The Eye in the Door

A novel by Pat Barker.

Pat Barker

It is the spring of 1918 and Britain is faced with the possibility of defeat by Germany. A beleaguered government and a vengeful public target two groups as scapegoats: pacifists and homosexuals. Many are jailed, others lead dangerous double lives, "the eye in the door" becomes a symbol of the paranoia that threatens to destroy the very fabric of British society.

Central to this novel are such compelling, richly imagined characters as the brilliant and compassionate Dr. William Rivers; his most famous patient, the poet Siegfried Sassoon; and Lieutenant Billy Prior, who plays a central role as a domestic intelligence agent. (From Penguin Random House)

From the book

In formal beds beside the Serpentine, early tulips stood in tight-lipped rows. Billy Prior spent several moments setting up an enfilade, then, releasing his companion's arm, seized an imaginary machine-gun and blasted the heads off the whole bloody lot of them.

Myra stared in amazement. 'You barmy bugger.'

He shook his head sadly. 'Five months in a loony bin this year.'

'Go on.'

From The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker ©1993. Published by Penguin Random House.