The plot kicks off with disarming simplicity. Alastair is a rich fortysomething legal eagle, married to Antonia, who is a housewife. They live in a beautiful London house with Jack, one of their three sons, who has a learning disability.
Owen fields three characters: Paul, smarmy son of an industrialist, has invented a game, Killology, in which players torture their victims. Sounds gross enough, but Paul has given it an extra dimension: you score more points depending on how creative you are in your torturing.