First in a series of four novels inspired by a Gallup poll completed in 2009 showing that 700 million people worldwide wanted to move permanently to another country.
Peter Roper, who runs a hairdressing salon in the Midlands, collects miniature portraits to alleviate his feelings of mediocrity. Although he has worked in the same village for almost all of his thirty-nine years with a dictatorial mother who will entertain no mention of his absent father, he has never felt that he belonged. Always plagued with remorse for having handled his love life very badly in the past, the two problems currently overriding this are a suspicion that he caused his mother’s sudden death and confirmation that a planned high speed railway will obliterate the historic monument he calls home.
Further turmoil follows when, in the process of organising his mother’s funeral, he discovers that he is not who he thought he was. To knock him further off balance, the visit of an enigmatic stranger to the salon points him in the direction of an aristocratic heritage.
Lured to a Mediterranean island by possibilities beyond his wildest dreams, Peter is exhilarated by his first experience of foreign travel and thinks he may have found his true destiny until he suddenly finds himself in grave danger. Has his dissatisfaction with life and search for pastures new led to an early demise?