The following contains the spoilery solution to the dual mysteries in "Magpie Murders."
Book editor Susan Ryeland (Lesley Manville) provides this insight into the mindset of bestselling mystery author Alan Conway's (Conleth Hill) actions in the finale of "Magpie Murders." After receiving a fatal diagnosis, the snooty Alan schemes to forever taint the legacy of his popular Atticus Pünd detective novels, believing them to be frivolous pap and not "important" writing.
His plan? With the imminent publication of his final book titled "Magpie Murders," eagle-eyed readers would realize that unscrambling the first letters for each novel in the detective series would spell out "AN ANAGRAM." In turn, that would lead readers to unscrambling the ultimate anagram of all, the name of Alan's famed detective, ATTICUS PUND.
"A STUPID . . . " Susan helpfully spells out, albeit incompletely, ". . . and that leaves a four-letter word – one of the worst, one of the most offensive in the English language."
"The anagram is disgusting. I mean, it's horrible, really."
Horrified, Susan's publishing colleague and boss, Charles Clover (Michael Maloney), kills Alan in order to change the title of the final book (naming it "The Magpie Murders" would ruin the anagram tip-off) and thus save the entire business from losing the Atticus Pünd legacy and sales.
Anthony Horowitz, who had written the original novel "Magpie Murders," spoke to Salon about maintaining that specific ending when adapting his book for television.
"Whenever I wrote for 'Agatha Christie's Poirot,' . . . I could do almost anything with the stories I was adapting except change the murder and the solution," said Horowitz. "I think that is actually quite a good rule. They are the tentpoles of a murder mystery novel: essentially the killer, the motive and the method of killing. Other than that you could do anything you want."
Horowitz also applied that rule to the show's other mystery, the one contained in Alan's 1950s-set novel. Atticus Pünd (Tim McMullan) himself reveals that Robert Blakiston (Harry Lawty) is guilty of murder . . . but not that of his mother, who perished accidentally tumbling down a staircase. Mary Blakiston (Karen Westwood) had known that her son was homicidal – having witnessed him covering up killing his own brother in childhood – and to protect herself, wrote a letter to her employer Sir Magnus Pye (Lorcan Cranitch) revealing that fact in the event of her demise.
The letter was supposed to be insurance to keep Mary's son from killing her, but when she died accidentally anyway, Robert remembered the letter. To protect himself, he killed Sir Magnus and then burned the letter . . . but was sloppy with the coverup.
In the rest of Salon's interview, Horowitz discusses the origins of Alan Conway's outrageous scheme, bringing Atticus Pünd outside the pages of his mystery and possible plans to continue Susan Ryeland's adventures.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You kept the killer and solution from your book, but what did you feel needed to be changed when adapting this complex mystery-within-a-mystery into a TV show?
With "Magpie Murders," which is a 650-page novel, my first decision was that something had to go; there were too many characters. And guided by the producer, Jill Greene, I decided that I would cut back very, very heavily on the '50s material, because that was stock characters and red herrings, etc.
I was more interested in Susan, her relationship with Atticus and the modern world. So that was the first decision I made and the other thing I did, which was really important, was having a character played by Lesley Manville, she had to have depth. This show was about her and not just about her solving a murder. So I added all that material about her father, about her betrayal as as a young girl, her relationship with her sister. All that came in as extra material, which as it were shifted out some of the clues and the suspects that were the business of a murder mystery, I think to the show's great advantage.
That was the original idea that I had 10 years before I actually wrote the book. It was a writer who hates his detective so much, he wants to not just kill him, but trash him so that these books will never, ever be read again. And that's what Alan Conway does, and it's built in to his entire oeuvre. That was the idea of how there had to be the anagram. That is the core of the story.
The anagram is disgusting. I mean, it's horrible, really. And if you look at the way it's filmed, we did have problems because there were things that we could not show or say on American television because they are considered too offensive. And we had to work our way around that. I didn't want to offend an American-viewing audience, particularly as my demographic in America – probably a lot of age ranges – but thanks to "Foyle's War," I am known for a more liberal, more senior and a more genteel audience, if I may call them that. I didn't want to offend them. I'm not that sort of writer. So so we had to work very, very hard to make that work in a way that made sense but did not offend.
