"Hangover Square" was written at the peak of Patrick Hamilton's fame - which was by this time considerable. Like all Patrick Hamilton's novels, the story is in part inspired by incidents from Patrick Hamilton's life. Like the protagonist and narrator George Harvey Bone, Hamilton's life was becoming saturated in alcohol; and like Bone he too was obsessed by an unattainable woman, in Hamilton's case she was actress Geraldine Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is the inspiration for Netta and in a sense could be Hamilton's revenge on her given the unflattering portrait ("She was completely, indeed sinisterly devoid of all those qualities which her face and body externally proclaimed her to have - pensiveness, grace, warmth, agility, beauty ... Her thoughts resembled those of a fish.."). Where the book really succeeded for me was in its evocation of London as war looms. The book was written under the shadow of seemingly unstoppable advance of Germany and Nazism. The novel searches for a human metaphor to express the sickness that Hamilton perceived in this period. As a Marxist he identified the petty bourgeoisie from which Netta and Peter had sprung as the enemy. Peter, and the stranger who comes down to Brighton with Netta and Peter, are both fascists. A masterpiece.