|Pages/Publication Date:||420 / 2014|
Sussex, 1912: In a remote village near the English coast, residents gather in a misty churchyard on St. Mark's Eve, when ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are supposed to be seen walking. Alone in the crowd is Constantia Gifford, the taxidermist's daughter. Unmarried, she lives with her father on the fringes of town, in a decaying mansion cluttered with remnants of his once-famous museum of taxidermy. No one speaks of why the museum was shuttered—Connie herself has no recollection, following a childhood accident—but the locals shun Blackthorn House and the strange spinster who practices her father's macabre art. That night a woman is found dead at the church, and snippets of Connie's long-lost memory begin to emerge, in this haunting, gothic tale from the British Book Awardwinning author of the Labyrinth trilogy.
"A superb, atmospheric thriller, its Gothic overtones commanding attention from the very first page, and the feathery motifs of the birds—crows, jackdaws, magpies—who fly through its pages growing more menacing with every turn."—Daily Mail (London)
"Glossy as a crow's wing. Sure as a surgeon's scalpel. I bloody loved it."—Joanne Harris
"I loved the atmosphere: the time, the place, the weather, the cold. An unholy collision of Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie."—Anthony Horowitz