The world in which these stories have their being could scarcely be more substantial. Close attention is paid to the facts of social existence – to the clothes characters wear, the food they eat, the things they value. These are voracious consumers. These people’s lusts and disgusts are similarly palpable. Desire makes their faces flush, their hearts thump and their knees buckle. The earlier knockabout comedy has been largely replaced by a sense of desire thwarted, power wielded unthinkingly, impending ruin. The world is a dangerous place and the body count is high – people keel over mysteriously in their prime, contract killer diseases, suffocate in cupboards. Cosy they aren’t, but the stories in Dangerous Pleasures are nattily subversive, sexually ambiguous, intelligent and disturbing.