As unsettling as it is unputdownable, this story of love and revenge will haunt you long after you've finished reading
From a startling new voice in contemporary Gothic fiction comes a superbly creepy debut about the elusive nature of truth, the stories we choose to believe (or not), and how we choose to tell those tales . . .
'By the end of the third page I was not only hooked, but beginning to think that this might be the best book I'd read all year.' Joanne Harris
'I wanted someone to know, you see. To know my truth, now that I am gone. How everything and none of it happened.'
Everyone knew bestselling novelist Cassandra Tipp had twice got away with murder.
Even her family were convinced of her guilt.
So when she disappears, leaving only a long letter behind, they can but suspect that her conscience finally killed her.
But the letter is not what anyone expected. It tells two chilling, darkly disturbing stories. One is a story of bloody nights and magical gifts, of children lost to the woods, of husbands made from twigs and leaves and feathers and bones . . .
The other is the story of a little girl who was cruelly treated and grew up crooked in the shadows . . .
But which story is true? And where is Cassie now?
“A bewitching, beguiling, and deeply unsettling tale of one woman's strange life. It will ensnare you from page one and keep you riveted until the end.”
CAITLIN STARLING, author of The Luminous Dead
“By the end of the third page I was not only hooked, but beginning to think that this might be the best book I'd read all year . . . creepy, pagan, detailed, entrancing. I loved it.”
JOANNE HARRIS, bestselling author of Chocolat and The Strawberry Thief
“Smart, creepy . . . glittering and menacing . . . deliciously terrifying.”
Laird Hunt, GUARDIAN
“Dark and immersive; a feast of storytelling that lingers long after the last morsel's been consumed.”
Sam Lloyd, author of The Memory Wood
“A glorious, pitch-black fairytale of a book. Lush, strange and defiant. As soon as I finished it, I went straight back to the start and read it again.”
KIRSTY LOGAN, author of Things We Say in the Dark
“In this storytelling masterclass, everything is inverted.”
“Exploring the darker side of fairytales, it inhabits that liminal space where folklore and horror collide. A worrying tale where reality is filtered through the unreal, and the rational rubs shoulders with the supernatural, this is a beguiling story of love and revenge.”
LUCIE MCKNIGHT HARDY, author of Water Shall Refuse Them
“Odd and unsettling, this might not be for everyone, but we thought it was magic.”
“Bruce's spooky novel is lascivious and bloody, a tale of sexual awakening and dark desires that wreathes its leafy tendrils seductively around you, then tightens them until they start to strangle.”
James Lovegrove, Financial Times
“Dark and magical, one of the best books I've read this year.”
Books, Bones & Buffy
“A fairytale, a psychological portrait and a bleak drama.”
New Books Magazine
“A brilliant and sinister debut.”
Ginger Nuts of Horror
“Beautiful, strange . . . hideously dark, delights in unsettling.”
“Creepy and disturbing right from the start.”
Spooky Mrs Green
“A disturbing but brilliant narrative . . . a rare treat.”
“This beguiling and unsettling debut had me hooked from the first page . . . a unique, strange and defiant folk horror story which lingers long in the memory.”