Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to attend to an ailing servant. The doctor, who has fuzzy golden memories of a visit to Hundreds as a child, is shocked and appalled at the derelict state of Hundreds. The sick servant is found to be faking her illness because she is scared of house, which she finds "bad". Dr. Faraday dismisses her concerns and slowly ingratiates himself into Hundreds, befriending the widowed Mrs. Ayres and her two children, Roderick and Caroline. Of course, things start to go horribly awry.
Decay and upheaval go hand in hand; traces of WWII linger but more unsettling changes await. Like many large estates across England, Hundreds is literally falling down and its land is being sold piece by piece for the building of council estates. Dr. Faraday, who will not let go of his Edwardian image of Hundreds and its inhabitants, himself dreads the changing nature of his practice once the National Health Service is instituted. A young and modern couple from London purchase the nearby great house, Standish, but their differences from the gentry leads to disastrous consequences. The glory days of Hundreds are clearly in the past, but what is behind all the mysterious and sinister happenings? The solid, realistic Dr. Faraday is firmly grounded in science and attributes it to hallucinations, nervous breakdowns, and exhaustion; Roderick's PTSD resurfacing with the stress of running Hundreds. The Ayres's genteel refusal to acknowledge any turbulent emotions or to accept changing times is so ingrained, they seem to prefer a more sinister, otherworldly explanation. It's hard to say more without giving much away, but the book is wonderfully gothic and creepy without being scary.