I was wondering while I was watching if the word would be said or printed anywhere onscreen or if that still might be deemed too edgy for PBS. Was there any discussion about that?
When we did Episode 6, it's fairly clear what we're talking about, but it's not 100% clear. You get the general sense without having to be to be having to have it rubbed in your face, which I think is good. I don't like profanity. I don't like extreme violence. I don't like upsetting drama. I broadly try to avoid women as targets; I think there are too many. I sometimes think there are perhaps too many books with children being killed or being kidnapped or being hurt.
"I've always been fascinated by the fact that Doyle invented the greatest detective the world has ever seen, and was so disdainful of him ... he threw him off the Reichenbach Falls and killed him."
We live in a very difficult and often upsetting world right now we have so much to contend with – from Ukraine to American politics to British politics, to Brexit, to the shortages in the world, to the scariness of global warming – that books and television like "Magpie Murders" are needed, are vital as a place to escape to somewhere to find a comfort and define truth and decency. My writing is all about that; it's not about shocking people. I'm not a prude. I read violent thrillers, thrillers that have high sexual content because I read an awful lot. So I'm not sitting there only reading Agatha Christie. But nonetheless, I do think that my role as a writer is largely to entertain in a sort of a light-hearted and endearing way. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.
As despicable as Alan Conway is, his pretensions are delightful. I especially enjoyed how bad his "important" novel "The Slide" was. Did you have fun creating such a pompous character and his awful writing?
I loved writing it, I love it as parody. It's of course an appalling novel. Alan Conway is inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the inventor of Sherlock Holmes. I've always been fascinated by the fact that Doyle invented the greatest detective the world has ever seen and yet was so disdainful of him and feeling this was beneath his talents. But what did he do? After just three books, he threw him off the Reichenbach Falls and killed him [in "The Final Problem"]. Later on, he brought him back because basically he needed the money. And I find that sort of tension very interesting.
The same is true of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. He had created the greatest spy in fiction and was known for his children's book "Chitty Chitty Bang, Bang." But he had felt sadly embarrassed where he didn't even want to show "Casino Royale" to his publisher because he thought they'd sneer at it. These geniuses don't realize what they've created. Hergé, the illustrator and writer of Tintin and another of my great heroes, once drew a picture of himself slaving at the desk, with Tintin holding a whip over him showing a sort of disdain. Agatha Christie sneered at Poirot and said that he was an egotistical, pompous little poppy or words to that effect.
I find that really interesting – writers who don't accept what they have done. I am not one of those. Instead I am totally happy with my output and don't have high ideals about myself, but Alan Conway does, and I find him fascinating for that reason. I sympathize with him in a way. I understand where he's coming from. I look at writers like Ian McEwanor Charles Dickens or Kazuo Ishiguro–the great writers – and I think to myself that I've drawn the short straw being the populist murder mystery writer. Why can't I be as great as them? But I've always been an entertainer, I'm very content with what I do. I have no ideas about my station. I know my limitations – to paraphrase Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.
Something that struck me when reading the novel that was carried over into the show is just how brutal Charles is when he stomps on Susan after he's already knocked her on the head. I felt that violence really made an impact in this somewhatcozy murder mystery. Were there discussions about keeping that scene in?
That's the most violent scene in it. I didn't know how it would come out on the screen. I didn't realize it will be as violent as it was, I must be honest. Actor Michael Maloney – goodness knows that performance, that last scene when he brings out all those matches and lights it, I don't know how he doesn't set his own hand on fire. And the way he brutalizes poor Lesley, it's shocking. It really exceeded my expectations. But it'sa terrific performance and a scene where the killer finally emerges and reveals themselves – that turn from civility to absolute mad barbarity is really very shaking.
Another difference from the book is the TV show'sinteraction between Atticus and Susan. We first see him in her rearview mirror but then eventually they just talk to each other and hang out like they're old pals. Could you discuss creating this narrative device and their dynamic? How did you determine what their manner would be together?
