 he was awarded the XXXIIIeme Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret. He is married and lives in Cambridge.