When Arthur killed Elvis, he thought he'd made the biggest mistake of his career. He wasn't even close.
Having picked up the wrong man at the airport, Vanessa Aldridge can’t imagine what her boss will say. However, when her passenger kills two men, steals the car and abandons her in the centre of Rome dressed only in her lingerie and high heels, she reckons she might be able to take a guess.
In jail and out of a job, a visit from a consular official persuades her that the worst is over; and so it is, if you don’t count being kidnapped and forced to cross the Alps on horseback. And she hasn’t even met Arthur Shepherd yet.
He’s a cleaner working for Lambeth Council and his chief accountabilities include knifing, shooting, strangling or occasionally shoving under buses, various embarrassments to the nation. But killing isn’t what it used to be. In the old days, enemies dressed badly and lived in Central Europe: nowadays, they’re his line managers. So when a number of his colleagues find themselves on the sticky end of a variety of sharp, heavy or very high velocity bits of metal, Arthur, not unreasonably, thinks he might well be next.
The Rothko Room is a tale of murder, music, fine art, tea and toilets.