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Todd, Randy, and Carter are teenagers, grammar school boys who come across a younger boy while roaming the countryside around their commuter town. They decide to hold him hostage in a small cave in an abandoned quarry and then consider what to do next. In 'Lord of the Flies', William Golding needed a plane crash and a tropical island to bring out the capacity for violence and evil in his English schoolboys. Jane White, a mother and housewife living in Godalming when she wrote 'Quarry', needed only a chance encounter in fields not unlike those around her own development. 'Quarry' is among the most unsettling novels of its time. White's teenaged kidnappers ride bikes, worry about exams, and have to get home in time for supper. Written in cool, realistic prose, 'Quarry' creates a situation that seems fantastic and too horrifying to be true yet sustains an atmosphere of normality that only increases its power to shock.