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The Stranger's Companion

Mary Horlock

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01 July 2024
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'A compelling mixture of mystery, community secrets revealed and ghosts from the past disturbing the present' Sunday Times
'A mesmerising historical mystery . . . based on a fascinating real case. Delectable' Anna Mazzola, author of The Book of Secrets

October 1933

With a population of five hundred souls, isolated Sark has a reputation for being 'the island where nothing ever happens'. Until, one day, the neatly folded clothes of an unknown man and woman are discovered abandoned at a coastal beauty spot. As the search for the missing couple catches the attention of first the local and then national newspapers, Sark finds itself front-page news.

When young islander Phyllis Carey returns to Sark from England she throws herself into solving the mystery. As Phyll digs through swirls of gossip, ghost stories and dark rumours in search of the truth, she crosses paths with Everard Hyde, a surprise visitor from her past. As press coverage builds to fever pitch, long-suppressed secrets from Phyll's and Everard's shared, shadowy history begin to surface.

The Stranger's Companion is a beguiling historical mystery inspired by a real-life crime, which remains unsolved to this day.

'A fascinating mystery [and] truly transporting read' Woman's Weekly

'Such a wonderful, distinctive cast of characters . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the wit and spark of the writing' Zoe Somerville, author of The Marsh House

'An atmospheric, haunting story full of evocative, swirling myths. It's a gloriously gripping read' Liz Fenwick, author of The Secret Shore
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781399813167
ISBN 10:   1399813161
Pages:   352
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mary Horlock was born in Australia but brought up in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. She was previously a curator in contemporary art at Tate Liverpool and Tate Britain. Her first novel, The Book of Lies, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. She lives with her family in London.

Reviews for The Stranger's Companion

Praise for THE BOOK OF LIES -- An ingenious debut * Financial Times * Acutely observed . . . It is a complex and deeply satisfying novel, and I can scarcely believe it is Horlock's first book * Guardian * Horlock has created an authentic adolescent voice and, in the process, not only illuminated the history of a small island but also thrown light on the subjectivity of history, truth and memory * Independent * The ending is brilliantly double-edged, bearing witness . . .to human nature's perverse complexity -its wounded, willing goodness, its streaks of darkness * Scotsman * A sizzling debut . . . the end is extraordinary. Guernsey, where the author spent her childhood, is beautifully evoked * The Times * Strange and inviting . . . [Catherine's] razor-sharp humor gives the book a pleasing, offbeat charm * Publishers Weekly * Remarkable . . . [Cat] is unique and captivating * Library Journal * The misplaced loyalties that often drive the adolescent mind are expertly depicted in Mary Horlock's debut novel . . . Nails the stifling nature of a small community choked by the dark memories of wartime * National * An intriguing and well-handled debut * Herald *

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