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Palace of Shadows

Ray Celestin



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12 March 2024
"An outstanding historical novel for fans of The Essex Serpent and Piranesi, Ray Celestin's Palace of Shadows can lay claim to having at its centre the most Gothic House of them all . . .

""I'm not asking you to build something impossible. I'm asking you to build something that contains all the strangeness and confusion that you can muster.""

Samuel Etherstone, a penniless artist, is adrift in London. His disturbing art is shunned by patrons and critics alike, his friend Oscar Wilde is now an exile living in Paris, and a personal tragedy has taken its toll. So when he is contacted by a mysterious heiress, Mrs Chesterfield, and asked to work on a commission for the house she is building on the desolate Smugglers' Coast of North Yorkshire, he accepts the offer.

Staying overnight in the local village pub, Samuel is warned not to spend too much time there. He is told of the fate of the house's original architect, Francisco Varano, chilling tales of folk driven mad by the house, of it being built on haunted land where young girls have vanished, their ghosts now calling others to their deaths...

It is only on arrival at the Chesterfield house that he learns the sinister details of Varano's disappearance. And yet its owner keeps adding wing upon wing, and no one will tell him the reason behind her chilling obsession . . . But as Samuel delves deeper into the mysteries that swirl about the house, the nature of the project becomes terrifyingly clear."

Imprint:   MANTLE
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   438g
ISBN:   9781035019083
ISBN 10:   1035019086
Pages:   352
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:   https://raycelestin.com/

Ray Celestin is the author of the prize-winning City Blues Quartet, a series of novels which charts the twin histories of jazz and the Mob through the middle fifty years of the twentieth century. The first novel in the series, The Axeman's Jazz, won the CWA New Blood Dagger for best debut crime novel of the year, and was featured on numerous 'Books of the Year' lists. The second and third books in the series, Dead Man's Blues and The Mobster's Lament, were shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the Capital Crime Novel of the Year respectively. The final novel in the series, Sunset Swing, won both the CWA Historical Dagger and the Gold Dagger 2022 and was described in the Sunday Telegraph as the conclusion to 'one of the finest achievements of recent crime fiction'.

Reviews for Palace of Shadows

'[S]et in the late 19th century, [Ray Celestin] takes the true story of American weapons heiress Sarah Winchester’s San Jose mansion and transports it to Yorkshire, with chillingly gothic results. -- <i>Guardian</i>, 'Best Crime and Thrillers of 2023' [A] beguiling standalone historical thriller . . . Its jaw-dropping finale will leave readers reeling. An absolute triumph * Sunday Express * ‘I loved Palace of Shadows . . . set on the Yorkshire moors in the late 19th century. Based on a true story, a labyrinth of timelines populated by vividly written characters offers a darkly entertaining plot.’ -- Laura Shepherd-Robinson, bestselling author of <i>The Square of Sevens</i> ‘I could see elements of Wilkie Collins, Bram Stoker and even Lewis Carroll in this gloriously bonkers novel . . . a hugely entertaining slice of Gothic fantasy’ -- Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of <i>The Shadows of London</i> Palace of Shadows moves exhilaratingly into Gothic territory * Financial Times * Beautifully crafted and delightfully creepy * The Bookseller * A piercing and wholly captivating historical novel that creates the most sinister and atmospheric of gothic tones…The foreboding descent into [the house’s] depths are chilling, and yet oh-so addictive… Beautifully atmospheric and absolutely convincing * LoveReading * Palace of Shadows is as authentically detailed as Dickens, sophisticatedly horrific as Poe, and is more than enough to give readers the chills on dark autumn nights * Buzz Magazine * Welcome the darker months in with this deeply unsettling gothic tale * Sainsbury's Magazine *

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