Why did Joe dodge his shift down the mine and what happened when his brother took his place? Why did an encounter with an upturned glass so terrify a group of newsmen? Just what was the dire prophecy of Seaman Flack? What will be the terrible consequence of Klara’s pregnancy? These and other intriguing questions are posed in Gerard Loughran s short stories, written after many years of foreign reporting and set in venues as far apart as Africa today and yesterday, Austria in the days when Jews couldn t be doctors, Germany in the distracted memories of an old soldier and our own not-quite-so-cosy Home Counties.