An astonishingly accomplished second novel, marking the arrival of an exciting new talent on the crime scene
Astonishment Hall, a country estate on the border between Durham and Cumbria, is full of weird and wonderful exhibitions. It is truly a place of wonder. But when a valuable exhibit is stolen from the hall, it is only the first in a series of unpleasant and seemingly unconnected events. A bell tower is burnt to the ground, trapping a young boy inside, an outbreak of thefts plagues the valley, and a man is violently murdered and left to the crows and the snow. When his own investigations come to a dead end, the owner of Astonishment Hall, the Major, sends to London for help. And so Whilbert Stroop journeys north to try and find the answers to both his own search for a missing glass-worker, and the perplexing events at Astonishment Hall. Before long, Stroop finds himself embroiled in one man's terrifying and warped desire for vengeance against ancient wrongs, and another man's fight for survival.
Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, brought up in Devon and now lives in Scotland where she works in her local library, as she has done for many years. She has won prizes for many of her short stories, including the prestigious 2006 Scotsman & Orange Short Story Award for 'I Should Have Listened Harder', which can be downloaded from the Scotsman website. Her first novel, GUARDIANS OF THE KEY, was the winning recipient of the Harry Bowling Prize. More information about Clio can be found on her website www.cliogray.com.
'Just as bloody as the DA VINCI CODE... however, much better written'
'Gray has an exceptional eye for detail, and her characterisation is superb'
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW