A stunning psychological thriller set in Cumbria past and present, from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series
Things move slowly in the tiny Cumbrian village of Illthwaite, but all that's about to change.
Post-grad Sam Flood and historian Miguel Mercado first meet at The Stranger House, Illwaithe’s local inn. Sam is there to find information on her grandmother, who left four decades before, while Mig’s research stretches back to the English Reformation, four centuries ago.
The pair have nothing in common, yet their paths become increasingly entangled as they pursue their separate quests. Together they will discover who to trust and who to fear in this ancient village where the inhabitants are determined to keep the past buried.
Praise for The Stranger House:
‘Grim, gory, fascinating, enraging and entertaining…The Stranger House combines deep moral indignation with an atmospheric evocation of the past and a fascinating puzzle element’ Independent
‘A mystery novel but far more than that. It’s gripping… Hill is wonderful’ The Times
‘Exhilarating… if this is what results when Hill enjoys a holiday from the norm, he should take a break from his Yorkshire double act more often’ Sunday Times
‘You’re enthralled by the cunning of the plotting… great’ Observer
‘It’s a complex, multi-layered plot… it takes a master like Mr Hill to turn it into such an absorbing and atmospheric mystery’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Hill has pulled off a big psychological thriller, part ghost story, part historical novel, with passion and long-buried crimes at its heart’ Daily Mail
Praise for Reginald Hill
‘Good Morning Midnight is a real treat. The characters are deftly drawn, the plot constantly delivers surprises and the assured narrative demonstrates again what a terrific writer he is’ Peter Guttridge, Observer
‘As absorbing and as enjoyable as anything Reginald Hill has produced. The writing is brilliant, witty and erudite’ TJ Binyon, Evening Standard
‘Few writers in the genre today have Hill’s gifts: formidable intelligence, quick humour, compassion and a prose style that blends elegance and grace’ Donna Leon, Sunday Times
‘The fertility of Hill’s imagination, the range of his power, the sheer quality of his literary style never cease to delight’ Val McDermid, Sunday Express
‘Probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world’ Andrew Taylor, Independent
‘Reginald Hill’s novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villains interconnecting, their stories entwining’ Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
About the author
Reginald Hill was brought up in Cumbria, and has returned there after many years in Yorkshire. With his first crime novel, A Clubbable Woman, he was hailed as ‘the crime novel’s best hope’ and thirty years on he has more than fulfilled that prophecy.
Fans of the witty Dalziel/Pascoe police procedurals (Good Morning, Midnight, etc.) by Diamond Dagger winner Hill may be nonplussed by this stand-alone, a mix of historical mystery, gothic romance, ghost story and tutorial on religion and Norse mythology. Samantha "Sam" Flood, an Australian mathematics whiz, visits the isolated British village of Illthwaite before attending graduate school at Cambridge, hoping to discover the origins of her grandmother who emigrated from the place as a child. Miguel "Mig" Madero, a former novice priest now a history scholar, seeks the link between an ancestor who disappeared during the Spanish Armada defeat and a Catholic Illthwaite family. The villagers, quirky and devious, seem to know more than they'll reveal. Sam and Mig, initially antagonistic, join forces when their quests intersect. Spanning four centuries and related by several narrators, who slowly clarify the mystery, the book is too long and repetitive and seasoned with wild coincidences. Still, the engrossing historical background, especially Elizabeth I's campaign to eliminate English Catholicism, more than compensates.