A stunning new psychological thriller set in past and present-day Cumbria from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series Things move slowly in the tiny village of Illthwaite, but that's about to change with the arrival of two strangers. Sam Flood is a young Australian post-grad en route to Cambridge. Miguel Madero is a Spanish ...
A stunning new psychological thriller set in past and present-day Cumbria from the award-winning author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series Things move slowly in the tiny village of Illthwaite, but that's about to change with the arrival of two strangers. Sam Flood is a young Australian post-grad en route to Cambridge. Miguel Madero is a Spanish historian in flight from a priests' seminary. They have nothing in common and no connection, except that they both want to dig up bits of the past that some people would rather keep buried. Sam is looking for information about her grandmother who left Illthwaite courtesy of the child migrant scheme four decades earlier. The past Mig is interested in is more than four centuries old. They meet in the village pub, The Stranger House, remnant of the old Illthwaite Priory. They don't take to each other. Sam believes that anything that can't be explained by maths isn't worth explaining; Mig sees ghosts; Sam is a fun-loving, experienced young woman; Mig is a 26-year-old virgin. But once their paths cross, they become increasingly entangled as they pursue what at first seem to be separate quests, finding out the hard way who to trust and who to fear in this ancient village whose lines of power run from Illthwaite Hall, home of the Catholic Woollasses. The action is fast, there are clashes physical and metaphysical, and shocks natural and supernatural, as the tension mounts to an explosive climax. But fans of Reginald Hill's books will not be surprised to find a few laughs along the way. And very old fans might even recognise a ghost from the very distant past!
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-29 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. Agent, Caradoc King at A.P. Watt (U.K.). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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