In the aftermath of covering 9/11, English war reporter Stephen Sharkey and photographer Ben Frobisher leave New York and part company. Stephen returns to the devastating discovery of the end of his marriage; while on assignment in Afghanistan Ben is killed. Retreating to the English countryside to write a book questioning the role of the war reporter and photographer Stephen enters into complicated relationships with Ben’s widow Kate, a sculptor, her disturbing and sinister young studio assistant, and a young au-pair. Set far from the literal theatre of war, Double Vision is nonetheless a novel about its representation and effects as Pat Barker once more lays bare the complexities of desire and violence.
[Barker's] latest novel, Double Vision, is a complex, deeply engaging ensemble piece that describes a single winter in the lives of a handful of interconnected characters … Where the melodies of the novel mesh, they display a writer at the height of her powers. The few times they clash are almost more beautiful: in them, you can hear the even more impressive, because rarer, sound of an artist growing. Neil Gordon