A tale of enormous suspense and growing horror, The Fox in the Attic is the widely acclaimed first part of Richard Hughes's monumental historical fiction, "The Human Predicament." Set in the early Twenties, the book centers on Augustine, a young man from an aristocratic Welsh family, and on his struggle to make sense of the world, devastated by the Great War, in which he is condemned to come to maturity. Unjustly suspected of having had a hand in the murder of a young girl, Augustine takes refuge in the remote castle of Bavarian relatives. There his hopeless love for his devout cousin Mitzi blinds him to the hate that will lead to the rise of German fascism. The book comes to a climax with a brilliant description of the Munich putsch, and a disturbingly intimate portrait of Adolph Hitler. The Fox in the Attic, like its no less remarkable sequel The Wooden Sheperdess, offers a richly detailed, Tolstoyan overview of the modern world and its pathologies. At once a novel of ideas and an exploration of the dark spaces of the heart, it is a book in which the past returns in all its original unpredictability and strangeness.