A Place of SECRETS: A Novel
A runaway bestseller in Britain with over 100,000 copies sold, a riveting historical mystery in the tradition of Kate Morton
Auction house appraiser Jude leaves London for her dream job at Starbrough Hall, an estate in the countryside, examining and pricing the manuscripts and instruments of an eighteenth-century astronomer. She is welcomed by Chantal Wickham and Jude feels close to the old woman at once: they have both lost their husbands. Hard times have forced the Wickham family to sell the astronomer's work, their land and with it, the timeworn tower that lies nearby. The tower was built as an observatory for astronomer Anthony Wickham and his daughter Esther, and it served as the setting for their most incredible discoveries.
Though Jude is far away from her life in London, her arrival at Starbrough Hall brings a host of childhood memories. She meets Euan, a famed writer and naturalist who lives in the gamekeeper's cottage at the foot of the tower, where Jude's grandfather once lived. And a nightmare begins to haunt her six-year-old niece, the same nightmare Jude herself had years ago. Is it possible that the dreams are passed down from one generation to the next? What secrets does the tower hold? And will Jude unearth them before it's too late?
Antiquarian book appraiser Jude Gower takes an assignment in Norfolk to evaluate the collection of eighteenth-century astronomer Anthony Wickham. Hore embellishes the tale with the familiar elements of the genre—family secrets, a blending of romance and suspense, and, of course, the requisite family mansion, this time a slightly eerie manor house called Starbrough Hall. Jude, whose family is from Norfolk, discovers a connection between her grandmother and a gypsy girl who played in the crumbling folly tower on the Starbrough property. A frightening dream has haunted Jude for a long time, and now, with the help of the handsome artist Euan, she begins to connect the puzzle of Gran’s memories, her own dreams, the gypsies, and Wickham’s folly. This romantic suspenser is rescued from cliché by the story’s momentum and the affectionate and compelling characters. It’s compulsively readable and highly entertaining. Readers who long for the old-fashioned gothic romance of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels will rejoice in the U.S. debut of this popular English author, and fans of Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton (2008)and Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea (2009) will be delighted. --Jen Baker “Sumptuous prose, deft plotting, lush settings, troubling personal histories, tragedy, heady romance and even a smattering of 18th century scientific wonderment mark Hore's fourth novel as her most accomplished and enthralling yet.” ―Daily Mirror“Hore once again shows her gift for bringing the past to life: her understanding of memory, stories and craft is as strong here as in The Memory Garden.” ―Waterstone's Books Quarterly“Rachel Hore's intriguing Richard and Judy recommended read, which is layered with a series of mysteries, some more supernatural than others.” ―Independent
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