Two apparently harmless women reside in cottages one building apart in the idyllic English village of Little Camborne. Miss Finch and Miss Swallow, cousins, have put their pasts behind them and settled into conventional country life. But when a mysterious foreigner, Theodore Cadmus – from Caldera, a Mediterranean island nobody has heard of – moves into the middle cottage, the safe monotony of their lives is shattered.
The fates of the two cousins and Mr Cadmus, and those of Little Camborne and Caldera, become inextricably enmeshed. Long-hidden secrets and long-held grudges threaten to surface, drawing all into a vortex of subterfuge, theft, violence, mayhem . . . and murder.
Chillingly brilliant . . . sinister and stunningly well executed * * Independent on Sunday * * A novel remarkable for [its] power, ingenuity and subtlety * * London Review of Books * * Praise for Peter Ackroyd: Extraordinary, amazing, vivid, convincing. [Ackroyd's] view of life questions the role not just of the novel but of art and history, memory, time and much else * * Financial Times * * Follows the mysterious Mr Cadmus who hails from a Mediterranean island nobody has heard of and turns life in the idyllic English village of Little Camborne upside down * * The Times, Best books to look out for * * Murderous intrigue plays out against a backdrop of curtain-twitching small-town banality in this playful black comedy * * Sunday Times * * Blackly comic . . . as the body count mounts, Ackroyd's novel moves beyond Midsomer Murders territory and into the realm of the truly weird * * Daily Mail * * Mr Cadmus is a treat of a tale. To a "polite" English village add a sprinkling of sinister. The result? Cosy and twisted, comic and gothic, with a show-stealing parrot -- JESS KIDD
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