Daphne du Maurier meets CSI in this exhilarating debut. Sussex, 1780. Anatomist and recluse Gabriel Crowther is reluctantly drawn into the lives of local high society when a dead body is found by impulsive, frustrated Harriet Westerman. Her lands share a boundary with the great estate of the county, Thornleigh Hall, home of the crippled Earl of Sussex, his beautiful second wife and his alcoholic younger son. The Earl's heir disappeared after a family dispute some fifteen years earlier, and has not been seen since. Meanwhile, in London, two children lose their father in a violent attack. Their new young guardian, a young writer, attempts to protect them in the confusion of the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots as he dodges his creditors among the alleyways, and learns more of his wards' complicated history , which may lead back to Sussex. When a second body is discovered near Thornleigh Hall, the pressures on Harriet and Gabriel begin to mount and the secrets of the Hall, both ancient and modern, threaten to overwhelm them all.
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February 17, 2011
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