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Publisher Description

'Tremendously good' Observer
'The most vivid and compelling portrait of late Victorian London since The Crimson Petal and the White' Sarah Perry
'Part Wilkie Collins, part Conan Doyle' Guardian
'Huge fun' Daily Mail
'Has everything you could want in a novel' Stylist
'Dickens is whirling enviously in his grave ... Read by a fire on a cold winter evening' Irish Times

'Ladies and gentlemen, the darkness is complete.'

It is the winter of 1893, and in London the snow is falling.

It is falling as Gideon Bliss seeks shelter in a Soho church, where he finds Angie Tatton lying before the altar. His one-time love is at death's door, murmuring about brightness and black air, and about those she calls the Spiriters. In the morning she is gone.

The snow is falling as a seamstress climbs onto a ledge above Mayfair, a mysterious message stitched into her own skin. It is falling as she steadies herself and closes her eyes.

It is falling, too, as her employer, Lord Strythe, vanishes into the night, watched by Octavia Hillingdon, a restless society columnist who longs to uncover a story of real importance.

She and Gideon will soon be drawn into the same mystery, each desperate to save Angie and find out the truth about Lord Strythe. Their paths will cross as the darkness gathers, and will lead them at last to what lies hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

'Like the love child of Dickens and Conan Doyle' Liz Nugent
'This novel is an absolute banger' Jon McGregor
'An utter joy' Joanna Cannon '

Crime & Thrillers
18 October
Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

Customer Reviews

rhitc ,

In stitches

Irish. His debut, The Maker of Swans, was named Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016, and shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category. This is his sophomore effort.

In brief
London in the 1890s. Young women are going missing willy nilly when a seamstress with a cryptic message stitched into her skin leaps to her death from third floor balcony on a dark and snowy night. Inspector Cutter of the New Scotland Yard is on the case, aided by Gideon Bliss (a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls), and, whether they like it or not, Olivia Hillingdon, a journalist with a bicycle. Evil spirits and dodgy aristocrats are at large too. The mystery isn't particularly mysterious. Warning: paranormal activity.

Third person narrative from POVs of main protagonists. Style consistent with the times with a certain amount of drollery that amuses. (Some of it amused me, anyway)

Bottom line
Wilkie Collins rather than Sherlock Holmes wannabe, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about Mr Collins.

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