A young writer named Michael Collins (I wonder, did Ms. Michaels deliberately give this guy the same name as the Irish rebel? Or a coincidence?) arrives as the home or wealthy intelligent philanthropist millionaire Randolph. Collins is immediately attracted to Randolph's beautiful younger wife Linda, but can't help noticing that Linda is dulling her pain with alcohol, seems to be both hateful toward her husband and terrified of something she can't name. The sight of large dogs, for example, throws her into fainting fits.
Collins also senses something strange and sinister about Randolph, despite the latter's charming and hearty manner. He checks into the backgrounds of people who knew Randolph before he married his wife, and finds disturbing but nebulous results. Then Linda, whom her husband claims is insane, runs away and keeps running, with a bizarre old witch as her only solid ally. But Linda has a counter-claim about Randolph, that implies something far darker and more horrifying than mere insanity.
This book has amazing atmosphere, especially in the first chapter where Linda is clearly terrified and emotionally threadbare, but there is no sign as to why. The creepiness pervades virtually every scene with and about Randolph. Collins himself is a nice, sympathetic character with a great balance of sensitivity and "macho"; as for Linda, it's a little difficult to determine whether she's correct, insane, or a bit of both. As for Randolph--he WILL give you goosebumps.