- Trio, by William Boyd. Viking. $32.99.
All of William Boyd's 16 novels are in print, from his debut novel, A Good Man in Africa, (1981), through his most critically and commercially successful novel, Any Human Heart (2002).
His latest is Trio, set mainly in Brighton in the summer of 1968.
The title reflects the novel's focus on its three main vulnerable characters, all connected in the making of a film, Emily Bracegirdle's "Extremely Useful Ladder to the Moon", which echoes the long titles of a number of 1960s' films.
Elfrida Wing, a novelist, praised as "the new Virginia Woolf", has taken to excessive vodka drinking to mask her writer's block.
She's married to the film's director, the philandering Reggie Tipton, who likes to be called Rodrigo.
The seemingly happily married film producer, Talbot Kydd, is about to come out following the legalisation of homosexuality through the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.
The film's star, pill-popping American actress Anny Viklund, is having an affair with her leading man, "Troy Blaze", in reality Nigel Farthingly from Swindon.
Anny is divorced from her American terrorist husband, but his escape from prison and arrival in Britain will bring personal threats and the unwanted attention of the FBI and Special Branch.
Boyd is clearly following here some of the details of the ultimately tragic life of American actress Jean Seberg.
Boyd, a teenager in the 1960s, convincingly recreates the settings and background intrigues of the film world.
Boyd knows these probably better than most novelists, having directed The Trench (1999), and written more than 60 scripts for film and TV, including his BAFTA-winning adaptation of Any Human Heart.
The novel's list of acknowledgements includes Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins.
The character of Sir Dorian Villiers is clearly based on Brighton resident of the time, Sir Laurence Olivier.
Boyd quotes, before his text begins, Anton Chekhov's words that, "most people live the real, most interesting life under the cover of secrecy".
Duplicity is the key to Trio, as the story of the main characters plays out in their parallel universes against the turbulent background of the filming.
Boyd has said, in a recent interview, that he writes the type of novels that he likes to read.
"I don't want to be bored or baffled or irritated, I want to be transported, caught up in a story," he says.
Trio, while not in the top tier of Boyd's oeuvre, is never boring, an entertaining black comedy, with echoes of Evelyn Waugh.