The Stalker’s Tale follows three storylines (two set in fashionable, contemporary London, a third in 1930’s bohemian Fitzrovia & 1940’s post-occupation Paris), representing three lives, simultaneously estranged, yet entwined in a decades-long tale of Stalking.
Successful modern-day portrait painter, Bianca Johnson, is forced to warily defend herself against the relentless stalker, wealthy entrepreneur, Hesketh James (since married, with a disabled nine-year-old son), with whom she had a brief affair twenty-five years earlier.
Bianca is determined, meanwhile, to boldly claim the freedom to live an unorthodox, secretive life with her frequently absent Italian film director husband, Leonardo Vescarro, while at the same time conducting a clandestine affair with her very first love, the London publisher, Stephen Marchant, to whom she was once engaged to be married.
The novel’s numerous complex dramas are set against her fraught, sorrowful relationship with her estranged mother, the beautiful, turbulent Anya, whose wartime affair with the Parisian aristocrat, Charles de Courcelles, had led to the breakdown of her marriage to Bianca’s father, the water-colorist painter, William Johnson, who made his reputation in the 1930’s, followed by his war years in the Middle East.
These three storylines plait together evenly throughout the novel, creating suspense, as Hesketh’s increasingly desperate and erratic behavior finally culminates in an incoherent explosion of violence.