NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR
For fans of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and A Discovery of Witches comes a brilliantly imagined debut novel brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic.
Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.
Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.
Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.
Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.
Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined debut novel from a riveting new voice.
Praise for The Hawley Book of the Dead
“An informed and assured launch . . . Readers will be thoroughly engaged [by] the literary, magical, horse-loving Reve.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Enthralling . . . a magic-fueled tale of contemporary romantic suspense.”—Booklist (starred review)
“The core narrative is strong [with] a proper hook. . . . The scenes with Reve and her daughters ring true.”—Library Journal
“An impressive debut novel that combines various genres seamlessly.”—Huntington News
“Engrossing . . . a novel well worth discovering . . . In the vein of authors like Deborah Harkness and Katherine Howe, magic and reality are perfectly blended.”—BookPage
“With a rapid pace and exquisite details that clearly set the scene and mood, [Chrysler] Szarlan’s novel is a great read for those who love fantasy and tales of witchcraft.”—Shelf Awareness
“The Hawley Book of the Dead had me completely spellbound from beginning to end. A storytelling virtuosa, Chrysler Szarlan has woven a wondrous, scintillating web of suspense, love, history, and magic that will keep you eagerly turning the pages late into the night. Even readers not normally drawn to the supernatural will be swept away by this book; it has everything a great adventure should have—and so much more.”—Anne Fortier
“A haunting story of love, loss, family secrets, mysteries, and magic.”—Lauren Willig
Bookseller and debut novelist Szarlan gives an informed and assured launch to her Revelation Quartet. The Amazing Maskelynes Revelation "Reve" Dyer and her husband, Jeremy are acclaimed Las Vegas stage magicians. After someone tampers with their equipment, Jeremy is fatally shot by Reve as they perform the "Defying the Bullet" trick. Horrified, Reve and her three daughters seek refuge with her maternal grandmother in her childhood home of Hawley Five Corners, Mass. The Dyer women all have supernatural abilities, and Reve can vanish at will from the world. When she encounters the titular volume, she's drawn into generations-old mysteries involving magical objects, government spooks, and malevolent fey. Readers will be thoroughly engaged in the lives of the literary, magical, horse-loving Reve, teen twins Grace and Fai, and 10-year-old Caleigh.
Read it, great book