I always saw it as being a progression. In the first episode, he's just glimpsed in the mirror of the car. Is he there or isn't he there? And then in the second episode, they talk to each other. But actually though, Susan is in bed, so she could be having a dream too. We're not sure if it's real. As the show continues, the scenes between them become longer, they become more specific, they become slightly more realistic and even a bit more argumentative. She becomes very frustrated with his refusal to tell her the one thing she wants to know which is who did it. And there was a fondness between them.
In Episode 6, everything is turned on its head and everything that's gone before is now seen in a different way. And one of my favorite scenes in the whole series is their passing in the very, very end. I must have seen it 15 times and I seem to find my eyes going getting moist, I well up a little bit, because it is so touching these two characters who sort of love each other but can't hold each other even because they belong in different worlds.
I've read the second Susan Ryeland novel, "Moonflower Murders," which Lesley Manville narrated for the audiobook version. I really enjoyed that one because it takes place in a hotel. Had you considered adapting the sequel for TV as well?
We are hoping to do it. Lesley Manville is very much up for it. It largely depends on how well this show does in America. But PBS "Masterpiece" are very, very keen and excited to continue with us. We had a wonderful relationship with them – the No. 1 partner has been actually America rather than England. If the show is a success, I hope to be [adapting] "Moonflower Murders" as early as February or March of next year. I've lots of ideas already.
In fact, I've actually signed the contract for it. So there's definitely going to be one more. And I have an idea for it, which makes me smile. I'm a very busy writer, and ideas come into my head every day, and some just just make me smile. I'm not gonna say they're the best ideas anyone's ever thought up or they're going to be brilliant novels, or they're going to work even when they make me smile. But that's the indication I must write them.
You have another detective series, the Hawthorne and Horowitz novels, in which an author with your name pairs up with a detective to write up the murders he solves. It's basically a version of you. Had you ever considered adapting that for screen, and if so who would you want to cast as that version of yourself?
Well, I would love it. They would make wonderful TV. [The character] Hawthorne himself is based on an actor, Charlie Creed-Miles, a very, very interesting British actor who did work with me on a show called "Injustice" that's mentioned in the first book.
Basically I'm plowing the field of metafiction. I realize it's actually quite unexplored territory what you can do when you write about writing, when you have a book about books, when you do detective fiction about detective fiction. It's interesting and it's giving me loads of opportunities to enjoy myself and hopefully to entertain readers. It's reaching apotheosis with the Hawthorne novels. No. 4 "The Twist of a Knife" comes out next week [Nov. 15].
I'd love to see those books go on television and possibly reconfigured, so they'd be not just books about books, but television shows about television. You'd actually get the sense of the behind the cameras of what's going on. I think there's something really exciting to be done there. So Charlie Creed-Miles, who inspired Hawthorne, could play him. As to who will play me – definitely not me. I can't act. I always say, "Would George Clooney be interested? Is he good-looking enough?" But failing that, Rory Kinnear who narrates the audiobook, is so brilliant on all the characters. I think he would make an interesting me.
I've been listening to the audiobooks of the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, and Rory Kinnear is great in it. I also enjoy allthe metafiction in there. I'm just laughing while I listen most of the time to hear about this author dealing with the issues of writing, agents, festivals and all of that in the midst of murder.
It is fun. And just you wait for "The Twist of a Knife," which is the one set in the world of theater. It has a critic giving a really terrible review of one of my plays, and then getting murdered the next day . . . it would seem by me. I think it's the best of them so far. Every time I write one, I enjoy it more. And I hope to do about 12, somewhere around there. And so that's a lot of writing to be getting on with.
