The mid-life crisis becomes the lifetime’s crisis. The fling becomes the affair , the affair becomes the love affair , the love affair becomes the murder. Set within the châteaux and vineyards of Southern France, ‘Al’s Well’ is a story of many kinds of love: of sexual passion and emotional desperation; of cravings for romance and danger and fulfilment; of lusts simultaneously for the intimate and the superficial; of proscribed love buttressing married love. At one level, ‘Al’s Well’ is the tale of the adulterous affair between the sassy American, Trove, and the geeky Englishman, Mike. At another, it chronicles the consequent deepening of the relationship of Trove with her sculptor husband, Al. At all levels, ‘Al’s Well’ is love under the microscope – but a microscope of lenses either chortling with laughter or crumpled in tears , or both. Gregory Dark already enjoys a reputation for prose of enormous wit, charm and beauty. These qualities are again in abundance in this, his first book of which love is the central theme.