'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six . . .'
THE PAGE-TURNING RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB BESTSELLER
'A compelling debut from a gifted storyteller' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.
To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
Winner of the HWA Debut Crown Award 2017, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of The Familiars, Hamnet and Where the Crawdads Sing.
'Vivid and terrifying' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
'A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction' The Times
'At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale
'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go . . . at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This is a novel so confident we could scarcely believe it was a debut. Beth Underdown’s stunning tale is based on of the life of Matthew Hopkins, the man known as the Witchfinder General, who in 1640s England helped track down and convict over a hundred women for witchcraft. We meet his sister, Alice Hopkins, a widow forced to take refuge with her brother before unearthing his dangerous, maniacal plots. Tension pours off the page—and it’s all the more terrifying knowing it's based on historical fact.
Thoroughly enjoyed it
Really good book, decent plot, great writing
A page turning delight!
What a read! Each chapter was enlightening, detailed and atmospheric.
The description during the execution at Chelmsford stood out to me as the author really captures the 'disposable' aspect of these poor women subjected to such horrors.
I'm sad to have finished it so quickly but, I couldn't put it down.
The Witch Finder’s Sister
Excellent well crafted read. The horror of humans gone bad, with just enough hint of supernatural. Wonderful twists to the tale, time and time again. I loved this book. I was reminded a little of the style and quality of Hillary Mantel. Are you following the story to Salem....... I do hope so.