Intriguing first novel by Sebastian Hampson. it kept me reading to find out exactly what the truth was about the beautiful but unpenetratable Elodie Lavelle and what her intentions were. Although physical penetration takes place, there seems no way in to her mind. The way it is written makes me feel it must be based on a real encounter. The writer manages to keep the story going despite little progress being made in the relationship, her young 'catch', Lawrence Williams, is easily 'batted away' by the much older and more experienced Elodie, and he is kept at a tantalising distance from really knowing who she is. The book is set in the present day, mostly in Paris, the Paris of the impressionists as it the city often described in the context of a painting or artist (and Lawrence is studying art history at Sorbonne) although, as I've said, the book is actually set in the present day. Maybe I missed something, but I found the ending rather unsatisfying... although one sentence really struck home: 'Her shoes glided over the cigarette ends and broken glass collected in the gutter.' It really 'ended it', for me. An unusual observation. Sounds stupid taken out of context!