I love this short novel. I found it in London last year. Incredibly, when I was boarding the plane the 'liquid frenzy' unleashed and I wasn't even allowed to take this tiny book in the plane... Anyway, I think this is an exemplary sample of a suspense-psychological-mystery nouvelle. Polly, its main character, is an enigmatic woman that doesn't seem to know what her actions will unleash! Her main characteristic is her 'cleptomaniac' tendency, and the way she deals with everyday conflicts is always based on her capacity to steal; so her revenges, in the novel, are transformed into her thefts. I think that through this story we are able to see what's going on in our society in terms of facades and impersonations in the higher classes, and Polly's apparent craziness is a metaphor for our day-to-day incoherences and absurdisms, because even though Polly follows the patterns of what society means by 'normal' (having a job, a fiancee, a stable and economical situation), she still cannot manage to conceal her inner and most instinctive self, that is, the one corresponding to an almost amazonic woman: castrating, confronting, savage. Through her acts we can see the vulnerability of our social order, of our actual set of rules and expectations. So even when Polly participates in the bourgeous spectacle, she is not able to be loyal to it.
The story begins, "The first time she stole something Polly was eight years old."
"Stealing things from people who had upset her was something Polly did quite a lot".
"There was her Aunt Pauline; a girl at school; a boyfriend who left her. And there was the man on the plane..."
"Humiliated and scared, by a total stranger, Polly does what she always does. She steals something. But she never could have imagined that her desire for revenge would have such terrifying results".