What did the anagram spell out in Magpie Murders? ›
Atticus Pünd. The anagram is “A stupid…”—we'll let you figure out the last word. This would obviously have ruined Clover's reputation, stopped the merger, and cost Charles millions. So Charles killed Alan, pushing him off the tower.What is the meaning of the title Magpie Murders? ›
In the book, “Magpie Murders” is the name of the latest novel by the fictional mystery writer Alan Conway. (The title also alludes to Christie's love of nursery rhyme structures, with chapters based on “One for Sorrow,” about magpies.)What does the acronym Atticus Pünd stand for? ›
Charles had already discovered that Alan had been merging his hate for his famous character and his love for wordplay since the beginning of the series and that the name “Atticus Pünd” was actually a rude anagram for “A stupid …”, you can fill in the spaces for the rest of the solution.Who killed Mary Blakiston? ›
Atticus says that Matthew killed Mary Blakiston.Will there be a sequel to Magpie Murders? ›
Moonflower Murders: PBS and BBC Order Sequel to Magpie Murders Drama Series. Moonflower Murders is coming to PBS. The network has partnered with BBC and ordered a sequel to the Magpie Murders drama. The Masterpiece series is based on the novel by Anthony Horowitz, who will adapt his work for the six-episode series.Who is Jemima in Magpie Murders? ›
Magpie Murders (TV Series 2022– ) - Kate Gilmore as Jemima - IMDb.What does magpie mean in slang? ›
an incessantly talkative person; noisy chatterer; chatterbox.Why are they called magpies? ›
The prefix "mag-" is short for "Margaret." Known for its noisy chattering, the European Magpie may have acquired its name as an allusion to nagging. It could have also been named after "Maggot" because it stole eggs and nestlings from other birds. "Pie" is the original name of the bird, from the Latin pica.What does it mean to be called magpie? ›
an obnoxious and foolish and loquacious talker. synonyms: babbler, chatterbox, chatterer, prater, spouter. type of: speaker, talker, utterer, verbaliser, verbalizer. someone who expresses in language; someone who talks (especially someone who delivers a public speech or someone especially garrulous)Why is Atticus Finch a Mockingbird? ›
Among Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Jem, we can say that Atticus Finch is also a mockingbird because he represents good, morality, and the willingness to see the world from someone else's perspective. His significant notion is to understand people's actions, not to judge them.
What is Atticus Finch's full name? ›
Atticus Finch Maycomb attorney and state legislative representative who is assigned to represent Tom Robinson. A widower, Atticus is a single parent to two children: Jem and Scout. Jem (Jeremy Atticus Finch) Scout's older brother who ages from 10 to 13 during the story.What is Scout to Atticus? ›
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. She is intelligent and, by the standards of her time and place, a tomboy.What is the conclusion of Magpie Murders? ›
Horrified, Susan's publishing colleague and boss, Charles Clover (Michael Maloney), kills Alan in order to change the title of the final book (naming it "The Magpie Murders" would ruin the anagram tip-off) and thus save the entire business from losing the Atticus Pünd legacy and sales.What happened to Magpie Murders? ›
BBC acquires Magpie Murders and announces season 2 with Lesley Manville. Anthony Horowitz says the show is moving to "its natural home". The BBC has announced the acquisition of the mystery series Magpie Murders – and revealed that it will be airing a follow-up season next year.Is there an Atticus Pünd series? ›
Magpie Murders stars Lesley Manville (World on Fire, Phantom Thread, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) as editor turned amateur sleuth Susan Ryeland and Tim McMullan (Patrick Melrose, Foyle's War) as world-famous detective Atticus Pünd.Can you read Moonflower Murders without reading Magpie Murders? ›
Both books stand alone so it's not essential to have read Magpie Murders before starting Moonflower Murders (although there are a few references in this one to the events of the previous book). At the beginning of the novel, we rejoin Susan Ryeland who is now running a small hotel in Crete with her boyfriend, Andreas.What village was Magpie Murders filmed in? ›
Kersey Village in Babergh, Suffolk, was transformed into 1950's Britain in the late spring of 2021. The film office worked with the locations team, residents, and councils to ensure that the two-week road closure caused minimal disruption.What should I read if I like Magpie Murders? ›
- Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie. ...
- The Appeal by Janice Hallett. ...
- Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton. ...
- Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers. ...
- Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. ...
- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. ...
- The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. ...
- Three Pines series by Louise Penny.
Susan has a realization: her parents' drama is in Magpie Murders. Sam, the boy who drowned, is her mother, Samantha. Sir Magnus is her father, Max, and the name of the governess whom Sir Magnus got pregnant is a reference to the source material: “Darnley” is an anagram of Susan's last name, Ryeland.Will there be a third Susan Ryeland book? ›
Soon there'll be a third Susan Ryeland book, a TV script of the second — Moonflower Murders — and Nine Bodies in a Mexican Morgue, about a plane crash in the jungle after which the nine survivors start to be murdered. “The punchline is really innovative.
