A contented woman finds herself considering a bizarre sexual invitation that just days before filled her with scorn. A mediocre man is pulled into a strange dance with his stalker. A father gives his daughter a Christmas present with a disturbing history. An ugly sports parent plays a game of ridiculous chance. A young boy's music lesson offers him a discordant insight into adult behaviour. And in a primal tale about the borderline between animals and humans, death is horrifyingly not the end of the story...

Compulsively readable, pitch-perfect in mood, Gravel ponders the forces that can wear down a marriage, darken desire, lead people to thwart their best intentions.