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INSIDE FRONT COVER - IF TOO MANY WE CAN DELETE - MIX THEM UP TOO IF YOU NEED 'Wonderful' Shelley Harris, author of R&J pick Jubilee 'An original, imaginative investigation into some of the most disturbing episodes of the nation's history' TLS 'Atmospheric, gruesome and compelling' Katie Ward, author of Girl Reading 'Shepherd pulls it off' Independent on Sunday 'Riveting . . . thrilling . . . irresistible. This is a novel that surprised and astounded me time and again' Felix Palma, New York Times bestselling author of The Map of Time 'An ambitious novel' Daily Telegraph 'Marvellous' Robert Low, author of The Oathsworn series and The Kingdom series 'Rich in atmosphere' Financial Times 'A truly superb book . . . A five-star triumph . . . buy it, and buy it now' bookgeeks. co. uk 'Intelligent . . . cleverly constructed . . . tantalising' Essie Fox, author of The Somnambulist You can practically lick the sea salt off these pages. What an exuberant, daring, swashbuckling, deftly written, savagely delivered (epecially towards the end) story. Love the gothic, Frankensteinesque twist but I'm saying no more. Reminded me a bit of David Mitchel in parts. Patrick O'Brian, too. Shepherds not afraid to take a few risks, like Mitchel when it comes to pushing the envelope prose-wise and I like that in a writer. Lots of thematic ideas here, bursting at the seams to get your histo'. . . moreExuberant, daring, swashbuckling, deftly written, savagely delivered' D. E. Meredith, author of The Devil's Ribbon INSIDE BACK COVER: AUTHOR BIO AUTHOR PHOTO (colour, smiley) Lloyds website and twitter address
LONDON 1812: For forty years Britain has dreamed of the Pacific island of Tahiti, a dark paradise of bloody cults and beautiful natives. Now, decades after the first voyage of Captain Cook, a new ship returns to London from the Pacific, crammed with botanical specimens and laden also, it seems, with the mysteries of Tahiti. John Harriott, magistrate of the Thames river police, is asked to take a personal interest in the security of the ship and its cargo. So when, days after the Solander's arrival, some of its crew are found dead and their sea-chests ransacked - their throats slashed, faces frozen into terrible smiles - Harriot puts constable Charles Horton in charge of the investigation. But what connects the crewmen's dying dreams with the ambitions of the ship's principal backer, Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Society? And how can Britain's new science possibly explain the strangeness of Tahiti's floral riches now growing at Kew? Horton must employ his singular methods to uncover a chain of conspiracy stretching all the way back to the foot of the great dead volcano Tahiti Nui, beneath the hungry eyes of ancient gods. From the author of the critically acclaimed THE ENGLISH MONSTER. ack flap: Author photo as per TEM paperback. Bio as follows: Lloyd Shepherd is a former journalist and digital producer who has worked for the Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC and Yahoo. He lives in South London with his family. He is the author of THE ENGLISH MONSTER, inspired by the real-life Ratcliffe Highway murders.
'Wonderful ... clever, lyrical, atmospheric and tells a damn fine story' Joanne HarrisIt's 1814 and the streets of London's Covent Garden are at the centre of a dark trade, enticing rich and poor alike with a cocktail of gin and beer and sex. Behind their own fashionable private doors in the surrounding parishes a group of aristocratic young men are found murdered, all of them wearing the mask of a satyr, all of them behind locked doors with no signs of entry. Constable Charles Horton's investigation into these violent crimes begins, quite by chance, at Thorpe Lee House in Surrey, where accusations of witchcraft have swept the village. What connects these broken London men, savage with the pursuit of pleasure, and a country village awash with folklore and talk of burning witches? The answers lie, yet again, under lock and key, in a madhouse for the deranged, where Horton's wife Abigail seeks refuge from her disordered mind. In this world of witchcraft and madhouses, whores and aristocrats, it's a savage magic indeed that holds its victims in its thrall. Lloyd Shepherd's most ambitious novel to date is a triumph of the imagination. His rich cast of characters weaves a hugely satisfying story of depth, insight and exquisite drama.