Who plays Clarissa Pye? ›
Magpie Murders (TV Series 2022– ) - Pippa Haywood as Claire Jenkins, Clarissa Pye - IMDb.What does 3 magpies for a girl mean? ›
Since time immemorial, it is believed that a single magpie always brings bad luck and magpies in a pair (two Magpies) bring joy or are positive. One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral, Four for a birth.Why do people say hello to magpies? ›
A way of combating the bad tidings is to say, "Good morning, Mr Magpie - how's your lady wife today?" This means you're showing the magpie due respect, hoping that he won't pass bad luck on to you.
One for sorrow tow for joy three for a girl four for a boy five for silver six for gold seven for a secret never to be told eight for a wish nine for a kiss ten for a surprise not to be missed. Reply.Why do farmers not like magpies? ›
But they also attack livestock, viciously and ingeniously. Farmers usually hate them. Magpies also prey on young songbirds, although their effect on the populations is negligible compared with that of domestic cats.What is the Old English word for magpie? ›
Originally, magpies were known only as pies in English—the earliest record we have of them comes from an Anglo-Saxon document that lists pyge as the Old English translation of pica, the Latin name for the magpie.What is the myth behind magpies? ›
In ancient Rome, the magpie was associated with magic and fortune telling, while in Scandinavia some witches rode magpies or turned into them. In Germany, the bird was considered a bird of the underworld and in Scotland it was said that magpies had a drop of the devil's blood on their tongues.What is a female magpie? ›
Is My Magpie Male or Female? Males: Males have a pure white nape with no grey. Females: Females have grey and speckled feathers on their napes. Learn more here. Juveniles: Juveniles have grey speckled plumage on their napes and backs, and may also have a rusty-brown shade of colouring.What does 2 magpies mean? ›
July 1, 2022. Many birds come with a lot of lore, and one bird, in particular, has its own rhyme. Magpies have often been the source of many superstitions; thus, the Magpie Rhyme was born.What is Australian slang for magpie? ›
Contributor's comments: Mud-lark is a very common term in Adelaide for the Magpie-lark, which is used just as often. The bird is believed to be the Piping Shrike, South Australia's prolific emblem. As such, the bird is also known so, but less commonly.
Why is Boo Radley a mockingbird? ›
Throughout the book, a number of characters (Jem, Tom Robinson, Dill, Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond) can be identified as mockingbirds—innocents who have been injured or destroyed through contact with evil.Why is Atticus called one shot Finch? ›
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is nicknamed Ol' One-Shot. This referred to his ability to accurately shoot a shotgun. The nickname is revealed in chapter 10 of the novel.Why is Atticus Finch so attractive? ›
ATTICUS FINCH, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
He wore a buttoned-up suit instead of spurs, but his integrity and open-mindedness made him off-the-charts hot. He took care of business, knew how to raise a badass daughter, and he didn't care what people thought. He somehow makes grave seriousness very appealing.
Charles Baker "Dill" Harris is a short, smart boy who visits Maycomb every summer from Meridian, Mississippi and stays with his Aunt Rachel (Aunt Stephanie in the film). Dill is the best friend of both Jem and Scout, and his goal throughout the novel is to get Boo Radley to come out of his house.How is Mr Raymond a mockingbird? ›
Raymond. He is a mockingbird because he's willing to lie to protect his family. When scout asked why he lied about being a drunk and he says “It ain't honest but it's mighty helpful to folks.What is Scout's real birth name? ›
Answer and Explanation: Scout's real name in Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird is Jean Louise Finch, but she is rarely called by her given name.Why is Killing a Mockingbird a sin? ›
In this story of innocence destroyed by evil, the 'mockingbird' comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence." The longest quotation about the book's title appears in Chapter 10, when Scout explains: "'Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.Why does Scout hate Miss Caroline? ›
Scout's teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, is new to teaching, new to Maycomb, and mortified that Scout already knows how to read and write. When Miss Caroline offers to lend Walter Cunningham lunch money, Scout is punished for taking it upon herself to explain Miss Caroline's faux pas to her.Who is Boo Radley father? ›
Arthur Radley | Heroes Wiki | Fandom.Why are magpies a problem? ›
Magpies can be very aggressive during their July to December breeding season. They defend their territory and young by swooping and attacking any animal, including humans. They usually attack people around the head and eyes. These attacks, especially on children, can be terrifying and dangerous.
