Constance by Patrick McGrath, paperback by Bloomsbury, £12.99 (ebook £8.51)

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Award-winning British novelist Patrick McGrath, author of The Grotesque, Spider, Asylum (all of which have been subsequently made into films), returns with the psychologically scarring Constance.

Constance Schuyler is a damaged young woman – ignored by her father since birth, abandoned by her mother who died young, and living in the shadow of her outspoken younger sister.

She meets and marries professor Sidney Klein – a man 20 years her senior – and almost immediately regrets her decision to marry a man who is so much like her father.

Constance’s mental health suffers enormously. She discovers a shattering secret from her dementia-suffering father, and becomes paranoid, dangerous and delusional.

Her husband, the man she married “to punish him for loving her”, pleads with her to get help, but she refuses. What follows is a chilling, yet hopelessly sad, chain of events that lead to death, suicide and a near mental breakdown.

Emma Wilson