The Infernal Riddle of Thomas Peach
‘Treadwell’s book is a magnificent pastiche of 18th-century fiction’
The Sunday Times
‘Tristram Shandy meets Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in a novel that addresses dark disturbing themes with tremendous wit, charm and elegance’
‘Part historical pastiche, part gothic horror, this is an ambitious and stylistically bold 18th-century adventure with shades of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’
‘Treadwell’s book entertains and impresses . . . He must be heartily congratulated both for performing an extraordinary feat of literary ventriloquism and also for reminding us what historical fiction does best: create an entirely convincing vanished world while also using that world as a lens through which to view the present day’
WHO IS THOMAS PEACH?
Ah, reader! — if you would have us answer THAT question — What mysteries you shall compel us to expose!
It is the year 1785, and a gentleman of modest means has left London for the countryside, to look after his ailing wife.
Among his new neighbours, tongues begin to wag. Why does he keep a locked chest under the stairs? Is it really full of forbidden books? And what exactly is the matter with his wife?
For the most part, though, the couple live in peace — until a letter arrives, threatening to cut off their livelihood and expel them from their home.
Faced with the prospect of penury — and perhaps worse — the gentleman rides out in search of some means to save himself.
But fate has other plans for Thomas Peach.
A bizarre request brings an encounter with a mysterious young woman, raised from infancy as a rich man’s ward, now condemned to the madhouse. As their paths become disturbingly entangled, Mr Peach begins to suspect that in her past lies a dreadful secret . . .
Dreadful indeed! — Yet however fearful the poor child’s history — can her secret be darker, than HIS OWN?
An extraordinary novel . . . a tour de force * Andrew Taylor *
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