What happened at the end of the magpie society One for sorrow? ›
By the end of One For Sorrow, Clover Mirth, who was revealed to be the podcast host, is missing and if the mysterious note and two hour voice recording Audrey and Ivy have discovered is anything to go by, its sounds like the Magpies have got to her.What is Atticus Pünd's anagram in Magpie Murders? ›
Atticus Pünd. The anagram is “A stupid…”—we'll let you figure out the last word. This would obviously have ruined Clover's reputation, stopped the merger, and cost Charles millions. So Charles killed Alan, pushing him off the tower.What is the theme of Magpie Murders? ›
One of the significant themes throughout the novel is the corruption and evil lurking just below the surface of even small, pastoral towns. Although from the outside the setting of Magpie Murders looks like a sleepy, idyllic English village, there are as many dark, complicated secrets as there as anywhere else is.Is Atticus Finch black or white? ›
For more than 50 years, Atticus Finch stood as one of the most beloved characters in American literature, the model of a principled white man who spoke out for racial justice and a gentle father who guided his children by example rather than through fear.How many books are in the Atticus Pünd series? ›
His work for adults includes the play Mindgame (2001); two Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk (2011) and Moriarty (2014); two novels featuring his own detective Atticus Pünd, Magpie Murders (2016) and Moonflower Murders (2020); and four novels featuring a fictionalised-version of himself as a companion and ...Who did Atticus Finch marry? ›
|Family||John Hale "Jack" Finch (brother) Alexandra Finch Hancock (sister) Caroline Finch (sister)|
|Spouse||Jean Graham Finch (deceased)|
|Children||Jeremy Atticus "Jem" Finch Jean Louise "Scout" Finch|
|Relatives||Henry Hancock (nephew) Francis Hancock (great-nephew) Edgar (cousin) Joshua (cousin)|
Moonflower Murders is a sort of sequel to Magpie Murders, which I haven't read, but have no doubt I would enjoy. Not having read it didn't impede my joy in this particular book, but for those who want to dive in to Horowitz's writing, I'd recommend picking up Magpie Murders first.Is Magpie Murders a true story? ›
In "Magpie Murders" fictional author Alan Conway's final novel is a 1950s-set murder mystery in which two deaths in the village of Saxby-on-Avon appear to be linked.What comes after Magpie Murders? ›
A sequel to the acclaimed 2022 MASTERPIECE adaptation of Horowitz's Magpie Murders, Moonflower Murders is executive produced by Jill Green and Eleventh Hour Films and adapted by Horowitz.Is Magpie Murders a trilogy? ›
Anthony Horowitz's best-selling murder mystery Magpie Murders has been turned into a six-part series by BritBox, starring Tim McMullan, Lesley Manville, Daniel Mays, Pippa Haywood, Michael Maloney and Conleth Hill.
Is Atticus Pünd in Moonflower Murders? ›
Product Description. Featuring his famous literary detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide bestseller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly complex literary thriller with echoes of Agatha Christie from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.Why is the book called killers of the flower moon? ›
Killers of the Flower Moon delves into a string of mostly unsolved murders involving the Osage Indian Nation of Oklahoma in the 1920s. The title comes from an Osage saying that describes the death of blooming April flowers in May, when taller plants crowd them out.Is killers of the flower moon book a true story? ›
The Killers Of The Flower Moon: Leonardo DiCaprio's new film is based on a horrific true story.What is the red car in Magpie Murders? ›
A bright red MG sports car zips by, and Pünd nods to himself with a slight smile. The car is driven by Susan Ryeland, who inhabits an entirely different world — the present.