The Rosamund Tea Rooms is an oppressive place, as grey and lonely as its residents. For Miss Roach, 'slave of her task-master, solitude', a window of opportunity is suddenly presented by the appearance of a charismatic American Lieutenant. His arrival brings change to the precarious society of the house and ultimately, to Miss Roach herself.
Patrick Hamilton was one of the most gifted and admired writers of his generation. His plays include Rope (1929), on which the Hitchcock thriller was based, and Gas Light (1939). Among his novels are The Midnight Bell, The Siege of Pleasure, The Plains of Cement, Twenty-thousand Streets under the Sky 1935, Hangover Square 1941, The Slaves of Solitude 1947 and The West Pier. He died in 1962.
Patrick Hamilton was a marvellous novelist who's grossly neglected... I'm continually amazed that there's a kind of roll call of OK names from the 1930s, sort of Auden, Isherwood, etc. But Hamilton is never on them and he's a much better writer than any of them... [he] was very much outside the tradition of an upper-class or middle-class writer of that time. He wrote novels about ordinary people. He wrote more sense about England and what was going on in England in the 1930s than anybody else I can think of, and his novels are true now. You can go into any pub and see it going on. -- Doris Lessing His finest work can easily stand comparison with the best of this more celebrated contempories George Orwell and Graham Greene. Sunday Telegraph