Eve Laing, once the muse of an infamous painter, is now — forty years later — an artist herself. But she feels she has sacrificed her career for her family and she resents the global success of her old college roommate, now a celebrity of the international conceptual art scene. When Eve embarks on her most ambitious work yet, she takes a wrecking ball to her comfortable life, jettisoning her marriage for a beautiful young lover, a drifter half her age, who seems to share her single-minded creative vision.
Nightshade charts Eve’s nocturnal walk through London, from her former family home in the west of the city back to her studio, a converted factory in the east, where her recently completed masterpiece hangs and a fatal reckoning awaits.
This brilliant and timely novel explores sexual politics and the excesses of the contemporary art world, asking if the true artist must relinquish ordinary human needs for love and connection. Can the creative urge be the most destructive — even deadliest — impulse of all?